Hartlepool swim scheme huge success

Youngsters having fun at the Mill House Leisure Centre pool  home of the councils free swims scheme
Youngsters having fun at the Mill House Leisure Centre pool  home of the councils free swims scheme

Thousands of Hartlepool youngsters made a splash at the council’s annual summer swim scheme.

The popular initiative, organised by Hartlepool Borough Council, offers local youngsters the chance to swim for free over the summer holiday period.

Now in its fourth successive year, it proved to be a huge success once again, seeing a record number of 8,093 children benefiting from free swims.

The figure is a rise on last year’s successful scheme, which saw a total of 6,369 children take part.

This year it was extended from four weeks to six weeks, giving children a greater opportunity to enjoy the free swim experience.

Open to children under the age of 16, those taking part were also entitled to free transport on weekday mornings at the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre.

As part of this, the free buses collected the children from every primary and secondary school across the town and then drop children back off afterwards.

The scheme aimed to get children to keep active and stay fit.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said he was pleased with how the scheme had gone this year.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted that once again there was a great response from the local community to the free swims scheme.

“Swimming is a great way of keeping fit and if we can encourage young people to be active early on in their lives, there is more chance that they will stay fit asthey grow older.”

To find out more about the scheme, visit: www.hartlepool.gov.uk/free-swims