Swimming champion, 10, banned from wearing goggles




Alex Crossland-Robins, who has won more than 50 medals and trophies, was told he could not wear the goggles under health and safety guidelines.
The move came despite a sign in the swimming baths which reads: “Goggles and swim caps are always a good idea to protect your eyes and hair from chlorine.”

The boy has been a member of a swimming club since he was four years-old said he needed to wear goggles during training to help protect his eyes from the chlorine in the water and also to help him swim in straight lines.
But despite several complaints from his furious parents, including one to the Secretary of State for Education, coalition-run Oldham Council in Greater Manchester has refused to back down,
Guidelines state that only competent swimmers can wear goggles – and only they at the discretion of the swimming teacher.
Now Alex’s parents Angela Crossland and David Robins, 52, a local business specialist, have stopped their son from attending the swimming lessons with St Anne’s Primary School in Royton, Oldham until the issue is resolved.
Miss Crossland, 43, said, “At first they said it was a health and safety issue, yet there’s a massive sign in the baths saying for health and safety wear your goggles to protect your eyes from the chlorine. I don’t think they realised that sign was there.
“I get stinging in my eyes from the chlorine simply by watching Alex from the poolside. So if you’re swimming for a long time in the water that chlorine must really hurt.
“I just want the council to use a bit of common instead of being tied up by red tape. Guidelines say competent swimmers will be allowed to wear goggles at the discretion of the swimming teacher.
“I think he’s missing the opportunity to show how well he can do. If he does make it to the Olympics we won’t be wanting to turn around and say the school and council helped to get him there.”
Alex has been a member of Royton Swimming Club for the past six years and trains four times a week.
Miss Crossland, who works as a welfare officer for the club, said, “He used to kick his feet in the water as a little baby, just a few weeks old, so he’s never been afraid of the water. It’s just natural to him.
“Alex wants to be a professional swimmer. In his mind he wants to swim in the 2020 Olympics. If he keeps going he can do it.”
Last year the school issued guidelines stating that during the swimming lessons, which they conducted weekly at the local baths for one term each year.
Goggles would be prohibited for beginners and improvers, but could be worn by competent swimmers at the discretion of the swimming teacher.
But when Alex asked if he could wear his goggles during lessons last year, he was told it was against the rules and so his parents stopped him from swimming with the school as they felt swimming without them could be detrimental to his training and health.
His mother said: “It’s really hard without goggles, you end up swimming with your eyes over of the water because the chlorine hurts your eyes. Last year Alex said there was a girl sat there crying because she wanted to wear her goggles and they wouldn’t let her.”
Tory Councillor Jack Hulme, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “Our swimming teachers follow established guidelines. These state that beginners and improvers – unless they have a medical condition – should not wear goggles. That is so that they can get used to eye contact with the water.
“Goggles are also usually only worn in, for example, at a prolonged training session for more advanced swimmers.”

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Ammara said,

    *sigh*
    so lame


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