Why the end to free swimming could be a high price for health in Wales

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Providing free swimming to children was a flagship policy by the Welsh Government designed at encouraging children to get fit and healthy at a time when levels of obesity are soaring.

But as devastating cuts are handed down to local authorities, including the reduction of its National Free Swimming Initiative funding in February, children across Wales are the latest victims of austerity.

It seems some authorities have pledged to maintain the provision, while others struggle to meet the costs themselves, prompting concerns that, while the Welsh Government is bound to protect frontline services, the long term health of some communities will be affected.

Every authority in Wales has been affected by massive funding cuts and has had to adapt their budgets to mitigate the loss of provision, many of which have offered free swimming for under 16s in the summer holidays for more than ten years.

Read WalesOnline

Photo by Katelyn Fay

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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