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Lisa Wood, 33, was told by staff at Smethwick Swimming Centre in the West Midlands her family was unable to come in because she was the only adult. It left nine-year-old Keelie, Alicea, three, Matthew, two, and one-year-old Chanelle “really upset” on Thursday.
The lesiure centre says it has a policy, in line with the rest of the industry, that only allows two children per adult.
But speaking to Birmingham Live, Lisa said: “We got there at 12.50pm for the 1.15pm session, I thought I’d get there early as children can swim for free over the holidays.
“I got in there and asked if I could sign them up for the free-swimming.
“It’s not fair on my children. Keelie and Alicea can swim already, I don’t see the problem.
“I can’t afford to take them on holiday as everything has gone so expensive, so I thought, great, I’d take them swimming over the holidays.
“My two-year-old and three-year-old, they were in tears. They thought we were going swimming. I promised them we were.”
I’m annoyed and really upset, we were going to have a brilliant day then go and get a cone of chips
The mum took her kids on a three-mile round trip for the outing.
Lisa, who lives in Oldbury, West Midlands, added: “The staff said to go and get someone else, I said there is no one.
“They said it’s two kids per person and I said that’s not fair on my kids.
“It’s very important for them to get used to the water.
“It took us all morning to get ready for swimming.
“I’ve complained to the trust and they just said it’s their policy but I don’t think it’s fair.
“I’m annoyed and really upset, we were going to have a brilliant day then go and get a cone of chips.
“Every day I’ve done something with them, taken them to the farm, to parks, they were so excited to go swimming.
“There’s a lot of single parents out there who have three or four kids.”
A spokesman for Sandwell Leisure Trust said: “Swimming pools have an under 8s swimming policy which is common practice in the industry and is in place for safety of all participants. Full details are available on our website here is the link: https://www.slt-leisure.co.uk/activity/swimming/
“Parents can register any children for free swimming up and under 16 years of age. This can be done online at www.slt-leisure.co.uk centres also can help customers register at the centre.
“Each membership/participant does require a separate email to join however our centre teams do try and help anyone struggling to join online or register for free swimming. Parents can register separate email address for each child. Our memberships team can also help any parents to register children by contacting our [email protected]
“We will investigate what happened with the team at the centre and pass this feedback/complaint onto the team also.”
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