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Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans the Government have to encourage swimming; and if she will make a statement. (111797)

£3.6 million is being provided by Sport England to the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) for the financial year 2005-06 through Whole Sport Plans. Approximately half of this funding is to boost grassroots participation in swimming. Sport England is also working with the Department of Health and the ASA to draw together best practice guidance in the provision of free swimming for key target groups, including children and older people to increase community participation.

Swimming also has a significant role to play within the national strategy for PE, School Sport and Club Links, delivered jointly with the Department for Education and Skills. In April 2006 the top up swimming scheme was launched. It is investing £5.5 million over two years to support pupils to swim 25 metres before they finish primary school. A further £742,000 is being invested in 2006-08 with the ASA through National School Sport programmes; Club Links and Step into Sport.