Swimming participation levels on the rise

swimmersRAPs is delighted with the news that over 2.9million adults are now taking part in swimming at least once a week.

Swimming has come out on top as the most popular sport people are participating in as part of Sport England’s Active People Survey which has revealed that more people are playing sport regularly than ever before.

As part of the wider Active People survey, the results, which cover April 2013-April 2014, show that the number of over-16s playing sport once a week, every week has risen to over 15.6 million, an increase of 180,000 in the last six months and 1.7million more than 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games. The largest growth has come from young people, with a record 3.9 million 16-25 year-olds playing sport regularly.

It’s always great to see high participation levels, but as Registered Aquatic Professionals we must ensure that safety is paramount when in the water.

If you’re looking to learn to swim why not have a look on our Members Directory where you’ll be able to search for a RAPs registered teacher? All of our swimming teachers meet the industry’s nationally recognised standards and are committed to ongoing education.

Reading Lake Hotel to host Open Water Swimming Show on 26 April 2014

?????Open water swimming is how we all originally experienced the water but over the past century the growth of heated, sanitised indoor pools has convinced some people that open water is dirty and dangerous. The reality is that many swimmers are rediscovering the freedom and joy of swimming outside and the sport is becoming increasingly popular.

The Open Water Swimming Show is a unique opportunity to find out more about this fast growing activity, to hear from expert speakers, test out the latest kit and, for the more adventurous, take an early season dip.

The Open Water Swimming Show was first held in 2012, also at the Reading Lake Hotel, as the H2Open Day. After skipping 2013 it is returning in 2014 and expects to attract up to 500 visitors. This year, additional activities include an open water swimming master class, a core strength class and free coached sessions to give visitors a safe and enjoyable first experience of open water. Veteran open water swimmers are also catered for with a timed swim.

This year we’re hoping for better weather but persistent rain and 11 degree Celsius water didn’t put swimmers off in 2012.

The event has been created by H2Open Magazine, a specialist open water publication that launched in 2011.

Event details

  • Date: Saturday 26 April 2014
  • Doors open: 10:00
  • Exhibition ends: 18:00
  • Tickets: £15 in advance, £18 on the door


Reading Lake Hotel

Pingewood, Reading, West Berkshire RG30 3UN

More information

Open Water Show: www.openwatershow.co.uk

H2Open Magazine: www.h2openmagazine.com

If you’d like to attend this weekend’s Open Water show for free please follow this link.



We’re really excited about attending Leisure Industry Week (LIW) for the first time in September.

The event, taking place at the NEC in Birmingham, is a fantastic chance for us to share the progress of the Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs), and let you all know about the future plans for the Register.

As well as manning a stand, we will also be running a unique, educational session at the three-day exhibition.

When: 11:30 – 12:15, Thursday 26th September

Where: Keynote Theatre, Birmingham NEC

Single Qualification Framework (SQF) and Traineeships in the Leisure Industry

Led by SkillsActive’s Head of Standards and Qualifications, Stuart Turner, this session offers a unique opportunity for those in the industry to discuss and address some key issues concerning RAPs, including the SQF structure, along with traineeships and career pathways in the industry.

Places for the session are limited, and you must inform RAPs of your attendance in advance. Just email RSVP@skillsactive.com to confirm you would like to attend. Just make sure you mention the date and event in your email.

LIW is the UK’s leading exhibition for the leisure industry. This annual trade show connects you the with the latest products, services, brands, and innovations the industry has to offer and with the attendance of leading companies and industry experts you will be able to see what’s new on the market, and be inspired to develop fresh ideas and experiences for your members and customers.

What’s even better is that if you register in advance it is free for you to attend! However, non-registered visitors will have to pay a £30 entry fee on the door. So why not register your attendance today by visiting the LIW website. We hope to see you all there!


Half of Those who Drown Do Know How to Swim

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Drowning is now the third most common cause of accidental death of children in this country and it reaches its highest rate during school and bank holidays. The National Water Safety Forum reveals that 407 people died from accidental drowning in 2011.

Most drownings are avoidable. Of course ensuring all children and adults can swim would make them less likely to drown but what is worrying is that more than half of people who drown know how to swim. Knowing how to swim is the start, but understanding safety and what to do in particular situations is just as important.

Teaching people to swim

It is vitally important that people are taught to swim when they are young. Recent statistics show that 51% of children aged seven to eleven cannot swim 25 metres unaided, according to a report by the ASA and Kelloggs; ‘Learning the lesson: The future of school swimming’.

Learning to swim is an essential life skill, which should be learnt as early as possible in life. Adults who didn’t learn as children are unlikely to learn later on in life. Nearly half of people who died by drowning did not intend to be in the water in the first place. This can cause huge problems for people who can’t swim if they are faced with water unintentionally. Walking and running were amongst the most common activities that consequently resulted in drowning.

Teaching swimmers how to be safe in water

While it’s important for people to learn to swim it is also important to teach them to be safe in water. Even accomplished swimmers can get into trouble in strong currents and wild seas. The most common place to drown in 2010 was in a river (25%), followed by the sea (17%) and a surprisingly high number who were actually on the shore or a beach (15%).

It is also important when coaching children that you have contact with parents or schools about the progress of each child. A lot of parents don’t know the true level and ability of their child and are perhaps too confident in their swimming skills.  

The Drowning Prevention week is running from 22nd to 30th June, their website  has a lot of useful water safety tips.

As aquatic professionals we need to make sure that all swimmers know how to be safe in or near water.

Research links:

http://bit.ly/12vGmLE, http://bit.ly/12r0Z0M

Image Credit: www.lifesaversdirect.co.uk, www.drowningpreventionweek.org.uk