Since January, the Swimming Breakfast Clubs have been available to children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in Stechford, Northfield, Ladywood and Erdington. The programme, which works in partnership with Swim England and the Birmingham Community Leisure Trust was organised as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Legacy.
We spoke to Michael Ryan, Facility Manager at Serco Leisure, Erdington who said:
“The Breakfast Clubs are great for community engagement, offering pockets of the community that would not normally be able to access our Swim programme, giving them an opportunity to learn to swim by utilising our quieter pool times.”
“Parents and children both benefit from the free access to learning an important life skill, regular exercise and a warm health meal before school starts.”
Since January the scheme has grown, with now more than thirty children accessing the club in Erdington. Every child who attends the club are also given a nutritious breakfast to get them ready for the day.
Claire Wheeler, from StreetGames, added: “We are delighted to be able to support the Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club in Birmingham.
“This scheme is our response to the growing problem of the food insecurity, social isolation and physical inactivity.
“The Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Club not only tackles all those things, it’s supporting children to learn to swim – an important life skill that has become a particular challenge because of the pandemic.
“It also reassures families that their child’s exercise is done for the day and they have had a nutritious meal before the school day has even started.”
“We’re excited about conversations that are looking at delivering the Fit, Fed and Swimming Breakfast Clubs at three new venues in Birmingham.”
“We would love to see this programme in more swimming pools across the country.”