MANAGERS at a city pool hope a major revamp of swimming lessons will see mammoth waiting lists reduced by half.
Learners are currently having to wait between 18-24 months to access lessons at Inverness Leisure, but following the introduction of a new scheme, it is hoped the wait can be decreased.
Eilidh Maclean, activities development manager at Inverness Leisure, has been reviewing the current Learn to Swim scheme at the Bught Park facilities and has come up with a new plan.
The revamped scheme will now see the previous Parent & Toddler lessons replaced by a new Adult & Child five-stage activity programme and the after school scheme will also face changes.
Miss Maclean explained how some of the problems were caused in the previous system: "I noted that once a child was in Parent & Toddlers they effectively had their place from then on. This ‘lock-in’ position was unfair as there is only so much a baby can learn in the early years.
"In the new scheme, the criteria focuses much more on helping the adult with skills and practices they can use with their child outside of the lesson programme.
"For this reason, we have designed a new five-stage programme on six-week blocks where activity classes will be based on the child’s age. At the end of the block parents will be given an information leaflet on what they have been learning and how they can continue to build and develop their child’s confidence outwith the scheme."
She added: "This means there will be no waiting list for the new Adult & Child lessons therefore, depending on the child’s age, participants can get access on a ‘first come first served’ basis to any of the five classes effectively every six weeks. And as those in the classes are not automatically progressed, it makes the system far fairer than the scheme previously operated."
Miss Maclean added: "We hope our customers understand there may be some level of disruption over the forthcoming months as the changes are implemented. However, when we are now looking at teaching far more children the life-saving skill of swimming than we were before, we really believe parents will be understanding as they start to see the alterations come to fruition.
"We will have a section on our website dedicated to charting the changes as well as details on notice boards in the centre itself."