Free swimming extended in Wales for Armed Forces members and veterans

Tuesday 28th June 2022 2:10 pm
(Brian Matangelo on Unsplash )

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A scheme which allows members of the Armed Forces to swim for free has been continued by the Welsh Government.

Announced on Armed Forces Day last Saturday, June 25, the Welsh Government confirmed the continuation of the Armed Forces Free Swimming scheme.

The scheme enables serving members of the Armed Forces and Veterans to swim for free at participating leisure centres and pools, using their Defence Privilege Card.

The Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme (AFFS) was first introduced in 2016 and represents the continued commitment to provide the Armed Forces community with access to services which meet their specific needs and recognise the service they have given to their country.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “I’m very pleased that we are able to continue to support this scheme which is designed to ensure members of the Armed Forces past and present are able to benefit from the physical, and mental, health benefits swimming can offer.”

Deputy Minister for Social Partnerships, Hannah Blythyn, said: “We are committed to supporting our Armed Forces personnel and recognise how initiatives like this can boost their mental and physical wellbeing. I hope they can enjoy the benefits from this scheme over the next three years.”

Throughout the 2021-22 financial year the scheme was taken up on average each quarter by 569 serving military personnel and veterans across Wales. The trend shows an increase in uptake as restrictions have been lifted, with the last quarter recording a peak of 879 people benefitting from 2641 visits to their local community swimming pools. To support the scheme, £45,000 to be issued every year over a three-year period; in 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25.

Contact your local swimming pool or leisure centre to find out if it is participating in the scheme which supports Armed Forces members in Wales.

Eligible Armed Forces personnel and veterans will be required to produce their Defence Privilege Card and where necessary, to complete an application form for a ‘leisure card’ which is commonly used by leisure centre members when accessing facilities.

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