ROUND JERSEY SWIM 2018
The disability swimming section has started its virtual Jersey challenge which involves members collectively swimming the equivalent of the island’s 50 kilometre circumference. The challenge started on April 15th and finishes on July 15th, the day after the actual swim around Jersey.
Everyone taking part is put into a team and each week they spend the first half an hour of the session completing the challenge, clocking up the distance with each lap. There are also ‘Lucky Chance Cards’ which teams collect when they reach certain milestones. The cards may say ‘there is a strong current helping you along so swimmers distances are doubled this week’ or ‘you have reached a set of rocks and need to work as a team to get through the obstacles we put in the lane’.
Sharon Bridge adds, “The challenge is a fun way to encourage all our disabled swimmers to undertake essential stamina work at every session. After the initial half hour, the normal swimming session resumes for the rest of the evening.”
Members can still register for this challenge and new swimmers are very welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01628 627690 to register.
Five members of the Aqua Stars, SportsAble’s junior swimming squad, returned triumphant from the recent CP Para Swimming Gala in Winchester. Each of the youngsters had to complete two events, at 10, 25 or 50 metres, in a choice of breaststroke or backstroke.
“I am so proud of them all,” says Swim Coach Sharon Bridge. “They were all really excited for the competition and on the day were full of adrenaline and really swam well, each taking home a medal. “I am especially proud of one little chap who has only recently returned to our sessions following a long spell with his leg in a cage. I am also so proud of our fantastic volunteers who not only assisted the swimmers but were generally very helpful throughout the day – they even showed the pool staff how to use their own hoist!”
INTRODUCTION TO Swimming with SportsAble
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.”