Alliance to tackle common challenges

Influential SPATEX exhibitor Swimming Teachers’ Association has joined leading players within the UK’s swimming sector to launch a new group that intends to tackle common challenges.

For a successive year STA utilised its presence at SPATEX 2024 to launch their Swim to the Beat campaign during the three-day pool, hot tub and swim spa products and services showcase to raise valuable funds for the British Heart Foundation and has now become a founding member of the Swimming Alliance that is aiming to offer a single, cohesive voice on crucial issues affecting public swimming pools and open water spaces across the UK and to develop solutions that can be implemented by all those involved.

Initially convened by Sport England, the founding members of the Swimming Alliance represent the diversity of the sector and include leisure operators, National Governing Bodies, charities and membership organisations.

Members of the Swimming Alliance include: Black Owned Swim Schools, Black Swimming Association, British Triathlon, Beyond Swim. CLOA, CIMPSA, Everyone Active, Freedom Leisure, GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd), Good Boost, Institute of Swimming (Swim England), Level Water, National Trust, Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, Places for People, Royal Life Saving Society, Speedo, Sport England, Swim England, Swimathon Foundation, Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) and the Outdoor Swimming Society.

A number of key issues have already been identified following a survey by Swimming Alliance members and include: increasing learning to swim and participation levels amongst adults and children, tackling the impact of energy prices on municipal pools, increasing the use of swimming for health initiatives, ensuring that open water is safe and clean for outdoor swimmers and increasing diversity at all levels of swimming.

The Swimming Alliance’s newly-elected voluntary chair is Debbie Kaye, the former chair of the Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association who has highlighted the worrying risk for access to swimming and the trend of falling numbers of children gaining swimming education.

“By working together and combining our expertise and resources we believe that we will be able to achieve more,” reported Debbie.

“On a number of swimming related issues, the partner bodies within the Swimming Alliance have a common cause. Enabling us to speak with a single voice, be that to Government or to the general public, and collaborate effectively on solutions.

“Access to swimming in the UK is currently at risk, due to a multitude of factors. The number of children learning to swim is continuing to fall and the number of drownings are rising; increasing numbers of public swimming pools are threatened with closure due to high energy costs and the financial pressures on local authorities, and Britain’s coast and rivers are experiencing unprecedented levels of water pollution.

“It is crucial that we act together and act now to ensure the situation gets better, not worse.”

For a successive year the STA utilised its presence at SPATEX 2024 to launch their Swim to the Beat campaign to raise valuable funds for the British Heart Foundation.