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Creating an Award Winning Splash

“Beyond thrilled!  Absolutely amazing!  Fantastic!  Incredibly proud!”  These are just a hint of the emotions felt by enjoyleisure, East Lothian’s Charitable Leisure Trust, after it was announced that it had won the coveted title of ‘Scottish Water Learn to Swim Provider of the Year Award for 2019’ at the Scottish Swimming Awards held in Glasgow on Saturday 28th September.

The Scottish Swimming Awards acknowledge and applaud the outstanding achievements of individuals in aquatics, alongside those whose work within partner organisations provides essential support for the whole aquatic community.

The ‘Scottish Water Learn to Swim Provider of the Year’ award, established in 2017, recognises the effort and commitment of Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers in creating and delivering high quality Learn to Swim programmes which help children become confident, competent and safer swimmers.

Three Leisure Trusts were shortlisted this year: North Lanarkshire Leisure, Sport Aberdeen and enjoyleisure in East Lothian, with enjoyleisure scooping the top prize on Saturday at the Awards ceremony.

Ahead of the awards ceremony, Scottish Swimming visited the newly refurbished Aubigny Sports Centre to create a promotional video of the lessons in action, and interview members of enjoyleisure staff and gain the views of parents.

Each of the finalists’ videos were presented on screen before host, Forth One’s Arlene Stewart made the winners announcement.

“The winner for 2019 has continued on a journey on their development in aquatics, and the benefits are shining through. They’ve developed strong links within community, schools & clubs. In doing so, have showed how strong partnerships can have a real positive impact resulting in a cohesive & co-ordinated pathway where children can achieve their potential. The programme is run by engaged teachers, and supported by strong leaders with a shared vision.  …. The winner is enjoyleisure!”

Scottish Swimming cited the significant advances made by enjoyleisure over the last two years, adding that the programme has gone from strength to strength during the period.  Reference was made to a number of initiatives delivered by enjoyleisure including; the upskilling staff; expansion of the programme; introduction of new digital software to improve processes and efficiencies; the additional one-to-one additional support needs lesson to make the programme more inclusive; and the offer of a block of free lessons to children who don’t meet required school standard.

Accepting the award on behalf of enjoyleisure was Swimming Development Manager Karen Ferguson, and Senior Manager, Ian Sills, alongside a number of swimming teachers and colleagues from across the Sports Centres.

Karen Ferguson comments, “This award is just the icing on the cake after all of the hard work, effort and dedication that has been made by everyone involved in delivering our Aquatics Strategy over the last few years since launching our new Learn to Swim programme in September 2017.  To say we are thrilled is an understatement!”   

Bill Axon, Chief Executive of enjoy adds, “We are absolutely delighted with this Award, and I am immensely proud of the team effort that has gone into the continued enhancements and developments of our swimming programme.  Our ultimate goal is to provide as many opportunities for local children to gain the life skill of swimming; to realise the enjoyment of the sport and just as importantly, provide lessons, which will make children safer in a coastal community, such as East Lothian.

I’d like to offer my personal gratitude and that of the enjoy Board to everyone across the organisation – our swim development team, swim teachers, receptionists, café staff, cleaners, centre management, administration and senior management teams.  This is a team effort where everyone in enjoy made a contribution to this success, and without whom we would not be able to run such a fantastic programme.”

Euan Lowe, CEO of Scottish Swimming commented, “It’s great to see the commitment and efforts of our partner Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers being recognised in this way. The National Learn to Swim Framework in partnership with Scottish Water has grown significantly over the last 3 years which is down to the fantastic work of swimming teachers and programme managers across Scotland to help children become confident and competent swimmers while having fun at the same time.”

“Well done to all of the finalists within this Award category and congratulations to enjoyleisure and all their staff who have contributed to making their Learn to Swim programme a huge success”

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water commented, “Learning to swim is of paramount importance as we aim to help the next generation become safe and confident in and around water in Scotland.

We'd like to thank enjoyleisure for recognising how they can help children stay on track with their development - their commitment has made sure that no child is left behind in their lessons.”

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