Swimming has returned – how wonderful.
I do hope you’ve had a chance to get back in the pool now that outdoor and indoor facilities alike can reopen across the country. We’ve gone from the bathtub into the pool now, and wow, it feels great to have space to move.
I was lucky enough to be at Clissold Leisure Centre in Hackney when indoor pools reopened on Monday 12th April, and the smiles on people’s faces showed the difference that swimming can make to people’s lives. For me personally, this has been the longest time out of a pool since I was eight years old!
My hope is that this post-pandemic time will lead to a resurgence in swimming. Covid-19 is a wake up call to the nation, and will hopefully help drive people to get fit and be more active.
Swimming can play a vital part in this recovery period as the nation looks to get more active. We know there are immense benefits to people’s physical and mental health, and the combined economic and social value of taking part in community sport and physical activity in England is estimated at over £85 billion per year.
Swimming alone saves the health and social care system £357m per year. That’s an incredible amount, and I suspect it’s just the tip of the iceberg - as President of Swimathon, I’ve seen the difference that swimming can make to people’s quality of life, and I’ve been thrilled that we have been able to support so many swimmers, pools, swimming organisations, charities and those in need of our help through the years.
We have raised over £50million for charity over the years – but somehow this year it feels more vital than ever to help charities recover, so they can help so many others. This year’s Swimathon Festival is in September, and we’d love you to join us in making a big difference. Everything is open if you want to train, and judging from the smiles I saw at Clissold, a bit of training will put a smile on your own face even while you’re preparing to help others.
Thanks all – see you in the pool soon!