Save our Swimming Clubs

 

Did you know that Cheshire East and other local authorities are trying to create a monopoly on the delivery of swimming lessons?

Did you know Everybody leisure wants to gain all the kiddiewinks  currently learning through the ASA Learn to Swim’ swimming schemes through swimming club, and transfer them to the ‘Everybody Leisure’ books.

This can’t and shouldn’t happen! Particularly because these changes are not proposed for the good of our kiddiewinks; instead these changes are proposed in order to maximise the capacity for income.

 Everybody leisure, are insisting all younger members, still working through the ASA schemes, are transferred onto their books, taking away the element of choice for young swimmers and their families.

Swimming clubs are so much more than just swimming lessons. Kiddiewinks matter! Kiddiewink’s swimming progression and enjoyment matter! Kiddiewinks gain experience of competitive swimming and become part of a social community. Offering them not only skills of swimming, but increasing confidence, self-esteem, friendship and self belief.

As a child, I swam with Knutsford Vikings, and have many find memories of point score galas and championships, as well as swimming for my town, and enjoying the social aspect it also offered. My keen interest in swimming was solely down to being part of a vibrant swimming club community, and if this had not been available to me at a young age, I very much doubt I would have progressed in the way I did.image

My own Kiddiewinks, both joined ‘Everybody Leisure’ at the age of three, and my experience of their programmes is not a positive one. The leisure centre offered no flexibility within their schemes, and seemed unable to differentiate for individual needs within the swimming stages. What is more, there was never any consistency, regular staffing changes and skills, meant progression for my Kiddiewink’s was minimal and they began to dread swimming lessons. Staff were unaware of individual strengths and weaknesses due to the staffing changes and some seemed to lack flexibility of approach according to needs of the group. There is something wrong with a system, where a four year old, who can get a dive stick from the bottom of the pool, is jumping in a circle in the pool, wearing three armbands on each arm and  blowing bubbles, I kid you not, this was a regular occurrences. That said, some of the teachers were excellent and it is not poor teaching that is my issue.Complaints were rarely dealt with, phone also and emails ignored. Everything and everyone seemed confused all the time. Am I the only one with this negative experience of everybody leisure? Sadly, not! many parents are unhappy with the standard of lessons they were being offered with ‘Everybody  Leisure’; I regularly hear parents moaning about the lack of progression and continuity. Holiday swimming lessons were a particular bone of contention. Why are parents expected to pay the same price for swimming lessons, which are of even more substandard quality? Staff holidays and absences, meant stages are often put together meaning, once again,no progression and continuity. Staff often didn’t know the children at all and  Everybody Leisure introduced these fancy learning portals, what a fantastic idea, one that should avoid teacher’s not ‘knowing’ their students. Well, it would be a good idea if all staff actually updated them. We went 8 months with no updates at all!

All in all, the idea and concept of parents and families having the choice taken away from them is disgusting, especially as it is not to help our kiddiewinks, only financial profit. I for one will not be taking it lying down. My kiddiewinks will not be joining ‘Everybody Leisure’ books, not tomorrow, next week or ever!  It would be cheaper and more beneficial to teach them myself, failing that I would rather pay a bit more for private lessons (these would still offer better value for money than everybody leisure).

Please save our swimming clubs and give our Kiddiewinks the choice and opportunity to join a swimming club community, and enjoying being part of a team. Letting kiddiewinks experience competitive swimming at a young age, fostering their love of self improvement, and health,  may mean swimming clubs are training the young Olympic swimmers of the future.

SAVE OUR SWIMMING CLUBS!

Just for fun, click here to see a video of my little swimmer at 4.5- the same little man who was being made to wear three armbands and was bored rigid!

Please join the Twitter stream at @knutsvikings and feel free to lobby councillors, and  anyone else you think could make a difference.

10 reasons to love Jodrell Bank

This half term we decided it was about time the kiddiewinks got to visit Jodrell Bank, home of the Lovell telescope, which they enjoy looking at out of the landing window.  Living only 5 minutes down the road, it seemed wrong that the kiddiewinks were yet to visit.

We had a great day… Here are our top ten reasons to visit.

1) the Lovell telescope is humungous! Littlest Kiddiewink wowed lots and little man kept stating how it was bigger than he expected

2) whispering telescopes- the kids loved the fact they could give each other rude messages without being anywhere near each other. “You’re a smelly pants” was the favourite

3) gardens to explore as burn off that excess energy

4) a mini play park

5) learn more about our solar system- the kids loved the touch screens, granted not much was read, but they enjoyed messing.

6) not too big- very little chance of losing the kiddiewinks (whether that is a plus it negative, you decide)

7)two cafés- a takeaway one and an eat in (with an outside area). We didn’t sample to food, queues were big and we are skint. I would have bought them a drink and snack but the takeaway  cafe was cash only (I was not popular with the kiddiewinks)

8) lots of chance to get outdoors in the fresh air

9) staff that seem to genuinely enjoy working there, and are happy to help

10) Not to pricey- it cost £16.80 for the four of us, would have been a bit dear if hubby had been able to come

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All in all, a great day out, we will definitely be visiting again, but this time with daddy too.

 

School run in pyjamas. Yes or No?

With it hitting the papers this week, about a school telling parents, pyjamas were not appropriate, and to get dressed, I thought hard about what my opinion actually was. Do I do the school run in my pyjamas? Do I heck. Do I judge people in their pyjamas? Well, I have to admit, I do a little bit! For me, it’s all about priorities, and if you can’t get ready with the kids round your ankles,making demands, them get up before the children do! It takes a few minutes to throw clothes on! 

I also understand however, that some people have a lot of shit to deal with, depression and illnesses affecting mobility, muscles etc and that can make it extra tricky, and yes I would rather see them taking children to school wearing pyjamas, than them keep them off or make them late. But, having said this, even then surely friends or family an help with the school run, if you are suffering so much you can’t get dressed!

While I Am on the subject of pyjamas…I regularly see people in shops in pyjamas too! Just, why? Why, oh why? Can you imagine your mum taking you shopping in her pyjamas years ago, the answer is probably not! It just didn’t happen,  and I am sure people of that generation had their own shit to deal with, but wouldn’t dream of leaving their house in their pyjamas. Pyjamas are night clothes, end of! It is only over the last few years I have witnessed it, is it a generation thing?

Who knows but I think the world has gone mad! Get dressed people,get dressed and set our children a positive example! For those with real and genuine health issues, I don’t mean you but the rest of you, sort it out!