Older folk get in the swim for free

Tommy, 73, enjoys the pool at Hadrian Leisure Centre, Wallsend.
Tommy, 73, enjoys the pool at Hadrian Leisure Centre, Wallsend.

Over-60s can make a splash at swimming pools in North Tyneside.

All of the council’s pools will offer free swimming to over-60s every Friday, from tomorrow.

Free swim Fridays have been introduced to encourage regular use of the pools among older residents.

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We have four fantastic pools, with friendly staff on hand to give a warm welcome to those who may not have been swimming for a while. We encourage swimming for all ages, but it’s particularly important that we support our older residents to use the pool regularly as a way of looking after their health.”

Tommy, 73, from Wallsend, was a non-swimmer when he first started going to the pool at Hadrian Leisure Centre seven years ago. He now swims five or six times each week, motivated by the benefits to his health and also the social aspects of meeting swimmers and staff.

He said: “I was terrified of water before the staff taught me to swim but now swimming is part of my daily routine and I feel lost without it. I’m fitter now at 73 than I was when I retired; the swimming has made me more flexible with fewer aches and pains. I started out as a non-swimmer, now I swim a mile in the morning.”

Free swim Fridays run at Waves in Whitley Bay; Tynemouth Pool; The Lakeside Centre in Killingworth; and Hadrian Leisure Centre in Wallsend. There’s no need to book, just provide proof of age.