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Young swimmers' skills regressed during pandemic, federation says

Swim safety experts say many lessons were lost during the pandemic.

A lack of lessons during the pandemic means many kids have lost swimming skills. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

The Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (FSL) says the coronavirus situation has weakened kids' swimming skills.

Swim lessons have been on hold and pools have been closed for long periods of time in many places across Finland.

As schools suspended swimming classes during the pandemic, some kids may not have been in the water for close to two years, according to the FSL.

One in four tweens not confident in water

An earlier report by the federation found that as many as one in four 12 year-olds in Finland cannot swim properly.

The FSL has also expressed concern that cash-strapped municipalities will cut school swimming lessons to save on costs.

Municipalities that don't include swimming lessons in their school curriculum have a higher share of residents who can't swim, according to the federation.

To improve the situation, swimming instructors in the country are now calling on local decision makers to prioritise school swimming lessons in the coming years.

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