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Pool stopped me teaching granchild to swim: claim

By David Young

Published 20/05/2016

An angry grandfather claims a Belfast leisure centre told him he was not allowed to teach his own granddaughter to swim - telling him he had to pay for swimming lessons instead.

The north Belfast man, who didn't wish to be named, told the Belfast Telegraph he had taught his children and his other grandchildren to swim at Grove Baths, and later at the new Grove Wellbeing Centre.

He said that last week he learned things had changed.

He explained: "My eight-year-old granddaughter asked if I would teach her to swim. I readily agreed.

"However, it wasn't to be. New rules say you have to be able to swim 25 metres to use the big pool, and the paddling area is out of bounds to non-swimmers.

"We were told we could sign up to have the children taught at a price.

"I've nothing against those who wish to pay for tuition, but it should be voluntary."

Belfast's public swimming pools are now managed by London-based social enterprise GLL.

Last night a GLL spokesman apologised and said there was a misunderstanding and there was no ban on adults teaching relatives to swim, and no rule insisting on learners taking paid-for swimming lessons.

He said: "We apologise for any misunderstanding.

"GLL's policy is that children under the age of eight years and non-swimmers must be accompanied by a competent adult when in the water.

"Whether learning in our swim school or taught by family members, all are welcome.

"We do hope this gentleman and his granddaughter will return to the pool soon."

Belfast Telegraph

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