‘I think it’s so important that people learn to swim because you never know what situation you could be in. It might save somebody’s life.’
Abigail Child (20) from Leeds is eager to make a splash with her campaign to get more people into the pool.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Calendar on Thursday 3rd December.
In the broadcast piece she outlines the benefits of swimming and gives a young mum her first ever lesson in the water.
‘I started swimming when I was very little. I went into competitive and life-saving swimming and became an instructor,' explains Abigail.
'I like building people’s confidence, seeing them enjoy it and have a bit of fun.
‘When you swim, it’s quiet. You can just hear the water, which is quite relaxing. When people say they can’t swim, I get quite surprised because it’s always been part of me.
‘I think that getting them over that bit is just the starting point. Once they’ve got through that, they can keep going and achieve what they want to.’
Chris Rinder from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) supports Abigail’s campaign and appears in the broadcast.
He comments: ‘We think around one in five adults can’t swim, that’s around 10 million.
‘Unfortunately we have around 400 drownings a year. From the point of view of safety, it’s really important that people learn the basic skills to keep them safe around water.
'Secondly, it’s a great form of exercise that everybody can do for the whole of their lives.’
Abigail adds: ‘If people take up swimming after this, it would be a great achievement.'
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