SOUTH Ayrshire Council have become the first local authority in Scotland to adopt a new innovative kids’ swimming aid.

The Turtle Pack has been introduced to South Ayrshire Leisure and Sport’s ‘Learn 2 Swim’ programme, which is currently teaching over 2,300 kids per week.

The swimming aids were implemented in lessons for kids as of last week, with the aid proving to be a hit already.

Originally developed by acclaimed swimming tutor Michael Harkins, Turtle Park has won numerous competitions and prizes.

The company appointed Dr Lena Wilson CBE, the former head of Scottish Enterprise, as its chair earlier this year and has been sold to customers in 23 countries worldwide.

Made up of neoprene best and a set of three stacked foam shells that decrease in size, the Turtle Pack Swimming aid is worn in the pool with shells being removed as the child grows more confident in the water.

The arms-free approach allows children to learn the correct strokes whilst the backpack-like turtle ensures that they maintain the correct body position in the pool.

The shells themselves are multifunctional and can be used as floats or toys, meaning the new equipment is fun for keen swimmers of all ability levels.

Katie Campbell, Aquatics Development Officer for the council, said: “We’re looking at ways to make the programme even better so we started to trial the Turtle Packs.

“We found the packs are a fun way to promote the advantages of swimming to children; armbands and discs can be quite restrictive and the Turtle Packs allow much more freedom of movement so they are really practical too.

“I hope our new Turtle Packs encourage even more kids to take the plunge.”