Change to Learn to Swim and Club Hire programmes due to Covid-19 guidelines

Freedom Leisure have reviewed their Learn to Swim programme sessions in order to safely welcome users back to their facilities in the future.

George Campbell Leisure Centre, March

Since re-opening, occupancy levels in Fenland's leisure centres have remained high. Capacity, however, remains reduced overall due to safety requirements imposed by Covid Secure guidance.

With this insight, Freedom Leisure have reviewed their Learn to Swim (LTS) programme which is due to reopen in September. As a result of Covid-19 guidance, more time is required for each session. This has meant a change to expected programmes going forward.

Councillor Sam Clark, Portfolio Holder for Social Housing and Leisure, said: "Times are extremely difficult for leisure operators at the moment. This means it has been necessary to make decisions regarding financial sustainability in the best interests of maintaining Fenland's leisure facilities into the future for our communities. Freedom has been able to re-open Fenland's pools, which is a great achievement - especially considering around 25% - 40% of the country's pools remain closed.

"Lesson capacity has reduced by 20% due to Covid secure regulations. Reduced class size and pool capacity, in line with additional cleaning time required between sessions, has meant that Freedom have needed to change the way they deliver their programmes and hire pool time. With over 1,800 children learning to swim in Fenland's pools every week, this has unfortunately resulted in a reduction of available time for other sessions, including local swimming clubs.

"Freedom Leisure are looking forward to welcoming children back into the pool for swimming lessons. Freedom will be working closely with swimming clubs to ensure their sustainability and Club swimming continues in March and Wisbech, but swimming clubs will coach swimming in the future, but not teach non or weak swimmers. Unfortunately in Whittlesey, there is no pool time available to the Dolphins Club as over 600 children already attend Freedom's Learn To Swim sessions, with the Covid arrangements necessitating the use of pool timeslots following usual lesson times. This arrangement will be kept closely under review, with the aim being to welcome the Dolphins Club, amongst others, back into the pool soon as Covid restrictions allow."

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