BECKY ADLINGTON TALKS EXCLUSIVELY TO E-BOP.TV ABOUT HOW SHE IS MAKING A CHANGE
In a recent survey it was revealed that 50% of children leave Primary school unable to swim – that equates to over 1.1 million! Becky Adlington, gold medal winning Olympian, has made it her mission to reduce this number and spoke exclusively to e-bop.tv recently about why and how she can make a change.
“I am very proud of what I have achieved so far, but my journey is not finished yet. My vision is that every child in Britain will be able to swim by the time they leave primary school. Being able to swim is such a wonderful life skill, and I see this as my greatest challenge yet.”
Following her run of gold medal wins at the 2008 Olympics and discussions she had post London 2012 with the aim to inspire a generation at the forefront of her mind, Becky launched ‘Becky Adlington’s SwimStars’ to the public – a fun and interactive Learn To Swim programme. Talking about her own journey, Becky revealed how having older sisters prompted her desire to swim from an early age and, after competing from the age of 10, Becky realised her true passion for swimming at the age of 13 after trying her hand at ballet classes and not enjoying them as much. Now a mum to 15mth old Summer, Becky’s aim is to encourage more parents to choose swimming lessons for their child – from as early as 3 years old. “In the UK, Swimming is seen as a sport first and life skill second, whereas it should be the other way around. Swimming is a life skill which becomes a sport for life and in terms of teaching a child to swim – the sooner the better!”
Becky Adlington’s SwimStars was set up in 2013 and has rolled out nationwide to Total Fitness venues and Bannatyne’s Health Clubs. With over 6,000 children enrolled on the scheme, Becky Adlington’s SwimStars lessons are interactive and enjoyable which as well as providing children with the confidence to love the water, are also enhancing their social skills and communication.
Becky retired from Swimming after London 2012, but still continues to swim to keep fit and healthy which is something she carries through to her own daughter. Admitting she took Summer for her first swim at just 3 weeks old, she stressed how important the early foundations are to instilling water confidence, such as introducing a child to the water gradually if they are fearful and for babies, varying who takes them swimming to prevent clinginess as they get older.
Becky Adlington’s SwimStars takes children from 3 years and teaches them how to be safe in the water from an early age. The programme reinforces values such as ‘Respect’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Determination’, ‘Excellence’ and ‘Courage’ while children learn according to the ASA’s Learn to Swim framework and badge system.
Becky’s passion for reducing the number of children who can’t swim comes not only from her own positive experiences and love of the sport, but also for promoting the healthy wellbeing of children both physically and mentally. Swimming is brilliant exercise – not just for children, but for the whole family and is a great solution for finding family time away from TV’s and tablets, a belief E-Bop.tv supports with their 2 hour shut down feature. It also helps shape a pre-schoolers outlook on sport and exercise which will help them make informed healthy choices as they grow older.
“We were thrilled to meet up with Becky and see firsthand the fun the children at Becky Adlington’s SwimStars were having” says Victoria Brook of E-Bop.tv. “Knowing how children can sometimes be fearful of water, it was refreshing to see how fun and engaging the classes were and we know this is driven by Becky’s passion for the sport and her aim at getting more kids into the pool. During the interview, Becky said ‘in her books this was better than any gold medal!’ and we couldn’t agree more.”
E-Bop.TV is the first British digital children’s channel to launch with an automatic control which switches the channel off after 2 hours of activity. Children can watch exclusive UK created programmes or explore the Cool Stuff zone, but parents are safe in the knowledge that screen time is limited and controlled.