Children in Tower Hamlets benefit from catch up swimming lesson programme

Tiller Facilities Shots 2

Catching up on swimming at Tiller Leisure Centre

Better’s Tiller Leisure Centre in Tower Hamlets joined forces with local schools in the Docklands area to encourage youngsters to get active and learning to swim over the February half term holidays.  The project welcomed over 140 children to the pool from 14 – 18 February, many of whom were completely new to swimming.

Charitable social enterprise, GLL, who operate the facilities in the borough under the customer facing brand of Better, opened their doors at the newly refurbished Tiller Leisure Centre to welcome local school children to a week of catch up swimming lessons.

The catch up swimming programme consists of daily swimming lessons over the February half term. The programmes numerous benefits include helping to reduce social isolation, improving mental health, increasing activity levels and creating a lifelong love of the water. The programme also encourages working towards exceeding the National Curriculum standard of 25 metres by the end of year 6.

Arnhem Wharf, Canary Wharf, Cubitt Town,  Azhar Academy, St. Edmunds, Harbinger, St Pauls and Blue Gate primary schools put forward pupils they felt would be best suited to the scheme. The response has been fantastic with usage expected to exceed 600 visits for the week.

Local resident and parent of two children who are taking part, Afia Begum, commented: “The catch up swimming programme has been amazing this week. Jasmine and Zahir have really learnt a lot and have loved taking part. It’s been well organised and the teachers are really motivating and friendly.”

General Manager at Tiller Leisure Centre, Karen Stevenson, added: “The pandemic has meant many children missed out on their normal school swimming lessons for close to 18 months. The team at Tiller wanted to help, so it’s been great to be able to work with our local primary schools in the Docklands area to offer these children free catch up swimming lessons.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “This half-term was the first school holiday since the re-opening of Tiller Leisure Centre with its new and improved facilities including a 25-metre five-lane swimming pool. 

Swimming is a great sport that can help development, build confidence and save lives. It has been encouraging to see so many children from the local area take advantage of free lessons to learn how to swim for the first time or to improve their techniques in the water.”

Posted on Wednesday 16th February 2022