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Crawley family support campaign to help parents rediscover family fun through swimming

Freedom Leisure and the Ward family are supporting Swim England to encourage parents to make the most of the fleeting nature of childhood and reconnect families through swimming in the second wave of the #LoveSwimming campaign.

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Time flies, especially when it comes to a growing family. Making the most of those precious moments together can become more difficult as youngsters grow older – but there is one activity that all the family can enjoy at any age.

Swimming as a family is a journey that usually begins with lessons and learning a valuable lifesaving skill, but ends with hours of fun in the pool and spending time together.

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The impactful film released by Swim England and 11 swimming sector partners features a mum with her two children and illustrates the importance of spending time as a family and creating memories before children fly the coop.

Freedom Leisure, operators of K2 Crawley and the Bewbush Centre on behalf of Crawley Borough Council, engaged their members to encourage families to rediscover their love for swimming and record their swimming journey over four weeks. The Ward family, Mum Chrissie, Dad Chris, Son Adison 19, Lily-Beth 11 and Reenie 7, kicked off their four weeks with a fun family photoshoot.

Mum Chrissie Ward echoes the sentiments of mums and dads around the country and said:

“Swimming is an activity that still brings us together even after many years. We have two young girls and although they enjoy activities such as trampolining and cheerleading, swimming is something Chris and I can do with them too!

“But even better is the fact our 19 year old son will join us for a swim on occasions too! The girls absolutely love having him there for fun and games in the pool.

19 year-old Adison Ward with sisters Lily-Beth, 11 (left) & Reenie, 7 (right)

“I also suffer with fibromyalgia, and swimming allows be to have pain-free fun with the girls, while keeping me active.”

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Freedom Leisure MD said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Swim England because anything we can do collectively as an industry to engender an active nation is a good thing.

“As a leisure facility operator on behalf of local authority partners our priority is definitely to support local communities with living more active lifestyles, and swimming is one of the best ways to do this because it is so inclusive.

“Babies to grandparents, and everyone in-between, we are seeing the #LoveSwimming campaign bring families together and we are very much looking forward to seeing how far this campaign will go.”

Jane Nickerson, CEO of Swim England and Chair of the sector-leading Swim Group, said:

“Swimming is one of the few activities that families can do together across generations and throughout their lives.

“So often, this family time in a pool is restricted to summer holidays. With the launch of the second wave of activity in our #LoveSwimming campaign we are tapping into deep emotional territory – sentiments that really resonate with parents.

“Time with your children – when they want to spent time with you rather than anyone else is fleeting. We want to encourage parents to make the most of those precious years being connected and having fun together through the joy and elation felt in a pool.

“We are reminding parents: don’t miss out on those treasurable years. Take them swimming, make the most of the passing moments and not only give them a life skill and get them active, but create memories that last a lifetime.”

As Colorado mum Casey Huff’s honest reflections on the conflicting feelings of motherhood went viral last week, the most recent instalment of the #LoveSwimming campaign is evidently tapping into a feeling shared by many mothers – one of longing their children could stay small forever while also looking forward to the times when they are old enough to sleep through the night and look after themselves, and the difficulties of cherishing childhood.

The heartfelt post quickly reached 20,000 likes, 9,000 shares and attracted 2,000 comments on Facebook.

Swim England and Freedom Leisure are calling on families in Crawley to #LoveSwimming and dedicate a precious hour every week to getting down to their local pool and enjoying time together as a family.

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Health & Fitness

On ya’ bike! Residents invited to explore Crawley on two wheels

Crawley residents are invited to take part in guided bicycle tours to discover local network routes during two events.

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Families in Crawley can explore the town on two wheels and discover the local cycle network routes, guided by local people from Cycling UK and Sustrans.

Crawley Borough Council are supporting the guided rides, which includes a tour of Crawley’s parks and green lanes on 27 May and the Annual Crawley Family Bike Ride on 10 June.

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On 27 May, residents and visitors are invited to meet at 10am at Three Bridges station where the ride will pass through parks and quiet residential streets, exploring the cycle paths towards the historic Ifield Mill.

There will be plenty of time to tour the Mill before returning to Three Bridges station at 1pm

On 10 June, at Oriel School Fitness Centre, Bikes Revived will be hosting a Dr Bike session from 9.30am, where you can get your bike checked over and in good working order before the Family Bike Ride leaves at 10am and goes along the beautiful Worth Way off-road track to East Grinstead.

There will be time to get some light refreshments and look at the steam trains before returning to Oriel School for 1.30-2.00pm.

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Cycling is the way forward for quick journeys and keeping well. There have been recent improvements to cycle routes in the town and more are scheduled. These guided rides are a great, fun way to brush up your cycling skills and explore the town on two wheels! It’s a very popular event and a good way to make friends – I’ve really enjoyed it in previous years.”

Cyclists of all ages are welcome, including children who are able to cycle for about two hours. Please ensure children under 16 are accompanied by a responsible adult and have a helmet. We recommend that all riders bring a water container.

For more information about cycling in Crawley, visit www.crawley.gov.uk/cycling

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