Today children live in fear and sadly parents are to blame. The Moors murders of the 1960’s have had a devastating effect on childhood. Shockwaves spread across the country as feelings of unease and insecurity took root in the mind of every parent and child. Fear of strangers has been growing steadily and has impacted markedly on the experience of childhood. Whereas children used to enjoy the freedom of the countryside, spending much of their time cycling, swimming and exploring, fears for the safety of children today, mean that most are kept securely indoors.
A new survey of 1,500 children 6-15 years old, found that 15% were unable to swim, one in ten could not ride a bike, and a quarter had never run more than 400 meters. Swimming in particular was highlighted as especially enjoyable for children, and parents are encouraged to take their children along to the swimming pool to enjoy some family fun together. As more and more cars crowd our streets, children have been pushed out of their former playground. However a new initiative is designed to combine the joys of cycling with wild swimming. The Outdoor Swimming Society has teamed up with Sustrans to show outdoor swimming spots on their online cycling map in the future so that families can cycle to nearby swims and it’s hoped that the map will be available later in the summer. www.sustrans.org.uk/map This could prove to be a refreshing change for children who are becoming overly attached to their computer screens. A new swimming computer game produced with assistance from swimming star Michael Phelps has been unveiled this week by X BOX. My advice is for parents and children to spend some fun time together enjoying the great British countryside. To find a dip near you take a look at Rob Fryers new Wild Swimming Guide available for £13.00 from Amazon.co.uk from May 15th, 2011. Alternatively get a copy signed by Rob himself on Sunday May 15th from his book launch at the Farleigh and District Swimming Club from 2.00 pm. This will be an opportunity to meet some of the famous authors of wild swimming books; Daniel Start (Wild Swimming and Wild Swimming Coast) Kate Rew (Wild Swim) and Chris Ayriss (Hung Out to Dry – Swimming and British Culture) Jean Perraton (Swimming against the Stream) and Susan Parr (The story of Swimming – available in the autumn) see you in the river!
Farleigh membership: You can pay £1 per adult and 50p per (accompanied) child per day until you reach 50% more than the annual sub.