William backs swimming drive

Prince William has recorded a video message in support of the Amateur Swimming Association's (ASA) vision that every child has the right to learn to swim. An ASA report has found more than half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres.

Olympian learned to swim because his 'dad couldn't'

Former six times world champion swimmer Mark Foster has told Daybreak he learnt to swim because his father was "petrified of water".

He said: "It was safety reasons, first and foremost. My father at the age of 11 got thrown in the lake and was petrified of water, [he] still can't swim."

He added: "I think if you are a family, sitting round a poolside, constantly looking over your shoulder, how do you relax when you know your child can't swim and how does your child enjoy itself?"

Parents 'have a role to play' to encourage kids to swim

Jon Glenn from the Amateur Swimming Association said "parents have a role to play as well" as the schools, when encouraging children to learn to swim.

He said: "If families do not swim, it is unlikely that you will take your families swimming as well because you feel uncomfortable, nervous in and around the water, so starting at an early age is really important.

"Once they've learnt those basic skills once you get to school and you have those lessons you can really pick up the strokes a lot quicker."

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ASA: Every child 'should have the right to swim'

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the Amateur Swimming Association has said every child should have the right to swim. He said:

Every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people.

I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign.

Half of children aged 7 to 11 cannot swim 25 metres

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has joined forces with the Duke of Cambridge to make swimming more accessible for children at primary schools. A report from the Association found:

  • Half of children aged between 7 and 11 cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum
  • This means 1.1 million children are unable to be safe in and around water

Source: The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)

Watch: Prince William's video message supporting the campaign

Prince William backs national swimming campaign

Prince William has recorded a video message outlining importance of teaching children to swim.

It follows a report by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) which shows more than half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided.

"Swimming has always been important to me," the Duke of Cambridge said. "Swimming is unique, it is the only sport that can save lives, which is why I'm so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools."

He added: "The ability to swim changes lives, it brings huge joy and it can keep us fit and healthy. But above all, it can keep us safe, which is why I'm pleased to lend my support to this campaign."