Friday, 13 March 2009


Thanet district Council press release

A major new initiative to improve fitness in Thanet starts on 1 April 2009, with free swimming on offer for those aged 16 and under and 60 years and over.

The scheme, funded by the government and with £40,000 of additional money from the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent will run for two years until March 2011, with anyone in these age groups able to swim free of charge during public swimming sessions at both Ramsgate pool and Hartsdown Leisure Centre. The free swimming does not include instructor led fitness sessions, private lessons or swim school.

To qualify for free swimming, people will need to fill out a simple registration form before their first swim, at which point they will have to show proof of their age. They will then receive a “free swim card” that they will need to show on each subsequent visit.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “We hope this will encourage more people to get in the swim and get active. It’s a great boost for local people and I hope, as a result of it, we’ll see an increase in the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity. Swimming is a great way to get fit and, with the pressure of the water, it means you burn up the same amount of calories quicker in the pool. 30 minutes of activity in the water is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land.”

Warren Reeves, Head of Operations for Thanet Leisureforce added: “We are excited about being able to offer the scheme in partnership with Thanet District Council, as this forms part of our strategic approach to engage the local community to participate in regular physical activities. We are also committed to assist in providing further activities and programmes aimed at increasing the wellbeing and health of the people of Thanet.”

Full terms and conditions for the free swimming sessions can be found at the area’s leisure centres.


  1. Under 16's and over 60's.... oh well. Maybe they should've called it a "minor initiative"... lol

  2. Unlucky for us rate payers Free means we pay for it , bit like the bus passes.

  3. we took the children to hartsdown today with the printed off form filled out and the id requried but nowhere did we see that a passport photo was needed. so we had to pay, they were in there for 20 mins only as the youngest is 1 yr old, eldest 13 yrs and a short free swimm to get the baby used to the water was all it was about, expensive trip out. the way they are trying to stop the free swim and make money !!!!!!

  4. Why should this scheme just be for under 16yrs and over 60yrs, what about us people that work hard and get nothing for free. We all suffer with burn out evetually and end up being off sick. Come on TDC give us something for free instaed of pushing taxes up, council tax increases and services decreased, whats this all about i.e bus routes - my daughter now has to get up earlier and travel to a bus bus stop because the 34 has been withdrawn from around our area. ??/How the elderly get to bus stops further away, or do they have to stay at home how ridiculious.


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