Children will be able to swim for free at leisure centres in Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen over the summer holidays, it was revealed today.
Dudley Council bosses today announced the move to encourage youngsters to stay active, keep fit and help beat the boredom during the six-week break.
The offer will be on at Dudley Leisure Centre, Halesowen Leisure Centre and Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge during public swimming times. Children up to and including the age of 16 who reside in the Dudley borough are eligible, and the leisure pool at Crystal is also included.
Free swimming will start on Saturday July 21 and finish on Sunday September 2, the day before most children return to school.
Registration must be completed in advance and parents can sign their children up from Tuesday July 17 at www.freeswimindudley.co.uk. They will then be issued with a QR code which can be scanned every time they visit one of the leisure centres.
Families without access to a computer or the internet can sign up at any of the borough’s libraries.
Children who register before July 21 will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win an annual junior membership at the three leisure centres.
Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:
I am delighted to be able to announce the free swimming offer for youngsters in the borough over the summer holidays. As a council we are very keen to promote initiatives that encourage children in our borough to stay fit, active and healthy.
The best way to do that is to make it fun – and with the weather at the moment, everyone is looking for a way to cool off. It is safer to swim at your local leisure centre, supervised by lifeguards, rather than unsupervised in open water such as lakes, canals and reservoirs.
We hope the free swimming offer will encourage families with younger children to come along to the leisure centres together for a cheap and fun day out. For older children boredom can quickly set in during the summer break – now they can go somewhere with their friends without having to spend anything.
I would urge parents and children to get signed up – and get swimming.
Sessions outside of public swimming times, such as Aqua Run at Halesowen, are not included and children will have to pay as normal for those.
Particularly at Crystal, children and families are advised to turn up early to avoid queues during peak times.
Children aged eight or over may enter the pools unaccompanied. All children under the age of eight must be accompanied into the water by an adult or responsible person over 16 years of age. One adult may accompany up to two children under the age of eight.