Swimming superstars Duncan Scott and Toni Shaw made a splash as they visited Barrhead to encourage more youngsters to take the plunge.

Olympic champion Duncan and Paralympic medallist Toni were at the Barrhead Foundry to launch an extension to the national Learn to Swim programme.

It will see thousands of youngsters across Scotland being given the chance to learn how to become confident and safe swimmers.

The programme is being delivered in more than 160 pools, thanks to a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water.

Duncan, who became the first British athlete to bag four medals at an Olympics when he won gold and three silvers in the pool at Tokyo 2020, told the Barrhead News: “The partnership will continue to raise awareness for learning to swim as a life skill and offer a great opportunity for the next generation coming through.”

Toni, who won bronze at the 2020 Paralympics, added: “Learning to swim is one of the best things a child can do, providing not only a life skill but countless opportunities to have fun and be safe and confident around water.”

The Learn to Swim programme is aimed at youngsters from birth to 11 and provides high-quality teaching at least once a week, which progresses through a series of lessons and levels over a number of years.

Around 2,500 children take part in swimming lessons offered at the four pools operated by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL).

Anthony McReavy, ERCL chief executive, said: “It was brilliant to welcome two of Scotland’s most celebrated athletes, Duncan and Toni, to Barrhead Foundry’s pool.

“Enthusiastic swimmers from our Learn to Swim programme were given the opportunity to ask them questions about their careers.

“This session was inspirational for all involved and we’ve no doubt the visit will spark a new wave of enthusiasm for learning to swim.”

Brian Lironi, director of corporate affairs at Scottish Water, added: “We are delighted to support a new generation of children who are safer, happier and healthier through the delivery of the Learn to Swim lessons.”

Euan Lowe, chief executive officer at Scottish Swimming, said: “Continuing our valuable partnership with Scottish Water means that not only can more children learn to be confident and competent swimmers, we can create a generation of happy, healthy and active young people.”

For more information about the initiative, visit https://learntoswim.scot.