Olympic medallist Steve Parry announced as Swim Safe Chair

Olympian Steve Parry has been appointed Chair of Swim Safe – our national outdoor swimming programme which teaches children aged 7-14 how to stay safe in open water – and will take up his role on 11 October.
Olympian Steve Parry

Photo: Stuart Franklin

Steve is a committed campaigner for ensuring all children have access to swimming and water safety lessons. Talking about his appointment, Steve said:

‘It is essential that children learn how to be safe in and around water. 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 over 142,000 lives since it started nearly 200 years ago.’

As one of Britain’s greatest ever swimmers, Steve retired at the top of his game after winning an Olympic Bronze Medal in 2004 in Athens. Since his retirement Steve has created Total Swimming which has revolutionised swimming across the UK. It’s the nation’s first temporary pool programmes which has taught 160,000 children to swim in some of Britain’s most deprived areas.

Our Swim Safe Project Manager, Guy Botterill, is delighted to welcome Steve into the Swim Safe team, he said:

‘This is an exciting time for Swim Safe. Since we launched in 2013 we have expanded from one site in Bude to over 20 sites across the UK. More importantly, we have enabled thousands of young people to learn vital life-saving skills that they may otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn.

‘Steve will play an integral role in helping us achieve our vision of every child across the UK and Ireland having access to a Swim Safe session. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Swim Safe Board and will be a great advocate for the programme.’

Across the UK this year over 16,000 children took part in a Swim Safe session and it was the first time that sessions were held in Northern Ireland and Scotland.