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Olympic medallist, Steve Parry appointed Chair of Swim Safe!

Olympic medallist and European champion swimmer Steve Parry has been appointed the new Chair of outdoor swimming and water safety programme Swim Safe.

Operated by Swim England and the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Swim Safe teaches young people how to "have fun and stay safe" when swimming outdoors.

A long-time campaigner for children’s rights to access swimming lessons, Parry will be tasked with achieving the target of every child in the UK and Ireland having access to a Swim Safe session.

"It's essential that children learn how to be safe in and around water,” Parry said.

"Swim Safe takes this to the next level so for me, there is no better programme to be involved with".

"Swim England and the RNLI both work tirelessly to make sure people are safe in the water. I had a near-drowning experience as a youngster, so I feel particularly honoured to be working with the RNLI which has saved more than 142,000 lives since it started nearly 200 years ago.”

The Swim Safe programme was created jointly by Swim England and the RNLI to help children aged 7–14 stay safe when enjoying swimming outdoors.

It was launched in 2013 in Bude, Cornwall, and is now delivered at more than 20 locations across the UK – including beaches, lakes, reservoirs and other inland locations.

In 2017, more than 16,000 children have taken part in a Swim Safe session.

Parry will take up his role on 11 October at the next Swim Safe board meeting.