WINSFORD Lifestyle Centre has recruited a giant abominable snowman in a bid to encourage more young people to take up swimming.

As tall as a house, the huge 'big foot' is the centrepiece of a new inflatable obstacle course at Winsford Lifestyle Centre’s swimming pool.

The ‘Have You Tried It Yeti’ challenge is designed to get more young people using the pool and staying active over the winter period. Staff and their children put the Yeti challenge to the test last weekend before its official public launch.

Julie Kirkham, Winsford Lifestyle Centre manager, expects the Yeti to become a huge hit, particularly with those planning pool parties and celebrations at the centre.

On behalf of the council, Brio Leisure was awarded £264,000 by Sport England earlier in the year as part of a national £3 million campaign to reverse the decline in public swimming. Cheshire West and Chester Council was one of 12 local authorities selected to take part in the Swim Local pilot.

Statistics uncovered a 20 per cent fall in swim numbers over the last decade. Brio, which operates the council’s public pools across West Cheshire, quizzed more than 1,000 members of the public to discover some of the reasons behind the falling numbers.

Being fun was one of the key areas locally which was raised, especially with younger audiences. So Brio has responded , and it’s anticipated that Yeti challenge will make swimming more appealing and accessible

Elly McFahn, Brio Leisure managing director, said Cheshire West and Chester residents wanted more accessibility and better facilities.

She said: “People swim for a variety of reasons. Some for health benefits or part of their fitness regime, others because it provides a fantastic family activity.

“We hope the new attraction at Winsford will be hugely popular and encourages more young people to enjoy the whole pool experience, and have fun with their friends, whilst reaping the health benefits overall which swimming brings.

“This is the beginning of a plan to promote the availability of swimming facilities across west Cheshire, along with more information on timetables and accessibility, particularly where swimming pools are also used during the day by local schools."