We have just read the great article from Sophie Etheridge in the Outdoor Swimmer Magazine about disability access and disabled swimmers, you can read it too by clicking here
Sophie raises some great issues so we thought it would be a good time to let you know that we are really fortunate to have the use of two fantastic venues which are fully accessible and regularly used by a range of swimmers with disabilities, so if you’ve been holding back on open water swimming because of your disability, don’t, we would love to see you and you’ll be made very welcome.
Here are some of the questions Sophie asks herself when deciding where to go, we’ve answered them to hopefully make your decision a little easier when considering swimming with us.
Q. What is the car parking like? Are there disabled parking spaces? Is the car park tarmac?
A. Car parking at Hatfield is tarmac and compacted hardcore at Thrybergh, both venues have accessible parking spaces.
Q. How far is the entry to the water from the car park and what is the terrain like?
A. Both venues are less than 100m from car parking to water access with sloped concrete and tarmac / compacted hardcore paths.
Q. Are there accessible changing rooms?
A. There are accessible changing rooms at both venues, unfortunately due to Covid these are currently closed, but access is available to the accessible toilets at both venues.
Q. Is there somewhere safe to leave my wheelchair?
A. Yes, we have drop off areas waterside where you can leave your wheelchair.
Q. What is the entrance to the water like? Is it a ramp? A beach? Steps? A sudden drop?
Both venues have gradual sand / gravel water access
Q. Will there be anyone available to assist me getting in and out the water?
A. Yes, working within current Covid guidelines and with PPE we can offer assistance in and out if the water.
Q. If I leave my crutches on the bank when I’m in the water, can the venue guarantee they will be there when I get out?
A. Yes, we have spotters waterside and secure bag drop areas where you can leave your crutches safely. We may paint the toe nails of your false legs but thats done out of love and childishness.
Q. Will I be allowed to start an event in the water?
A. Yes we’ll always do our best to accommodate every swimmers requirements where practicable.
Hopefully Sophies questions may have been some of your own so will help you make the decision to have a swim, our coaches have experience in helping swimmers that are blind, deaf, have spinal injuries, are amputees or have cerebral palsy.
We believe in the social model of disability and will do everything we can to help remove any barriers that may exist for anyone who would like to swim with us. Swimyourswim is a family and we would love to welcome you. We exist to enable all swimmers, regardless of age, ability or experience to get into open water and enjoy swimming whatever their goal (or non-goal) might be.
Open water is a fantastic experience so come and join us soon.