Being able to swim is considered an essential life skill. Not only is it fun for children, but it can help to keep them healthy.

The Swim4Life scheme at One Leisure runs for 50 weeks of the year. Photo credit: Getty images.The Swim4Life scheme at One Leisure runs for 50 weeks of the year. Photo credit: Getty images.

We spoke to Sarah Thornton, swim co-ordinator at One Leisure to find out about the benefits of introducing your child to swimming lessons at a young age, and the swimming lessons available for people of all ages and abilities at One Leisure.

1. Swimming may save your child's life one day

Swimming is the only sport which could save your child's life. Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in children; making sure that your child is comfortable in and around water is essential to their safety.

One Leisure offers a platinum membership costing just £40 per month, giving you unlimited entry to their fitness classes. Photo credit: Getty images.One Leisure offers a platinum membership costing just £40 per month, giving you unlimited entry to their fitness classes. Photo credit: Getty images.

One Leisure's Swim4Life swimming lessons are an ideal way to introduce children to the water. Their Swim4Life scheme runs for 50 weeks a year, including school holidays. Lessons start from £26 per month on direct debit. Classes involve a selection of skills such as movement of arms and legs and blowing bubbles for babies and toddlers to stroke technique, diving and treading water for more advanced lessons.

Sarah said: "It's never too early to learn to swim. Our swimming teachers are fully qualified and will help your child to develop their swimming ability at their own pace. For our baby and toddler classes, parents accompany their child in the water; this helps to build water confidence and is a great bonding opportunity too!"

2. Swimming is great for their health

Swimming keeps the heart and lungs healthy, increases stamina and can help with balance and posture. Swimming can develop your child's strength, co-ordination and flexibility at a faster rate than children who don't swim. Swimming throughout their childhood will encourage them to see physical activity as a part of everyday life.

Sarah told us: "We offer a range of lessons catering for beginners to more confident swimmers. Our Swim4Life junior lessons are aided by fully qualified swim teachers. You will be able to view weekly teacher feedback online and when your child is ready to progress you can move them up to the next class from the comfort of your own home."

3. Learn a lifelong skill

Much like riding a bike, once you know how to swim, it's a skill you'll have for life. Not having the ability to swim could put your child at a disadvantage because there are so many activities and sports that involve water.

One Leisure's Swim4Life scheme also includes swimming lessons for adults. Adult lessons are £10 per hour; lesson length varies by centre, some have half an hour lessons at £5 and others have a full hour at £10. Sarah said: "Whatever your reason for wanting to learn to swim, our ASA qualified swim teachers are experienced in working with adults of all ages covering complete beginners to advanced swimmers. They focus on improving confidence from the outset, before developing your technique so that you can enjoy swimming. You'll be put in a small group with others who have the same ability as you."

One Leisure

Swimming isn't the only activity you can do at One Leisure. Now that the kids are back at school, it's a perfect time to get back into your fitness routine, or even start one for the first time. Sarah said: "Whether you're looking to use the gym, swimming pool or attend a fitness class, we've got something to suit everyone at One Leisure."

You can choose from over 200 aerobic, aqua, circuit, indoor cycling, relaxation and strength classes available during the daytime, evenings and weekends. These range from low impact classes for those returning to exercise, to high energy classes for those wanting to push themselves. Sarah told us: "Our gyms are equipped with a wide range of cardiovascular and resistance machines, functional training and free weights areas, helping you to reach your goals."

One Leisure offers a platinum membership costing just £40 per month. This membership gives you unlimited use of the gym at all One Leisure centres. You'll also get unlimited entry to their fitness classes, use of their Cyclone indoor cycling studios and the swimming pools. With this membership you can also get free crèche spaces for under 6s. New users will need to book a gym induction programme for £30 and there's also a fitness class pass available which covers 10 classes and is valid for 12 months for £48.

To find out more about One Leisure's Swim4Life scheme or their platinum membership, visit oneleisure.net or call 01480 388111.