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William backs swimming campaign

The Duke of Cambridge has recorded a video message in support of the Amateur Swimming Association's (ASA) vision that every child has the right to learn to swim.

William outlines the importance of children being confident in water in his message which follows an ASA report that claims more than half of youngsters aged seven to 11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided.

The Association has said this equates to just over a million children who are potentially not safe in and around water.

The Duke, who is patron of the English Schools Swimming Association, says in the video: "Swimming has always been important to me - I was very proud to represent Scottish Universities at water polo and both Catherine and I will never forget the excitement and pride we felt cheering on Team GB in the Aquatics Centre last summer at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Swimming is unique - it is the only sport that can save lives - which is why I'm so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools.

"The ASA has a belief - a vision, which I share - that every child has the right to learn to swim.

"The ability to swim changes lives - it brings huge joy and it can keep us fit and healthy. But above all, it can keep us safe, which is why I'm pleased to lend my support to this campaign."

The ASA's survey, called Learning the Lesson - the future of school swimming, questioned 3,501 schools on how many of their children have attained Key Stage 2 swimming requirements.

It found that half of children aged seven to 11 cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum.

David Sparkes, the ASA's chief executive, said "The ASA's vision is that that every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. I am delighted that His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign."


From Belfast Telegraph