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Swimming is the fifth most popular activity in the country. Here we detail the work we've been doing to help more people into the pool, what we've learned and how that can help you.

At a glance

The number of people regularly swimming has declined since our Active Lives Adult Survey began, but the sport still remains one of the staple physical activities within England.

Our latest figures show that 4.7 million people swim twice or more a month, making it one of the most popular physical activities in the country.

In order to maintain the numbers of people regularly swimming, and to grow its popularity, we ran a series of pilots in 12 locations around the country.

Here we outline some of what's worked, what hasn't, and present what we know about how to encourage people to swim regularly.

An advert for community swimming pool, on the side of a bus

Our strategy - Uniting the Movement

Part of our commitment with our 2017-2021 Towards an Active Nation strategy was to get more people from every background regularly and meaningfully engaging in sport and physical activity.

This meant appealing to those who weren't being reached, and encouraging those who were once active but had moved away from activity, while not neglecting those who had been and remained active.

Those principles all apply to swimming, which has seen a decline in numbers in recent years.

Our strategy said we would work with partners to help the sector become more productive and sustainable - a promise that has been born out by our work with the swim pilots, and seen results that can be applied across the nation to help increase participation in swimming.

Our new strategy, Uniting the Movement, continues with these aims and intentions to appeal to new audiences and work in local places to connect communities and provide opportunities for all.

Learn more about our Uniting the Movement strategy

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