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Ealing Swim Club at Gurnell

Swimming event for those with sight loss

A free swimming event is being put on this Saturday (15 October) for people with sight loss. It is an opportunity to develop your confidence, regardless of age and ability.

The afternoon will consist of two one-hour beginners’ sessions, for those looking to increase skills and confidence – one for those aged 14 and below, and another for those aged 15 and above. These sessions will be suitable for non-swimmers. Running alongside these sessions there will also be two Learn to Train classes lasting an hour and a half each, for those who can swim 25metres or more unaided. All sessions will have coaching support.

It is being held at Northolt Leisure Centre, in Eastcote Lane Northolt, between 1.30-4pm. To take part you need to pre-register and arrive at 12.45pm. Participants can choose to take advantage of a meet and greet service from Northolt Underground Station on the day, where they can be met and escorted to the leisure centre.

The event is being put on by a partnership between Ealing Swimming Club, Metro Blind Sports and the Ealing Vision Strategy Group.

Ealing Council is part of the Ealing Vision Strategy Group, which is made up of representatives from the various organisations that support people with visual impairment. This also includes Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group, Moorfields Eye Clinic at Ealing Hospital, Ealing Local Optometric Committee, the Ealing voluntary sector, and service users; with support and additional expertise from the Thomas Pocklington Trust.

Chris Jenkins, partnership manager at the Thomas Pocklington Trust said: “This will be an ideal local opportunity for those with sight difficulties to develop swimming skills and confidence. The session will take place in a quieter pool and changing area. Participants will receive group and one-to-one support where needed in the water. Were you inspired by what you saw or heard from the recent Rio Paralympics?  And you would like to give swimming a go? Or you know someone with sight difficulties that might be interested? You can even just turn up and register on the day. Why not take the plunge and give it a try?”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “The council is pleased to support this event as part of the Ealing Vision Strategy Group. Making opportunities available for those with sight loss to enjoy activities like swimming in a supported environment is very important. Not just because it is a wonderful form of exercise but also because going to the local leisure centre is a good way to socialise. So, building confidence through these sessions is a great idea.

“The borough’s recently published Loneliness and Isolation Charter sets out how the council will work with representatives from the various groups who support people with visual impairment to deal with factors that could lead people with sight loss to experience isolation – and hopefully we will see more fantastic events like this one in the future.”

Interested in taking part?

For more information and a registration form contact Fred Burley on 0742 878 3509 or by email at fred@swimesc.co.uk

Alternatively, visit www.metroblindsport.org

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