Friday, 24 July 2009

Amended - SWIM4LIFE - Search for new swimming stroke

Are your kids bored of breaststroke? Fed-up of front crawl? Think they can do better than backstroke and butterfly?

Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham is calling on kids up and down the country to help Swim4Life create a brand new swimming stroke.

The national competition to kick off Swim4Life, part of Change4Life, asks youngsters to send their ideas, including a description of how they came up with their new stroke, a picture that inspired it and a suggested name.

The competition is all about getting kids moving in the water where their bodies have to work harder than on dry land - be it the dolphin, the penguin or the wriggly worm stroke.

Secretary of State, Andy Burnham said:

“Taking the kids swimming is a great way of making sure they’re moving around and having fun.

“We know that a huge number of people have taken the opportunity to swim for free since we introduced our free swimming scheme in April.

“I hope this Swim4Life competition will see even more families take the plunge and head to their local pool to think up an inventive new stroke.”

The swimming stroke competition marks the start of Swim4Life, a new part of Change4Life. Over the next few weeks selected local papers will carry a free Swim4Life poster crammed full of fun facts and swimming games, and parents will be able to download free swimming tips and advice for families on getting more active through swimming from

Swimming is a great way to the get the 60 active minutes kids need everyday. It’s also a great way for families to be active together over the summer months.

The Swim4Life competition will be judged by a panel of experts including coaching expert Ian Armiger. The winner will be announced by Andy Burnham in September, when he completes The Great North Swim 2009 in Lake Windermere.

Swimming expert Ian Armiger said:

“Asking children to invent a new stroke is a great idea, one that’ll get them more active in the water and using their imaginations.

“Swimming is a brilliant way for people of all ages to get moving, and thinking of a new stroke should be a perfect excuse to get to the pool this summer.”

The inventor of the winning stroke will win a trip to Alton Towers Water Park for a family of four (two adults and two children) including travel, overnight accommodation, entrance to the park and spending money.

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