Salford has been a pioneering force behind Swim Safe, the RNLI and Swim England initiative, which was launched in 2017, to offer free water safety sessions to 7-14s.
The Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, based at Salford Quays, which is operated by Salford Community Leisure, has been instrumental in setting up the scheme and has since provided Swim Safe free sessions for more than 3000 local youngsters.
Salford Leisure’s Swim Safe coordinator, Libby MacLaren from Worsley Leisure Centre has been named as the Swim Safe Coordinator Of The Year in the new annual awards, out of five finalists and more than 1000 entries.
Libby, aged 21, manages a team of swimming teachers to deliver the RNLI and Swim England designed sessions, ensuring that all risk assessments and health and safety procedures around open water are in place and checked daily. Her professional approach and friendly nature ensures that the sessions are enjoyed by both the young people and parents alike. She stood out to the judges as a winner as her enterprising ideas raised the most money on site at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre out of all other UK Swim Safe venues and events, all of which goes to the RNLI, and she volunteered a lot of her time.
Libby won the award for her efforts in summer 2019, which was a record breaking year in Salford for providing more children than ever with the vital skills required for staying safe in all types of open water including rivers, lakes and the beach.
Marie Leather, Sport and Leisure Manager for Aquatic, Health and Fitness at Salford Community Leisure, who manages the Swim Safe Salford scheme, said:
“We’re incredibly proud of Libby’s achievement. She is amazing with the children and parents, super organised and very proactive; she’s an asset to our Swim Safe scheme here in Salford, which is the only one in Greater Manchester. Our organisation has been heavily involved in Swim Safe from the start and this award reflects the quality sessions that we provide.”
“This award means so much to me. I’ve really enjoyed organising the Swim Safe sessions and making sure the children have a great time whist educating them and their parents and carers about how important water safety is.”
Swim Safe is run by the RNLI and offers free outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children aged 7-14. Kids learn land-based water safety and then they get into the water for practical tuition with a fully qualified swimming teacher.
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