YOUNGSTERS in Inverclyde have returned to swimming lessons with a splash after the number of children enrolled in lessons doubled.

Pools were badly disrupted by the pandemic, with many venues forced to temporarily close their doors due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, the Learn to Swim framework - delivered through Scottish Water, Scottish Swimming and leisure trusts - currently has around 70,000 youngsters signed up.

In Inverclyde, Greenock’s Waterfront Leisure Centre swim school has seen an increase from 539 to more than 1,000.

In Port Glasgow, numbers jumped from 58 to 219.

Jenna McCaffrey, whose son Lorcan, five, took the plunge at at the Waterfront complex, said: “I want him to be a strong swimmer because it’s such an important life skill.

"Because of Covid, he’s waited quite a long time but he’s so happy being part of this class.

“He’s so much more confident in and around water now.

"We are also going on holiday this summer, so it is more peace of mind for me as well.”

As part of the Learn to Swim framework, Inverclyde Leisure is offering lessons for all ages and abilities.

Operations manager Stuart Boyle said: “We are delighted with the uptake and growth of our swimming lesson programmes at both the Waterfront Leisure Complex and Port Glasgow swimming pool since we re-opened in April 2021.

“We also work with our partners at Inverclyde Council to deliver lessons to schoolchildren as part of their curriculum, as well as offering free access to our pools to every Inverclyde school child, giving them all the opportunity to learn to swim.”

Learn to Swim backer Brian Lironi, of Scottish Water, said: “While the pandemic put a brake on the entire programme, it is brilliant to see that children are getting back to it in large numbers.

"We are making better progress than we could have hoped for.”

Inverclyde Leisure currently have training and employment opportunities for individuals seeking a career as a swim instructor for youngsters and anyone looking for more information can contact