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Free swimming - have you tried it yet?

(24 Posts)
FreeSwimTeam Thu 21-May-09 15:29:32

What are you going to do with your kids this half-term? Have you thought about taking a dip in your local pool?

Almost 200 councils across England offer free swimming to 16 and unders. So you can save money and make the holidays more fun. Click here to find out where you can swim for free.

Have you been for your free swim yet? How did you get on?

From the free swimming team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

ilovetochat Thu 21-May-09 15:40:00

we can no longer take dd swimming at weekends or school hols as large groups of under 16s with no adults queue from opening time and the pool gets full and you have to take a ticket and wait for people to get out, last time we were number 31 so gave up and went home. also they cancel parent and toddler sessions in the hols so its a no go.sad

GumsNRoses Thu 21-May-09 15:44:30

No free swim in my area tightwads angry

fishie Thu 21-May-09 15:45:24

i went and got an ear infection which burst my eardrum.

CouldYouWouldYouWithaGoat Thu 21-May-09 15:48:21

it is always free here so i take dd all the time. it is a great idea

FreeSwimTeam Wed 27-May-09 12:07:16

GumsNRoses - if your local authority doesn't run free sessions, you can always swim free in another area that does. Look here to find your nearest free swimming area.

From the DCMS free swimming team

geegees Wed 27-May-09 12:56:21

We went to our local swimming pool for free swimming. The changing rooms were disgustingly dirty, a lot of the lockers were cordoned off, the toilets were broken and stinky, the sides of the pool had dirt and hair and chewing gum on it shock.
Looks like I'll be renewing the family gym license - but for those not fortunate enough to do so, its just not on. Its a great thing to encourage people to swim and exercise but local facilities should be sufficiently resourced and managed - surely there's a cost saving in the long term if more people take up a sport.

MerlinsBeard Wed 27-May-09 13:21:30

No free swimming here and in the next council borough that does do it you need proof that you live in that borough

movingnow Wed 27-May-09 13:23:20

Only free for over 60's round here

notyummy Wed 27-May-09 13:28:45

I have taken dd (we were going regularly for lessons, but this means we can go more often). No problems so far, although I suspect it may change during the summer holidays.

Stinkyfeet Wed 27-May-09 14:15:56

Yes, we tend to go on Sunday lunchtimes when the pool is very quiet.

ruddynorah Wed 27-May-09 14:28:13

our pool allegedly offers free swimming but it's mostly block booked for school swimming, 'PALS' and swim club sessions. the toddler swimming is only on 12-1pm. crap timing. whethere they're at pre school in the morning or the afternoon that's crap timing. so dh takes dd on a sunday sometimes, shoulder to shoulder with all the other poor dads battling amongst the teens. it's bloody awful. pool is crammed.

Helennn Thu 28-May-09 13:09:28

Thanks for this, good to see you being proactive. However, my area is over 60's only, (typical, they're the ones with all the money around here).

I could go to my nearest pool, but it is about 1.5 hours drive, so not really worth it angry.

notsoteenagemum Thu 28-May-09 13:24:19

Free swimming is a great idea. Where I live though your only allowed an hour then they call your colour band to get out.
The teens just move to the next colour lockers and stay all day making it unbearable for everyone else.

I think they should have separate free swim times for unaccompanied children, so everyone gets a fair chance.

LovingTheRain Thu 28-May-09 14:04:24

We have it where we live but i haven't signed up yet as they have said they want to see the birth certificates of all the DCs, even though they are clearly very, very much younger than 16! hmm hmm hmm

goldrock Thu 28-May-09 14:15:50

I thought the scheme was countrywide - at our local pool I had to fill in forms for my DCs but didn't need to prove their ages as long as the staff saw them with me. We've only been once so far and there was no time limit so for me it's a great sucess.

scienceteacher Fri 29-May-09 06:57:21

We have free swimming at our local pool. The only realistic time we can use it is between 3 and 5 on a Saturday, as the pool is blocked by swimming lessons, clubs, adult sessions etc.

It was easy enough to sign up - no proof of age required.

seeker Fri 29-May-09 07:14:55

I thought this thread was going to be about wild swimming - as in swimming in rivers and lakes. I'd LOVE to find somewhere where my children could do that, but all the places I've found are miles away from us. Anyone know anywhere in Kent?

ProfYaffle Fri 29-May-09 07:15:37

Oh, I thought this was going to be about wild swimming in lakes and rivers <disappointed> No free swimming for under 16's here either. We're also in a rural area so no other pools for miles around.

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 29-May-09 07:15:42

We swim in lakes and rivers - it's always free!

But I appreciate the scheme - thank you FreeSwimTeam smile

ProfYaffle Fri 29-May-09 07:16:07

Lol X post!

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 29-May-09 07:19:28

Oh if anyone wants to talk about wild swimming I will happily join in. People who are looking for places, do you have the books by Daniel Start and Kate Rew? Also try the RALSA website here. If you post on the RALSA messageboard you may get suggestions.
Once you get confident about what makes a place suitable you can find your own, of course.

[sorry for hijack!]

thegirlwiththecurl Fri 29-May-09 07:26:58

hi - we have used it loads and we must be very lucky as our local pool is very modern and clean. The kids love it, esp ds who is 13 and likes to go swimming with his mates. when you're on a tight budget, such schemes are a lifesaver!!

FreeSwimTeam Mon 01-Jun-09 11:52:40

Thanks for all your comments about the free swimming programme!

From the DCMS Free Swimming Team

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