Swimming safety in Banbridge

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The summer season is well under way as we all look to unveil our beach bods.

From paddling pools in the garden, to tackling the waves at the seaside, plenty of us will take to the water. And while it’s plenty of fun, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are keen to make sure you stay safe in the surf.

They want to help with that by putting on a series of activities to teach children and adults all about water safety.

According to the Royal Life Saving Society, around 400 people drown in the UK every year. More people die from drowning in the UK than from domestic fires or road cycling accidents and Northern Ireland currently has the highest level of drownings per head of population in the UK.

From 20 – 24 June, Banbridge Leisure Centre swim teachers are working in conjunction with the Royal Lifesaving Association to provide local schools with entertaining educational activities in water safety and drowning prevention during their regular swim sessions.

The Leisure Centre is also running a range of courses during July and August.

The Rookie Lifeguard course for children aged 8 - 12 years helps promote water safety in day to day activities and makes children aware of how to take better care of themselves, their family and friends in the water.

Rookie Lifeguard begins at an ability level suitable for young swimmers who have just learned to swim and progresses to the level of performing lifesaving tows.

For those aged 16 and over, Banbridge Leisure Centre will host the National Pool Lifeguard Course during July and August. The IQL National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the UK and Ireland and is internationally recognized.

Swimming Crash courses will also run throughout July and August which will enable children to learn to swim for the first time or improve on their existing swim skills.

Swimming Crash courses are suitable for those aged from from 5 years at Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced levels.