Hundreds of youngsters in Dumbarton and the Vale have been staying active over the summer holidays after taking advantage of free swimming and gym access.
The scheme, set up by West Dunbartonshire Council in June, is part of a £1million cost of living fund which allows all pupils to swim for free at local authority facilities. Students aged 12 to 18 can also access free gym sessions.
Both initiatives are in place for the duration of the summer holidays with the aim of easing the financial pressure on families during the break.
In the first three weeks after classes ended, over 1,500 young people took advantage of free swimming sessions in the Meadow Center pool in Dumbarton and at the Clydebank Leisure Centre.
Nearly 900 students accessed the gym, while another 140 took a half-price gym initiation to enable them to use gym equipment independently.
Councilor David McBride, Chairman of West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, said: “This is a fantastic initiative which will help keep children fit over the summer, whilst providing a fun family activity at minimal cost.
“We understand the financial pressures facing our families and we know this is amplified when schools are closed due to additional food and entertainment requirements. That’s why I’m so happy to see so many people take advantage of this offer.I hope this has helped our families keep costs down.
“There is still time to take advantage of this too, so if you have not yet visited one of our pools or gyms, I encourage you to do so before the start of the school year.”
Deputy Chief Councilor Michelle McGinty chairs a cross-party Cost of Living Task Force and added: “As the new West Dunbartonshire administration, our top priority is to ensure that we take real and tangible action. to help our communities with the cost of living.
“These swim and gym sessions are the first of many plans to ease the financial pressure on those who have been hardest hit, and I’m delighted to see that turnout has been so high.”
Free access to leisure
The initiative allows all school students to swim for free between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., while free youth gym sessions are offered to young people aged 12 to 18 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The initiatives will continue until the start of the school year on August 17.
Participants must attend a West Dunbartonshire school or be a resident, and they must have a valid leisure card. The first card is issued free of charge.