Rebecca Adlington OBE opened a new swimming course based in Tong Leadership Academy in Bradford over the weekend. The new ‘learn to swim’ programme is on a mission to ensure all members of the younger generation acquire the life skill of swimming and immerse themselves in other sports too.
Thanks to Total Swim Academies’ partnership with Vivify, the school managed to acquire a 3G floodlight pitch as well as a new gymnasium and sports hall. With the school also recently having their sports facilities upgraded, this new course may provide an opportunity for people in Bradford to succeed in the sporting world.
Support from Rebecca Adlington
The project has gained the support of Rebecca Adlington, the two-time Olympic swimming gold medalist. Post-lockdown, Adlington became interested in the project after learning that the length of time children were inactive had increased by 25 minutes per day. Finding this “seriously worrying”, she wanted to find a way to ensure that children have the utilities to get into sports.
Adlington summed up the core meaning of the project and its goal of keeping young people fit and healthy:
“With the launch of this new programme in Bradford, children will not only learn to swim, but will gain a whole host of transferable skills sure to benefit them as they grow up”.
Interview with Adlington
When attending the launch event, Adlington offered some of her time to tell me about the swimming programme. The main objective of the programme is to encourage more children to swim, but she tells me that to achieve this, the facilities and environments for children must be suitable.
It is clear that the programme is striving for a high level of quality. Adlington said that ultimately, the programme-runners:
“Just want children to have the opportunity to learn how to swim in a nice environment with great teachers”.
Why the project is so unique
When asked about what makes the project stand out, the Olympian thought that the quality of the resources at the school were a deciding factor. The new pool is 25 meters and the variety of other new sporting facilities the school just acquired are remarkable. Adlington said that the complex was ‘huge!’
They are hoping that such resources will encourage more and more children to attend the school. The swimmer said that the pool is “in demand [within] the area”, and it is hoped that this project can prove useful for the youth of Bradford.
Adlington is all hands-on deck!
Adlington is one of the owners of Tong Swimming Academies, and she is already extremely hands-on with the project. With the potential of more run days over the weekend and wanting the hold celebration events in the near future, this won’t be the end for her involvement in the project.
Already partnered with Vivify, this won’t be the only project with Adlington’s name on it! She also expressed interest in developing facilities for other schools and communities in the near future.
The swimmer is on a mission to find “diamonds that are out there”, referring to talented young swimmers who are yet to be discovered. One of the core aims of the project is to show people that lockdown hasn’t changed everything and that there are still excellent swimming pools and sports facilities on our doorstep.
If you’re interested in teaching you kid how to swim Tong Leadership Academy is also offering a free swim introduction lesson here.