An All-Party group for Swimming

My letter for The Guardian.

A new parliament, a new series of all-party groups. I will be forming an all-party group for swimming, which I believe to be the first of its kind. The group will look at access to swimming, the affordability of swimming, and swimming outdoors. So far the response from MPs has been positive, and the group will have its first AGM in September.

Not a day goes by without encouragement from doctors to take more exercise, and– unlike weight-bearing exercise like jogging – swimming is a great form of exercise, which – if learned young enough – can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and help keep you fit at the same time. Since the landmark “Swim for a pound” scheme introduced around the time of the Olympics was halted by council cuts, the cost of swimming has shot up again.

We will campaign to restore the scheme. We also need more swimming pools to avoid overcrowding and to allow schools to fit swimming into the PE curriculum.

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Catherine West MP

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