Children will be allowed to swim for free after school at the National Sports Centre this winter to help families with the cost of living.
The five-month scheme will get underway on Monday 31 October and mean school children will not be charged to swim on weekdays, between 4.30pm and 7pm.
During this time children will have full access to the leisure pool and other pools when planned classes or lessons permit.
It will also be free for one parent or guardian to accompany a primary school child to encourage participation, and as usual children aged eight or over can swim unaccompanied.
Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:
‘This move will give children access to a warm and welcoming space after school, where they can exercise, socialise and get a hot shower, while lessening the burden of home energy costs for their families.
‘This access will help any young people who have fallen behind with swimming, a trend since the pandemic, or just want to build their water confidence.’
The scheme, which delivers against the Government’s Warm Spaces Initiative, will run until 31 March.
Children and their parents will still need to pay to swim at weekends or in school holidays.
The Government has recently launched a new website detailing all the support that can help residents and businesses deal with the cost of living this winter.