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Free swimming for young and old alike

Date: 29/12/2008           Category: Leisure

Thousands of people aged under 16 and over 60 can now benefit from free swimming at all of Medway Council’s swimming pools. The move, which is backed by the government and financed until March 2011, aims to keep younger and older people healthy and active. Free swimming starts on Friday, 2 January at the following pools: · Black Lion Leisure Centre, Gillingham · Strood Sports Centre · Splashes Leisure Centre, Rainham · Hundred of Hoo swimming pool, Hoo · The Strand leisure pool, Gillingham The Black Lion pool is only open after 4pm until the end of March due to the refurbishment programme. Free swimming was due to start in Medway this April (2009), but extra finance from NHS Medway meant the council could introduce it at the beginning of the year. Cllr Howard Doe, the Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Swimming is one of the best ways for people to keep fit, active and healthy. “I am pleased that thanks to the support of NHS Medway we are able to introduce free swimming from January for the under 16s and over 60s, so that the people of Medway can benefit from this scheme from the beginning of 2009.” Marion Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of NHS Medway, said: “I’m pleased that NHS Medway is supporting Medway Council with this initiative and has enabled the council to introduce free swimming ahead of schedule. Swimming is great fun and an excellent way to keep fit and healthy. I hope Medway residents will take up this free offer.” Free swimming will be available during normal public swimming times at all council pools.