Offer of free swimming sees numbers attending Fenland pools rocket

PUBLISHED: 17:43 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 June 2010

INTRODUCING free swimming for those aged 60 and over, and for the under 17s, has seen significant increases in numbers using Fenland s swimming pools. In the first four months of the scheme the number of casual swim visits by people aged between 5 and 17

INTRODUCING free swimming for those aged 60 and over, and for the under 17s, has seen significant increases in numbers using Fenland's swimming pools.

"In the first four months of the scheme the number of casual swim visits by people aged between 5 and 17 as risen by 129 per cent," says Councillor Steve Garratt, portfolio holder for young people and health.

At the Manor Leisure Centre in Whittlesey, for example, the number of under 17s using the people has increased from just over 3,000 in 2008 to more than 7,500 in 2009, in the four months since April.

"The picture is the same across the other facilities," he said.

The number of different people undertaking the initiative was 3,282 and the over 60s accounted for 877 people, said Cllr Garratt.

"Despite the rise in throughput, facilities are coping well with demand and customer satisfaction remains high," he said.

The council is using geographic mapping to find out which areas are using the services the most and will be looking in areas of lower participation "to identify potential barriers to taking up the offer".

Cllr Garratt said the increase in physical activity was important in reducing health inequalities in Fenland.


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