Scotland’s department of sports ministry has announced the country’s “top-up” program, a system designed to help thousands of primary school children receive learn-to-swim lessons, will see its funding cease.
The four-year program has been discontinued, as the country as a whole is seeing public funding dry up across multiple functions. Approximately £1.72 million was distributed to the program over four years, aimed at improving the statistic that approximately 40% of the children in Scotland moving on to secondary school are classified in the category of being a “non-swimmer”.
Sports minister Jamie Hepburn pointed that Scottish Swimming received more than £5 million over four years in the latest round of funding from SportScotland, which she says is “the largest funding settlement of all the Commonwealth Games sports.”
The announcement on the “top-up” program comes at a time when Scottish Swimming has revealed a new sponsorship deal with Strathmore, a Scottish water brand, which became effective this past May. As a primary partner, Strathmore will offer support for the governing body for swimming and other aquatic disciplines, which will help offset the loss of public funds.
On the new agreement, Scottish Swimming CEO, Forbes Dunlop said, “‘We’re delighted to welcome Strathmore to our growing portfolio of commercial partners. There’s a great natural match between Strathmore Water and what we are about. For both of us, water is an essential part of what we do.”
A marketing executive at Strathmore’s parent company, A.G. Barr, commented, “At Strathmore, we are committed to inspiring and helping everyone – from members of the public to professional athletes – to Do More in their everyday lives. Partnering with Scottish Swimming is another great way to support Scottish athletes and inspire others. We hope that with our support Scottish Swimming can continue to deliver excellent results in the pool.”
Scotland is coming off a stellar outing at 2014’s Commonwealth Games, where the team claimed a total of 3 golds, 3 silvers and 4 bronze. Stars such as Hannah Miley, Dan Wallace and Ross Murdoch made a statement at the Games and contributed the host country’s medal haul.