Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Thanet district Council press release

New figures show more than 3,000 people aged 16 and under or 60 and over have already signed up for free swimming in Thanet.

The new initiative, which aims to improve fitness, is being funded with government money and £40,000 from the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent runs until March 2011.

During public swimming sessions, anyone in these two age groups can swim free of charge at either Ramsgate Swimming Pool or Hartsdown Leisure Centre, although the scheme does not include instructor led fitness sessions, private lessons or swim school.

To join the scheme, people need to fill out a registration form before their first swim, at which point they have to show proof of their age. They then receive a "free swim card" that they will need to show on each subsequent visit. They will also need a passport size photo at the time of registering.

In the first two weeks of the scheme, figures show that 563 people aged 60 and over signed up for free swimming, while 1,679 young people aged 16 or under also joined the scheme.

Sports Development Officer, Martyn Cassell, said: "This scheme has got off to a superb start and it's been really encouraging to see so many people signing up for free swimming. The fact that the launch came just before the school holidays gave a lot of young people the chance to take full advantage of the new scheme. Hopefully those, who may not have swum regularly before, will now keep it up, having experienced how much fun it can be."

Warren Reeves, Head of Operations for Thanet Leisureforce, added: "The uptake on the new scheme has been excellent and it's been great to see improved numbers of swimmers taking part in what is a fantastic activity that brings real benefits to everyone. The pool programme in place, especially over the school holidays is designed to allow access at different times by the creation of sessions throughout the day. We know the pools can - and did - reach capacity over Easter, and that's why the sessions are in place, so that we can offer swimming opportunities to as many people as possible. It's clear the scheme has been an overwhelming success and something that other areas of Kent are not benefiting from."

Full terms and conditions for the free swimming sessions can be found at the area's leisure centres.
Update by email

Hi MichaelMy name is Richard King and I run a local film production company called Positive Interaction Films, the film company behind the new Water Safety in Thanet DVD that was released on Wednesday 29th April as is featured on your Thanetonline blog website. We will soon be having a small feature on our website ( about the launch event complete with a few photos and I was wondering if it was possible for you to edit my companies name (Positive Interaction Films) into the blog and provide a link to our news page ( so that people can see a bit more about the event itself. I’d be more than happy to return the favour by linking to you when we get our links page up.

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