North Belfast Swims
The 'North Belfast Swims' initiative aims to secure access to swimming for health and well-being, participation and fun for relatively under-privileged children in North Belfast and Newtownabbey.
There is a growing body of robust research evidence that demonstrates the benefits of exercise - and swimming in particular - in terms of cognitive ability, sociability, health and well-being. Seventy per cent of parents consider that swimming is the most important sport for their child, with most recognising that swimming is a vital life skill for their children.
Yet, research evidence also shows that a sizeable majority of people never properly learn to swim. A key factor is the simple cost of lessons and swimming more broadly.
This is a particular problem in North Belfast and Newtownabbey, the main catchment for Alliance swimming club. North Belfast includes areas of profound social deprivation. We have some of the highest child poverty rates in Northern Ireland, while outcomes in key areas such as physical and mental health, education and employment are also troubling.
Recognising that as a result of these factors, children's access to swimming in North Belfast and Newtownabbey can be seriously limited, Alliance ASC aims to mitigate these concerns through the 'North Belfast Swims' initiative.
In the first instance, North Belfast Swims provides children in the local area who are eligible for free school meals with swimming lessons for a minimal fee in the Alliance Wavebreakers Learn to Swim Programme. We hope that the initiative will continue to grow, and to see supported children through to becoming competitive, even champion, swimmers in future.
Support 'North Belfast Swims'
If you would like to support the North Belfast Swims initiative, then as a member of Alliance ASC you can contribute through the 'Additional Purchases' section of the Active portal. Non-members can obtain further information, or arrange to contribute by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.