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Newspaper launches summer-long swimming and water safety campaign

A regional daily has launched a bid to get more readers swimming along with highlighting water safety.

The Eastern Daily Press has announced its seasonal Summer of Swimming campaign, which also aims to fight for better facilities across its patch and help young people learn life-saving skills.

The EDP is urging readers to ask their local schools whether they are completing their national curriculum requirement for swimming and encourage children to learn more about how to keep safe around water.

One Norwich leisure centre has already backed the campaign and will be giving 40 schoolchildren free swimming lessons.

EDP swim

In an editorial explaining the campaign, editor David Powles wrote: “The main reason is that there is a groundswell of people out there who believe it is badly needed. That swimming is an activity worth being able to do should not be in doubt. It’s a fantastic form of exercise, low impact and relatively low in cost when you work out how little equipment you need.

“Meanwhile, in a region like ours there must be very few people who don’t encounter water at some stage in their lives – clearly it’s better they can be safe and know what they are doing when that time comes. But despite this, participation in the activity is falling and too many schools are either closing pools or not pushing kids to give swimming a try.

“This is particularly an issue in some of our most deprived communities. Meanwhile, every year we have to sadly report on tragedies in the water.

“We don’t know if they could have been prevented of course, but being confident at swimming can only help if you or others face danger.

“That’s why we are launching our Summer of Swimming, to keep people fit and active but also to try to keep people alive. I would urge you to have a think about ways in which you might be able to get involved – no matter how small or big it may seem.”