YOUNG women have been invited to take the plunge with free swimming and coaching sessions in Clitheroe.

Ribblesdale pool is offering an eight-week swimming and coaching programme for women aged 17 to 25.

The programme has been funded by Ribble Valley Borough Council and Lancashire Sport as part of Sport England’s high-profile This Girl Can campaign, which aims to boost participation in sport among young women.

The programme offers weekly coaching sessions on a flexible basis, so that participants can fit them around their home and work life, and on completion they will receive a free one-month membership to the popular pool.

Stuart Carefoot, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee, said: “Swimming is a low impact exercise that works almost every muscle in your body without putting your joints under stress and a gentle half-hour swim can burn over 200 calories, while a fast front crawl can burn as many calories as an eight-mile run.”

Ribblesdale pool reopened earlier this year after a £250,000 three-month refurbishment featuring extensive modernisation to its reception and changing rooms.

There are just 50 places on the programme, which is open to young women who are not currently engaged in sport, and further details are available from Ribblesdale Pool on 01200 424825.