Exmouth pupils lead the way to launch new swim safe beach project

A new project aimed at teaching children to swim safely in the sea has been launched in Exmouth.

Littleham Primary School pupils announced the start of the Swim to the Sea project, when the youngsters took part in the first session, on Exmouth beach.

The aim of the scheme is to teach a life-saving skill to children who live near the sea.

The swim safe scheme has been made possible thanks to LED Community Leisure’s community engagement team, Exmouth Leisure Centre and Sideshore teaming up.

Sarah Padbury, head of learning at Littleham Primary School, said: “The first session of our shore to sea project was everything we hoped it would be.

“Children were well prepared and felt that learning to swim in the sea was the natural progression from swimming at the local leisure centre.”

Swim to the Sea teaches local children how to safely swim on the coast and improves their confidence in the water.

Youngsters are given six sessions, with the first held at Exmouth Leisure Centre swimming pool.

All equipment, including wetsuit hire, swim hats, goggles, tow buoys, plus instructors and lifeguards has been funded by Sideshore.

Simon Findel-Hawkins, Sideshore centre manager, said: “It is extremely important to us to support the local community, to encourage visitors to safely use the beach and water, while protecting the surrounding natural environment.

“This initiative has enabled us to inspire local children to learn to love the water and provided them with the skills they need to safely swim at their local beach.”

A spokesperson for the Swim to the Sea project said: “Some children had never even visited the beach before but now can enjoy their visits to the beach safely.”

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