Brand new pilot scheme to tackle swimming decline!30 Jun

Brand new pilot scheme to tackle swimming decline!

Did you know there’s a national decline in public swimming?

Here at Brio, we love swimming and we know a lot of our customers do too. However, studies by Sport England have found that swim numbers have dropped by 20% across the country over the last decade. To help combat this, Cheshire West and Chester Council has been awarded £264,000 as part of the scheme, and Brio are delivering the project to encourage more people across Cheshire West to jump in the pool! This is all part of a £3m Sport England campaign to reverse the national decline in public swimming, and Cheshire West and Chester Council is one of 12 local authorities selected to take part in the Swim Local pilot scheme.

You may remember we ran a swim survey last year – we ended up getting more than 1,000 members of the public to take part in this study so we could find out exactly why people weren’t swimming. This research will be used to make swimming more appealing and accessible to all.

As the research showed, people swim for a variety of reasons. Swim for health benefits or part of their fitness regime, while others do it because it’s fun and suitable for the whole family. It showed that there’s definitely a desire for a range of tailored sessions that meet all of these needs and more.

Furthermore, not everyone surveyed knew they had a public pool in their area, so as part of this scheme we’ll be doing more to promote the availability of our swimming facilities across Cheshire West, along with providing more information on timetables and accessibility.

People also called for better changing and poolside facilities and for the introduction of swim ‘mentors’ who could give guidance and advice on swimming styles. Think Gym Instructors, but on poolside! This will ensure customers get as much as they possibly can from their water workouts.

Concerns over body image were also a barrier for some. Both men and women across a range of age groups were uncomfortable with how they looked in a swim suit and didn’t like being seen by others in the pool area, so we’re looking at ways in which to make everyone feel more comfortable and less intimidated. We’ll be looking to provide hooks and areas on poolside that people can bring towels and bathrobes through to, to help with this.

So, that’s a few of the ways in which the Swim Local pilot programme will be changing how we look at swimming. It’ll focus on customer experience, the pool environment and how the pools are promoted, with further consultation with customers to find out how we’re doing.

Keep an eye open over the next 12 months as various aspects of the Swim Local pilot will come into play at various Brio pools!

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