Oakham teenager Polly-Anna appeals for return of free swimming for under 16s

Polly-Anna Freeman, 14, from Oakham, who has written to the council asking them to reintroduce free swimming for under 16s.
Polly-Anna Freeman, 14, from Oakham, who has written to the council asking them to reintroduce free swimming for under 16s.

A COUNCILLOR has vowed to look for new funding opportunities to cut the cost of swimming for young people.

Polly-Anna Freeman, of Snowdon Avenue, Oakham, is calling on Rutland County Council to reintroduce free swimming for under 16s to help combat childhood obesity.

The 14-year-old wrote to the council urging it to cut the cost of swimming at Catmose Sports to make it more accessible for young people.

She said: “The news shows obesity in children is rising but the price of healthy activity is too high for my parents to pay at least twice a week, so it must be too high for other families.

“I would like the council to consider returning free swimming. It would benefit all under 16s if the prices were made more accessible for low income families, then I and many other children could gain more exercise.”

Councillor Gene Plews, the portfolio holder for leisure, says a new Health and Wellbeing Board will investigate new funding opportunities.

He said: “It is important to be able to access convenient, high quality and affordable sport facilities and we work closely with Stevenage Leisure to ensure the cost of swimming is kept low.

“Whilst under 16s do benefit from discounted swimming, I will be seeking funding to address the issue that has been raised.”