Tavish Scott MSP today blasted the decision to slash funding from a children’s swimming programme that has helped thousands of young Scots learn to swim.
Scottish Swimming’s “Top Up” scheme has helped 30,000 children in Scotland gain confidence in the water.
The Scottish Government announced earlier this month that it would end funding for the programme, which support’s school lessons for primary school pupils. Mr Scott has tabled parliamentary questions asking what assessment the government has made of the decision on the number of children taking up swimming.
Speaking as he attended the Island Games in Jersey, Mr Scott said:
“Athletes like Michael Jamieson and Shetland’s own Erraid Davies have been an inspiration to children across Scotland and encouraged more and more people to take up swimming. Scottish Swimming’s “Top Up” programme helped thousands of school pupils gain confidence in the water.
“In Jersey this week we have seen people from Shetland and other islands representing their communities with distinction.
"The decision to slash this funding is incredibly short-sighted. The next generation of athletes need to start somewhere and the concern is that without this support, children will not be able to take up swimming in the first place.”
Questions tabled by Tavish Scott:
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment has been made of the impact of withdrawing funding for Scottish Swimming’s “Top Up” programme on the number of children and young people swimming on a regular basis.
To ask the Scottish Government which stakeholders were consulted before the decision to withdraw funding from Scottish Swimming’s “Top Up” programme was taken.
To ask the Scottish Government what consideration has been given to making swimming part of the secondary school curriculum during physical education lessons.
To ask the Scottish Government what plans are in place to encourage children and young people to take up swimming outside of school.
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment has been made of the impact of withdrawing funding for Scottish Swimming’s “Top Up” programme on the number of people using public baths.