SportsAble was due to restart at the Magnet Leisure Centre in July, but sadly it was vandalised during Lockdown and not viable to reopen. We are now waiting for the new Braywick Centre to open in mid September.
Sharon and Chris have made 3 visits during the construction to see if the suggestions Chris made to the architects have been achieved. And YES! We have a lift to allow swimmers to be gently lowered into the water, either from standing holding a rail or seated in an aqua wheelchair. Permanent sloping steps with a handrail either side will provide good support and there are a variety of options for changing including a Changing Places room with hoist and bed. Another full-size room has a shower and toilet plus there are several with wider doors and extra deep benches. There are also several private showers. Truly a pool for the 21st Century.
As part of your membership you are entitled to these free swimming sessions, something which many of our members enjoy each week.
The Centre has large, wheelchair accessible changing rooms and shower room. We also have ‘wet’ wheelchairs for showering and transfers and a hoist to get swimmers safely and easily in and out of the main pool.
The two pools differ in size and are perfect for our sessions. The larger of the two can be sectioned off and we tend to use half of the pool for lane swimming and half as an open space. The smaller pool is perfect for young children, relaxation and exercise and there are two Jacuzzis to relax in.
Many of our swimmers enjoy our session for the fun and the socializing that it provides. We encourage our swimmers to reach their personal goals. Some swimmers come after a spinal injury and want to learn to swim with their new challenges. Some members come with conditions which cause pain and may start with gentle movement, walking in the water and, if possible, eventually swimming. Others enjoy swimming in lanes of their own and all swimmers have the opportunity to improve their strokes with the help of our swimming instructor.
Newlands Girls’ School
Newlands’ Pool offers disabled access to changing rooms, toilet, changing tables and poolside. Hoist on poolside and shower chair.
These sessions are for 5 – 14 year olds and take place on a Thursday: first session is 4.45 – 5.30pm, second session 5:30 – 6:15pm, term-time only. We have the pool to ourselves and offer different levels of swimming, from movement in the water, learning to swim, improving strokes or proceeding on to disability swimming competitions.
Section leader Chris Humphris has a wealth of experience working with disabled swimmers and Sharon Bridge, our swimming instructor, has in addition trained to run deaf-friendly swimming lessons and has experience working with children and adults with visual impairments.
On hand each week are a team of fantastic volunteers and volunteer lifeguards. They are fully trained and know how to support people in the water, encourage them, make them welcome and most importantly make the sessions fun for everyone.
Sharon says “Without our team of friendly volunteers SportsAble would be unable to carry out these important sessions.”