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Swimming expert promotes water safety

Shrewsbury-based Theo Millward, the director of Swimtime (a leading UK franchisor in the swimming education industry) travelled to Dubai to team up with the International Swim School Association (ISSA).

The think tank event was an attempt to save 5,000,000 lives from drowning over the next decade as drowning remains one of the leading causes of unintentional injury-related deaths worldwide.

Founded in 1998, Swimtime has offices in Longden Coleham and is the largest independent swim school in the UK.

They teach tens of thousands of people to swim every week through their BFA (British Franchise Association) franchise network. In the last two years they have won the HSBC BFA Digital Transformation award and the HSBC BFA Franchisee Trailblazer Award.

Theo and members of his Swimtime team travelled to Dubai to take part in an intensive four-day think tank, alongside 12 industry leaders from seven different countries. 

Using their combined experience, they created a comprehensive toolkit to enable individuals across the world to establish and run their own swim schools and make a difference in their local communities. The event was sponsored by the John and Sally Coutts Foundation.

The toolkit the team created included an operations manual, teaching resources, certificate and comprehensive lesson plans. They also created a Global Accreditation Standard, enabling swimming schools to benchmark themselves against best practice.

Theo said: "At Swimtime, we are dedicated to promoting water safety and teaching people to swim. As one of the first swim schools in the world to be awarded the International Swim School Accreditation (ISSA), it was an honour and a privilege to be asked to join them in their mission to reduce drowning-related fatalities globally.

"It was inspiring to work alongside other swimming sector professionals, and to have created this invaluable resource which will undoubtedly save lives across the world.”