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10 Aug 2021

Parkwood’s swimming lessons bounce back to beat pre-COVID numbers
BY Tom Walker

Parkwood operates 44 pools and has 38,820 children enrolled for lessons

Parkwood operates 44 pools and has 38,820 children enrolled for lessons
photo: Parkwood

The number of children enrolled on Parkwood Leisure's Learn to Swim Programme, has reached a record high since pools were allowed to reopen to the public on 12 April.

The total number of children signed up to swimming lessons (38,820) now exceeds pre-COVID-19 levels.

There were 36,165 children enrolled in lessons in February 2020 and 36,963 in March 2020. The pre-COVID-19 numbers are based on Parkwood's direct debit runs.

Parkwood says the figures are like-for-like, as they only include pools that were open both before the pandemic and since the latest lockdowns.

The company, which operates ​​44 swimming pools across England and Wales, lost 23 per cent of its swimming lesson members as a result of the pandemic.

Suzanne Gabb, head of aquatics, said: “This is a huge milestone in our recovery and is testament to the quality of our swimming programme, as well as the dedication of our many swim teachers and managers.

“Being able to swim remains an essential life skill for anyone and helping children get back into the water and learn to swim safely is incredibly important to us.”

Data released by Swim England in May 2021 revealed the impact of national lockdowns on swimming lessons, with more than two million young people missing out the chance to swim over the past 12 months, and 240,000 children being unable to swim the length of a standard pool.

The UK’s leisure trusts and contract operators rely on revenues from swimming lessons and gym memberships to fund many of their non-profit-making social programmes and activities, so their recovery is essential to the functioning of the sector.



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