13 Feb 2009

Children in Flintshire can follow in the footsteps of Olympic diver, Tom Daley, this half term by diving in at the deep end and participating in a special diving lesson being run as part of the Free Swimming Initiative.

The ‘Diving and tumble-turns’ class will run on Friday 20 February from 11am-12am and follows on from diving classes that were previously run throughout the summer holidays.

The lesson starts with an assessment of the children’s skills and capabilities in the water, allowing the instructor to split the group into smaller clusters if necessary, dependant on their level. The children are then taught the basics of diving, using either the pool side or special diving blocks. The lesson ends with the group mastering the tumble-turn, an important skill in the sport of swimming.

Hannah Roberts, Free Swimming Coordinator for Flintshire, said:

"Diving lessons have proved very popular since Tom Daley hit the limelight at the Beijing Olympics so we are very pleased to be able to provide this opportunity to try out this unusual sport again this half term. It’s nice that children are keen to try something different and are able to keep fit and active at the same time."

In fact, the lessons have proved so popular that the leisure centre has decided to make the diving programme a permanent fixture during school holidays. It is also hoped that diving lessons will become a regular feature outside of school holidays, thanks to a new ‘Flip and Fun’ ASA programme that is currently being developed.

Alun Ffred Jones AM, Minister for Heritage said:

"Keeping children fit, active and most importantly, entertained, during the holidays is essential so it is great to see Local Authorities offering such a wide range of activities to children.

"This is another great example of how the Welsh Assembly Government’s Free Swimming Initiative is creating more opportunities for young people of all abilities to participate in sport and physical activity."

For more information about Free Swimming, contact your local leisure centre of visit www.free-swimming-wales.org.uk