Walsall Paralympic Games star Ellie Simmonds supports swimming campaign

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Swimmers Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Michael Gunning at the Smethwick Swimming Centre. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Paralympian, from Aldridge, was joined by children at the Smethwick Swimming Center on Thimblemill Road as part of Speedo’s Swim United programme.

The campaign, in conjunction with Swim England, aims to ensure that all children leaving primary school in the UK in 2025 can swim 25 metres.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds with children at Smethwick Swimming Centre. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

It has also been backed by the Black Swimming Association and Active Black Country and comes after research showed that one in four children are unable to swim – with the statistic rising to four in five among ethnic minority children.

The campaign aims to tackle the barriers to swimming faced by many families in the UK, whether cultural, financial or systemic. It was developed in partnership with Better, which manages sports and leisure centres.

Swimmers Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Michael Gunning at the Smethwick Swimming Centre. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The first phase of the program will engage 40 schools across London to spark children’s interest in swimming through activity packs and 1,200 intensive two-week swimming lessons, which will take place at schools and swimming pools run by Better, helping young swimmers build confidence and skills in and around the water.

Swim United was developed in response to research from Sport England and the Black Swimming Association which shows that children from marginalized communities and minority groups are at a disadvantage when it comes to learning to swim in primary school.

Swimmers Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Michael Gunning at the Smethwick Swimming Centre. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

He was backed by the likes of Ellie Simmonds, swimmer Michael Gunning and Olympian Adam Peaty from Staffordshire.

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