Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Swimming day success in West Lothian

“Events such as these are essential in order to raise the awareness of disability swimming and help us to identify talented performers." Gary Fraser, Disability Sport Regional Development Manager

A Disability Swimming Development Day held in partnership with Xcite West Lothian Leisure, Scottish Disability Sport and Scottish Swimming recently attracted interest from participants from across Scotland.

The free swimming event took place at Xcite Bathgate on Saturday 10 January, with the aim of promoting and raising awareness of swimming for all ages with a physical or learning disability or sensory impairment.

Sessions were led by qualified coaches with extensive knowledge and experience in the sport, who have helped highlight disability swimming pathways throughout West Lothian. There was a really good mix from beginners to club swimmers in attendance. Swimmers were encouraged by six time Paralympic swimmer Jim Anderson OBE who came along to the event with his medals for spectators and participants to view.

Angela McCowan, Aquatics Activities Co-ordinator @ Xcite said: “We were really impressed by the high volume of responses and the amount of positive feedback generated by event. Participants really enjoy themselves, and I think having a successful Paralympic athlete such as Jim Anderson there inspired many to follow in his footsteps and continue pursuing swimming activities.”

There was also an information hub on the day for swimmers and their parents to find out more about opportunities, pathways and support available locally and across Scotland for swimming opportunities.

Paul Wilson, Disability Performance Development Manager @ Scottish Swimming said “It was great to see so many youngsters coming forward for the event, credit to Angela and the Xcite team for making it such a successful day. Hopefully all of the attendees will take advantage of the opportunities offered to them and who knows we may even see one or two make a name for themselves in the competitive side of the sport like Jim.”

Scottish Disability Sport’s Gary Fraser, Disability Sport Regional Development Manager: East of Scotland, also said

“Events such as these are essential in order to raise the awareness of disability swimming and help us to identify talented performers. In addition, it allows us to grow the sport at grass roots level.  The young people will be signposted to the appropriate club or opportunity and we look forward to seeing them progress up the pathway.”