Swimming boost for over 60s

IPSWICH'S MP today claimed the town is set for a bright new sporting era after government announced investment in making swimming free of charge to millions in the UK.

IPSWICH'S MP today claimed the town is set for a bright new sporting era after government announced investment in making swimming free of charge to millions in the UK.

Chris Mole said he believes the move will help make the Olympic Games in London 2012 go “swimmingly” for Ipswich.

In addition to making £34,777 available to Ipswich to make swimming free for those aged over 60, local authorities have also been invited to submit a bid to extend the scheme to those aged 16 and under.

Meanwhile £1.51 million will be made available for a programme to improve and enhance young people's skills to support major cultural and sporting events in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.

Mr Mole said: “Ipswich has a proud sporting past and I want to see the Beijing Olympics and London 2012, act as a springboard for dreams of the future.

“In addition to the money Ipswich is eligible to receive to make swimming free for those aged 60 and over, £25 million has been made available to extend free swimming to those aged 16 or under and I urge Ipswich Borough Council to bid for a share of this funding.”

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Elsewhere free swimming is being made available at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre and Stradbroke Pool on Sunday August 24 between noon and 5pm, to celebrate the official handover of the Olympics to London.

This is being organised jointly by Mid Suffolk District Council, who own the centres and SLM who operate them on the council's behalf.

Diana Kearsley, portfolio holder for Leisure at Mid Suffolk District Council said: “We want to do everything we can to encourage people to do more exercise and help them lead healthier lives.

“We are happy to support this initiative to encourage people to go swimming, who perhaps would not otherwise do so.'

For further information about the event or the facilities at either site please ring 01449 674980 for the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre and 01379 384376 for Stradbroke Pool.

n. Is enough done to get people involved in sport in the area? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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