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School children making a splash in Sheffield

20% more pupils in Sheffield have learned to swim at least 25 metres in the last two years. Sheffield City Council has been targeting schools in areas where the numbers of children who could swim were low. School swimming lessons have been doubled over the past four years in the city.

I firmly believe all children should be able to swim so we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to encourage schools to help their pupils learn this vital life skill. We are committed to making sure children from across the city are given every chance to learn to swim while they are at school. It is a great all round exercise but even more importantly being able to swim could save your life.”

– Cllr Jackie Drayton

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Schools say budget is barrier to offering swimming lessons

Schools say their biggest barrier to offering swimming lessons is their budget. It comes as a report reveals Yorkshire is one of the worst counties for the number of swimming lessons offered in schools.

"Swimming is one of the easiest, safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water.

"Yet swimming is one of the few areas of a child's statutory education that is all too often left unmeasured, unchecked or, for 1.1m children, unfulfilled.

"The additional £150m of ring-fenced investment by Government for PE and sport this September can provide a real lifeline for school swimming. I believe that schools have a rare opportunity to seize the moment."

– David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA

Yorkshire "worst" for amount of swimming lessons offered

Only around half of children in Yorkshire can swim one length of a pool

There are fears children's lives are at risk because of their poor swimming skills.

A report out today says just over half of primary age children in Yorkshire can swim one length of a pool. The county has the lowest rates of schools which offer swimming lessons.

In total over 1.1 million primary school children in the UK are unable to swim, according to a report released today by the Amateur Swimming Association, who surveyed 3,501 primary schools.

Yorkshire has the lowest rate of schools which offer swimming lessons.

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Rebecca Adlington announces engagement

Double Olympic medalist, Rebecca Adlington, has announced on Twitter that she is engaged.

Rebecca began her swimming career in Mansfield before competing at two Olympic Games where she won four medals – two gold and two bronze.

She's engaged to fellow swimmer Harry Needs.

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Had the best weekend ever!!! Thank you @harryneeds for making me the happiest person ever right now #engaged #isaidyes

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Popped the big question to the wifey @beckadlington & were now #engaged #shesaidyes happiest man on earth

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National

Rebecca Adlington looks forward to a 'new chapter'

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington has thanked all those who have supported her throughout her career.

In a series of tweets and in a longer article on her website Rebecca thanked, "all my swimming teaches/coaches when I was young. You made it so much fun!"

In a statement connected to her retirement she also said, "To everyone in Mansfield who has believed in me from day one. It will always be my home. I'm a proud Mansfield girl!!"

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Obviously I have announced the end of my competitive swimming career. Sad in many ways but also so exciting. New chapter of my life begins!

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Thank you so everyone who supported me! Too many to thank in 140 characters so all said here... http://t.co/lebhW4IQ

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Its been an incredible journey, one I will treasure and remember for the rest of my life. Thank you x

National

Rebecca Adlington 'will stay involved in swimming'

Speaking to ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott, Rebecca Adlington has said she will stay involved with swimming as she retires from competition.

She said; "swimming is my passion, it's been that since I was young. Since i was four years old, getting in the pool I just absolutely loved it. I want to stay involved with that in all levels."

The double Olympic champion also explained why she is retiring at just 23-years-old saying, "women tend to be four years younger then men [on the team] and especially for my event, for distance swimming you are a lot younger."

National

Seb Coe hails Rebecca Adlington's 'remarkable' career

Becky Adlington's unforgettable success in Beijing inspired a generation to get in the pool and swim. Her down to earth personality and remarkable career achievements have made her a national treasure. Becky's vision for the future of grass roots swimming in this country will create a wonderful legacy from one of our greatest Olympians. I have no doubt this vision will be pursued with the same drive, dedication and determination as Becky consistently displayed in the pool.

– British Olympic Association Chair Lord Sebastian Coe
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