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Free swimming scheme relaunches for borough youngsters

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School’s out for summer – and youngsters looking to stay cool are being offered the chance to swim for free again at borough leisure centres.

Free swimming is available from today (Thu) at both Dudley and Halesowen leisure centres, and will be extended to Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge when it re-opens next month.

Youngsters aged 16 and under who live in Dudley borough can take advantage of the offer, which runs throughout the six-week break, during public pool times.

Parents or children aged 13 or older can register at www.freeswimindudley.co.uk. If children are already registered, they do not need to register again as codes can be re-sent if requested from the free swimming website. Further information, including frequently asked questions are also available on the website.

In addition, for the first time at all centres and following requests from parents, the council is also running family fun sessions specifically for youngsters with disabilities or special educational needs, such as quieter sessions for children with autism.

The sessions will run at Dudley Leisure Centre on Saturday from 4pm to 6pm and Wednesday from 4.05pm to 5.05pm. There is a session today (Thu) at Halesowen Leisure Centre from 2pm to 3.30pm, but from next Thursday (July 29) the sessions will run weekly from 3pm to 4pm. There will also be a Friday session at Halesowen starting next week (Fri July 30) and running weekly from 3.15pm to 4.30pm. The sessions at Crystal will run on Friday from 2pm to 4pm when the centre re-opens.

The sessions are free for children 16 and under who live in the borough, but parents will have to pay.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member responsible for leisure centres, said:

I am absolutely delighted to announce the return of the free swimming initiative – and with the weather the way it is at the moment, it couldn’t have come at a better time!
We had to shelve it temporarily due to Covid but the intention was always to bring it back as soon as it was safe to do so.
Our free swimming programme is always really popular and is a fun way to stay active and help families enjoy time together.
It’s definitely worth signing up to make the most of this offer.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:

As the cabinet member who originally pushed for the introduction of free swimming for children in our borough, I am really pleased to see it back in time for 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.
I am also really pleased we are making separate provision for the first time for children with disabilities and special educational needs. Parents asked us to do this, and as a listening council we have made it happen.

There were nearly 30,000 visits to Dudley Leisure Centre, Halesowen Leisure Centre and Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge the last time it ran over the six-week summer holiday in 2019.

Further information is available at https://www.dudley.gov.uk/things-to-do/leisure-centres/leisure-centres-update-easing-of-covid-19-restrictions/ or by calling (01384) 812800.

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