WHITE Oaks Leisure Centre in Swanley is relaunching a programme of swimming lessons to encourage young people to be more acrive and improve their water safety.

The Hilda May Avenue centre is holding an open day on Saturday March 8 that will feature a series of free taster sessions in which people can get a flavour of how professional coaching can help improve their confidence, safety and fitness.

Jane Parish, chief executive of Sencio Community Leisure (the not-for-profit leisure trust that operates White Oak Leisure Centre) said: “Accidental drowning causes more than 400 deaths in the UK every year and the most recent research from the Amateur Swimming Association estimates more than one million primary school children in the UK are unsafe in and around water.

“Swimming is not only one of the best ways to get and keep fit it is also an invaluable life skill everyone should have and one which it is easier to acquire earlier in life.”

The open afternoon will allow people of all ages from parents and babies to children and adults to take part in sessions for swimmers of all abilities from the complete beginner through to those wanting to improve their skills, confidence and endurance.

The sessions will all be led by qualified swimming coaches and there will also be a chance for any aspiring Tom Daley to get a taste of the precision and skills required on the diving board.

The centre is aiming to create a fun afternoon for all the family with demonstrations, activity sheets, competitions and a chance to make a splash on the centre’s giant water inflatable.

For further details on the open day visit www.sencio.org.uk or ask at the centre reception.