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New project to get London swimming launched

ASA | Swim England

4 min read Partner content

A new project aimed at encouraging more adults to start swimming has been launched today at the iconic London Aquatics Centre.

Swim London 2016 offers those living in communities close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park who are currently unable to swim, the opportunity to take part in subsidised local swimming courses.

Tracey Primus from Hackney has already signed up to take part in the sessions. She commented: “I’m a little anxious about the swimming lessons, but I am looking forward to being part of the project. I can’t wait to jump in the sea with my nephew for the first time this summer - I am tired of watching and cheering from the sidelines!”

Also taking part is Waltham Forest local, Nyannka Fountaine, who said: “To be honest, starting these lessons is quite daunting, but swimming is something I’ve wanted to learn for a long, long time but due to the fear of the water I’ve constantly put it off. Although daunting, I am looking forward to learning a new skill, not only to be able to finally swim on holiday, but to be confident and not fearful of the water. It’s a fantastic scheme that gets everyone involved and I’m ready to jump in!”

Three 12-week swimming courses will be held at each of the participating pools in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets, with Greenwich joining the programme in June. The programme aims to introduce over 200 adults to swimming, encouraging them learn as a group and support one another through the sessions.

The launch of Swim London 2016 coincides with 100 days to go until the start of the LEN European Aquatics Championships, which are being held at the London Aquatics Centre in May.

As an extra incentive for people to sign up, those who take part in the first courses will have the opportunity to train towards participating in a special team relay event during the Championships – swimming in the former Olympic competition pool, in full competition mode, in front of a crowd of family and friends.

Tom Chambers, London 2016 European Aquatics Championships CEO, said: “The London Aquatics Centre is at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we want the Championships to touch as many local people as possible.

“Swim London 2016 offers a unique opportunity for people to take part in the historic event and also an opportunity to make friends that we hope will last a lifetime. Grass roots and providing a wider social experience is key to Swim London 2016 and we are looking forward to seeing the project grow.”

Nick Caplin, Director of Participation at the ASA, added: “This is a fantastic project that we hope will inspire many local people to have a go at swimming. While our elite athletes are getting ready to take part in the European Aquatics Championships and the summer Olympics, we want to get London swimming and prove that it is never too late to learn to swim and have fun in the pool.”

GLL is supporting the delivering of the programme. National Sport and Aquatics Manager, Andrew Clark, said: “For many adults in London the prospect of swimming is similar to many other common phobias. The key message is that you are not alone and it is never too late to learn.

“As a social enterprise and the largest operator of swimming pools in the UK, we are committed to giving everyone the opportunity to learn to swim and we are delighted that one of the key legacies of London 2016 will allow more adults the opportunity to become 'waterproof' and access this programme.”

To get involved with Swim London 2016 follow @SwimLondon2016, @SwimWForest, @SwimHackney and @SwimTowerHamlets on Twitter. Alternatively, email

For more information about the London 2016 European Aquatics Championships, visit

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