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20 Feb 2007

Flintshire will get an investment of £1,500 for swimming sessions for those over 60 and £50,000 towards improving changing facilities in Holywell leisure centre. Money will also fund a national training project for leisure centre staff across Wales.

The money comes from an extra £1.4 million pounds the Welsh Assembly Government is investing through a Free Swimming Improvement Fund in over a hundred projects all over Wales aimed at developing and improving the existing free swimming provision and attract new swimmers. FlintFreeSwim2

Alun Pugh, Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport, believes that this investment will help make a healthier Flintshire:

"The Welsh Assembly Government’s Free Swimming initiative means that it’s never been easier for children and young people and the 60 + across Wales to enjoy swimming. There are no boundaries in swimming; anyone can take part, whatever their age or physical ability."

To help promote the 60+ free swimming initiative, Alun Pugh wiIl attend a free swimming promotional day at Flint Pavilion on 2 March. Held by Flintshire County Council, in association with the Welsh Assembly Government, the day will be aimed at the over 60s, offering advice on free swimming as well an opportunity for older people to come and try out the free activities on offer across the five swimming pools in Flintshire, activities such as Learn to Swim lessons, Aqua-fit and Snorkelling

Since its launch in 2003, the Welsh Assembly Government has invested almost £15 million in Europe’s first Free Swimming initiative, which entitles children and young people aged 16 and under to swim for free during school holidays, and those aged 60 and over for free at all other times.

In its first year, Free Swimming doubled the number of swims taken by young people during the summer school holidays in 2003. A recent survey showed that 80% of 11 – 16 year olds are aware of the scheme and 63% of 11 – 16 year olds had taken part in the summer holidays – equivalent to nearly 150,000 swimmers. Since Free Swimming for the 60 + started in November 2004 there has been an increase of 20% in new 60+ swimmers.

For further information about Free Swimming and for information about your local swimming pool visit:

For more information contact Lowri Jones, or Gareth John, .