Thursday 05 August, 2021 Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading leisure facilities operators, has reached a record number of children enrolled on its Learn to Swim Programme, exceeding the number of registrations before the pandemic. 

The total number of children signed up to swimming lessons is now 105% of March 2020 figures; since indoor pools reopened in April 2021, sites have also received more than 3250 swimming lesson enquiries. 

With indoor pools closed for much of 2020 and capacity reduced during open periods, Parkwood Leisure lost 23% of its swimming lesson members as a result of the pandemic. 

To support sites reopening in April and in-line with the operator’s customer engagement strategy, online booking was introduced for all weekly classes and crash courses, which are being held during the school holidays to provide further opportunities for children to catch up on missed learning. 

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. 

Parkwood Leisure follows the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme, a seven-stage national teaching syllabus designed to deliver safe and effective swim teaching for all ages.  

Commenting on today’s announcement, Suzanne Gabb, Head of Aquatics at Parkwood Leisure, said: “This is a huge milestone in our recovery from the pandemic, and 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.”

Parkwood Leisure runs 44 swimming pools across England and Wales.