Olympic medallist and BBC broadcaster Steve Parry is set to open a new state-of-the-art, family-friendly swimming centre in Oldham after stats revealed more than half of UK children are unable to swim by the time they reach secondary school.

Parry, a decorated swimmer who received a bronze medal for the 200m butterfly in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has dedicated the last fifteen years ensuring children from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn to swim.

In 2005, he founded Total Swimming Group, an initiative that aims to make swimming accessible to all after a report revealed more than half of UK children are unable to swim by the time they leave primary school.

In October 2017, Total Swimming Group opened its first swim! facility in Warrington, with a pool specifically designed for children, along with additional features such as panoramic viewing spaces for parents, homework areas for siblings and, ‘cool kid’ changing rooms, where swimmers can take part in pre-class warm ups to music and accompanying videos.

Now, swim! is preparing to launch its second centre on Manchester Street, Oldham, after the area was specially selected based on the community’s need for swimming lessons. Its doors will officially open on Friday 20th March, with classes beginning on Monday 23rd.


The new centre boasts a shallow, child-friendly pool, where specially trained swim! teachers will provide fun, innovative lessons created by Steve Parry and some of the most experienced and respected names in baby and child swimming.


Of all the classes, the swim! baby class in particular is all about parent and baby bonding, and for parents to share new experiences with their baby and other parents alike.

Class sizes are kept to a maximum of six, giving children the opportunity to develop their skills, and the purpose-built centre provides clean, modern facilities with free onsite parking.

Steve said: “Swimming is the only sport that can help save a child’s life, and yet more than half of kids are reaching secondary school without the skills they need. This is something I have been passionate about for a long time, and I am proud to be working towards making swimming accessible to everyone.

“Our first swim! centre in Warrington has been highly successful in teaching more than 3,000 children to swim in just over two years, and now we’re ready to branch out and pass on our teaching to children in Oldham.

“Our facilities are specially designed for little learners, who will work towards unique swim! awards to celebrate each child’s achievements.

“We are looking forward to meeting future swimmers in the local community.”

swim! is offering all children a free introduction. To book visit www.swim.co.uk/oldham


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