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School swimming programme makes a splash at the 2024 Swim Wales Annual Awards

Monmouthshire School Swimming Programme has won the ‘School Swimming and Water Safety’ award at the 2024 Swim Wales Annual Awards.

The awards held on the 20 January saw the MonLife Sport and Leisure Department walk away with the prize following a fantastic 2023. The programme aims to ensure that school swimming is accessible for as many children as possible across Monmouthshire, a collaboration between schools and leisure to provide vital life skills.

In 2023, The MonLife swimming programme saw 100% participation from Monmouthshire Primary and Secondary schools. Over 3500 children were exposed to aquatic experiences that followed the Nofio Ysgol Framework. The programme saw a 12.5% increase in pupils achieving the Nofio Ysgol Award in year 6, with over 62% of pupils achieving the curriculum outcomes by the time their Primary school journey ended.

The programme places great emphasis on water safety, and during Drowning Prevention Week, all attendees received a bespoke drowning prevention lesson. This was further supported by the specific Water Safety session that all participants received in their first session.

The programme has also allowed MonLife Leadership Academy students to gain experience working in sporting events. In the summer term of 2023, Leadership Academy students assisted MonLife staff in delivering four Primary School Swimming Festivals. The festivals saw 345 children participating in inclusive aquatic activities. Festivals in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth Leisure Centre’s allowed pupils to participate in a series of non-competitive fun events, including floats, strokes and woggle races.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Engagement, Cllr Angela Sandles, said: “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Sport and Leisure Department, swimming coaches and school teachers. Providing learners access to developing skills that are vital for them to live an active life and skills that can save lives. Congratulations and thank you to all the staff running and supporting the programme.”