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A Stroke of Genius

One local council is continuing to deliver swimming lessons despite its leisure centre pools being closed.
Mid Ulster District Council has developed a ‘Virtual Saturday Swim Academy’ for children, thanks to a stroke of creative genius from one of its Swimming Instructors.
The innovation has come from Anna McKeown, who is also a Lifeguard, and sees weekly lessons during the lockdown posted online every Saturday morning, featuring short videos shot by Anna at home, giving parents structured advice on children’s swimming skills and techniques, using everything from garden swings to skate boards to bubble-blowing in the bath.
Chair of the Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, has praised the efforts that Anna has gone to, saying:

“Even though our leisure centres are physically closed, we still have an opportunity to remain connected to our residents through our online channels, and our remit of ensuring we’re contributing to the health and wellbeing of our residents is even more vital in current times.


“Anna has gone the extra mile to create content that supports her pupils and the wider community to remain active, and her personality and passion for teaching children to swim really shines through. The innovative ways that she is able to apply the principles using typical household props and explanation, by for example using a garden swing to practice floating skills, are ingenious!”

To date, Anna’s Virtual Saturday Swim Academy has reached 33,650 residents.  Lessons are published on the Cookstown, Dungannon and Greenvale Leisure Centres Facebook Pages every Saturday morning at 10am.
In common with other leisure centres and private sector gyms, the Council’s leisure services have been offering residents video fitness content through their facilities Facebook platforms, as well as offering tips on staying healthy through sharing of online fitness related content.

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