Leisure centre reintroduces family swim session

Pics from Abbeycroft Leisure Centre in Bury for the new year, new you feature.
Pics from Abbeycroft Leisure Centre in Bury for the new year, new you feature.
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A leisure centre is reintroducing a swimming session for children following complaints about recent timetable changes.

Starting next week, a Wednesday 4-6pm ‘pirate pool’ session will be available at Abbeycroft Leisure in Bury St Edmunds, on a trial basis.

Caroline Sheppard was so angered by changes to the autumn/winter timetable, which forced her and husband Howard to take their two daughters - aged four and three - into the ‘big pool’, that they have enrolled them in swimming lessons instead.

Mrs Sheppard said her family, from Great Barton, liked using the ‘teaching pool’ because the water was shallow and warm. It is currently only available to school children on weekends.

Of their recent ‘big pool’ experience, she said: “I had one extremely unhappy girl on the side of the pool, terrified to get in. It took me 40 minutes to get her in the water and 10 more minutes before she would physically let go of me. She was extremely out of her depth.”

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger, who represented England in the 2008 FINA World Cup Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series and has completed two solo swims of the English Channel, first learned to swim at the age of four.

He said: “Children have got to be able to feel their feet on the ground and feel safe. The big pool for small children is too cold and is not conducive to helping them swim.”

Abbeycroft said it continued to regularly monitor demand for swimming.