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Free Swimming Initiative

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of its free swimming initiatives for young people and the elderly; and if he will make a statement. (310897)

The 10.4 million free swims undertaken in the first six months are a huge vote of confidence in free swimming and indicate the initiative is being embraced by young and old alike.

We are delighted that 81 per cent. of all eligible councils are signed up to offering free swimming to the older age group and 61 per cent. are also offering free swimming to the those aged 16 and under.

The Government have commissioned a robust independent evaluation of the free swimming programme which is led by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PricewaterhouseCoopers will draw together a range of data over the coming months to evaluate the impact of the programme. We expect an evaluation report to be published in early summer 2010.