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Borough pools all set for free swims

PUBLISHED: 12:57 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 03 July 2010

THE over 60's and under 16s will get the chance to have free swims in the borough from next week.

The Marina Centre pool and the Phoenix Pool in Bradwell will offer free swimming at set times every day from April 1 as part of the £140m government's swim4life initiative, which aims to get people leading more active and healthy lives in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

THE over 60's and under 16s will get the chance to have free swims in the borough from next week.

The Marina Centre pool and the Phoenix Pool in Bradwell will offer free swimming at set times every day from April 1 as part of the £140m government's swim4life initiative, which aims to get people leading more active and healthy lives in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Both centres are managed by the Great Yarmouth Sport and Leisure Trust, and the news was welcomed by councillor Graham Plant, cabinet member for regeneration and tourism.

He said: “There are many schemes to encourage people to keep fit and active in Yarmouth. Free swimming for the over 60s and young people aged 16 and under widens the choice even more for people living in the town as well as visitors.”

The on/off saga finally got the go-ahead last year thanks to backing from Yarmouth Borough Council, Broadland District Council and NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

The scheme had been in doubt over fears over a funding shortage, however the combined backing means funding has been secured for two years.

Yarmouth Borough Council is just one of 300 across England taking part in the government scheme, which will see the council receive additional funding for improvements at both pools.

The cash will be spent on improving disabled and other changing facilities at both the Marina Centre and Phoenix Pool.

Swimmers will have to register for the scheme, which they can do by completing a form at either the Marina Centre or the Phoenix Pool. Forms for young people aged 16 and under will have to be signed by an adult. Proof of age may be required. The pool programmes at each participating centre will set out the times when those eligible under the scheme can swim for free.

The government initiative is being backed by double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington.

She said: “No matter what your age, swimming is an amazing sport and a great way to stay fit and healthy.”

Half-an-hours swimming is the equivalent of 45-minutes work out on dry land and also has benefits for people suffering with joint problems.

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