Changes to the Free Swim Initiative

A revised Free Swimming Initiative, funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by Sport Wales in partnership with Local Authorities, will be introduced in public pools across Wales from October 2019 onwards.

The revised initiative comes after an independent review of the current scheme found it to be no longer fit for purpose.

"The review made it very clear that change is needed", says Graham Williams, Director of Community Engagement at Sport Wales. "There's no denying the previous successes of free swimming, or the fact that it has helped to get thousands swimming since its inception in 2003. However, the review concluded that the current approach is not cost-effective, nor does it make the biggest contribution to increasing levels of activity. To highlight the extent of the current performance: The number of young people benefiting from the scheme is in significant decline and this has been the case since 2013/14. For the 60 plus age group, the review estimated that only 6% of the target population currently access the programme. It is against this very challenging backdrop that policy changes have been decided by The Welsh Government''.

From October, the changes will see a reduction in the overall budget available which will in turn impact on the number of sessions available. For young people there will be free sessions every weekend throughout the year with additional sessions in the summer holidays. Pools will also be offering some free and possibly subsidised sessions for over 60's.


Torfaen Leisure Trust has received a 50% cut in funding as an outcome of the changes to the Free Swim Initiative. In line with the cut in funding, Torfaen Leisure Trust has developed a customer programme that addresses the areas of most need as identified in the independent review.

Free Swimming for under 16's will be available at;

Fairwater Leisure Centre - Saturday's 12:15pm until 1:15pm

Cwmbran Stadium - Saturday's 2pm until 4pm

Pontypool Active Living Centre - Saturday's 2pm until 4pm

2 additional sessions will also be available throughout the week at each pool during school holidays.


For people over the age of 60 the following Free Splash & Fit Sessions are available;

Pontypool Active Living Centre - Monday's and Thursday's 10am until 11am

Splash & Fit sessions allow customers use of the pool with the added benefit of an instructor available for advice and guidance where required.


Torfaen Leisure Trust also has a number of subsidised swimming opportunities, including Family Swim and Subsidised Swim Cards.

Family Swim

Subsidised Family Swim sessions are priced at £6.90 for 2 adults and up to 3 children (full price £13.80). These sessions are available at;

Pontypool Active Living Centre - Saturday's 12noon until 2pm and Sunday's 12noon until 3.30pm

Cwmbran Stadium - Saturday's 12noon until 2pm and Sunday's 9am until 10am

Fairwater Leisure Centre - Thursday's and Friday's 3:30pm until 4pm


Subsidised Swim Cards

Junior Swim cards are available to children under the age of 17 and give full access to all Public Swims and Lane Swims (14+). These are just £4 per month and will be issued on the 1st of each month.

Senior Swim Cards are available to people over the age of 60 and would allow access to all Public & Lane Swims, plus 4 Swimming Lessons per month. These are just £15 per month and are issued on the 1st of each month.

Subsidised Swim Cards will be available on the 14th October. The initial card will run from the 14th October until the 31st October and will be priced at £2 for a Junior Card and £7.50 for the Senior Over 60's Card.

Monthly Cards will be available to purchase on the first of each month commencing the 1st November and priced at £15 for a Senior Card and £4 for a Junior Card.

(Subsidised swim cards are subject to availability)


Here are our updated pool programmes;

Pool times WEB