PEOPLE are being urged to go for a splash after going for a swim at the local pool was found in a study to be one of the most affordable activities for families and children.
With the cost-of-living rising and putting families at increasing risk of sacrificing valuable leisure time, new insight from Swim England shows casual swimming is much more affordable than other family activities.
As well as the extensive health benefits of being active in the water, it is also a great way to keep the family entertained.
The latest cost comparisons show swimming as a family has been found to be on average 28 per cent cheaper than bowling, 35 per cent cheaper than cinema tickets and 35 per cent cheaper than crazy golf.
These comparisons do not include any of the additional costs of food or drink associated with many activities that further inflate prices for families.
The swimming sector has launched the latest wave of its #LoveSwimming campaign to highlight the affordability of swimming as a family activity and the importance of leisure centres as a vital community resource.
Research also indicates swimming remains a fantastic bonding opportunity for families, with clear benefits to the happiness levels of both parents and children.
Around 70 per cent of families who swim with their children weekly rank it as the best time they have spent together.
Swimming does not necessarily mean going back and forth in one lane, many leisure centres are offering activities such as inflatables, family fun swims and inclusive swimming lessons.
These provide more choice – and more fun – for all, regardless of age or ability.
Reflecting on how important swimming is to her family, mum Chenize Morgan,who takes her daughter, Nefer regularly, said: “Swimming is 100 per cent affordable. I have taken my daughter swimming regularly since she was little.
“I have memories of swimming, whether that was friends or family – and that is something I have tried to impart on my daughter.
“She loves swimming just as much as I do and we spend a lot of bonding time together in the pool.
“It is local for us, and the lessons are affordable. I think swimming pools are super important, I grew up learning to swim from a very young age and that was a centre point through my childhood.
“It is just an all-round good, fun form of exercise.”
Nefer added: “I love swimming, it is my favourite exercise and my favourite thing. If I can pick something to do, I pick swimming.
“Recently, I have been coming twice a week, and it’s something I can do with my friends or with my mum that makes me really happy.”
As part of the #LoveSwimming campaign, more families are being urged to swim casually more often, whether they are a complete beginner or rediscovering their love for the water.
Swim England business engagement director, Rebecca Cox, added keeping swimming affordable for families was crucial.
“Our new research reveals just how affordable swimming is compared to other activities and this, paired with the health and social benefits, really proves why swimming is important.
“We all know swimming is an essential life skill – but for so many across the nation it is the gateway to creating amazing memories with your family, becoming healthier and happier, and achieving full confidence in the water.
“Knowing that keeping swimming affordable will allow so many more families to not only take part, but to enjoy that vital bonding time and make lifelong memories.”