19 February 2008>
Swimming sessions for children and young people with a disability have proved a great success in Caerphilly county borough.
An official launch of Caerphilly County Borough Council's Disability Swimming Programme was held at Newbridge Leisure Centre on Valentine's Day to celebrate its success to date. On the night, children with a disability took part in a free swim session while their parents and launch guests watched with excitement.
Ryan Smith of Caerphilly is one of many local disabled children who have benefitted from the disability swim sessions. His mum, Sandra said, "My family and I are immensely grateful to Disability Sport Officer Paul Taylor and the leisure centre managers in the county borough for committing to this initiative. Now profoundly disabled children who cannot access public swim or mainstream children's swimming classes, have got the opportunity to experience the delights of the water in a safely managed environment."
Since the summer of 2006 Ryan has been enrolled in disability swimming lessons at Caerphilly Leisure Centre. He now competes for Caerphilly Dragons Disability Swim Club, founded by Carol Roberts, whose son David Roberts, MBE, is a paralympic triple gold medallist in swimming.
Ryan was recently selected to represent Wales in a national disability swimming event, which will be held in Sheffield on the 1-2 March.
Sandra said, "Within the space of 18 months we have experienced the development of a profoundly disabled teenager with little confidence, sterling to commitment to attend all regional galas with the Dragons, to earn his place representing Wales in the National Junior Disability Swim event in March."
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Mayor, Cllr Allen Williams, who attended the event, said, "The authority is committed to provide exercise and sporting opportunities for people from all walks of life, and I am delighted to see that the disability swimming classes have proved such a great success with disabled children and their parents."
For further information about disability swimming lessons in your area please contactPaul Taylor on 01443 863225.
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