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British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships.

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A fantastic, fun filled training camp was held which 26 swimmers attended. A huge thank you goes to coaches Neil and Nicola Lacey for organising it. Despite being given only a week’s notice that the pool they had booked was unavailable, they managed to organise alternative venues to keep the team busy for the weekend.

It meant that we all had a day trip to the Isle of Wight where a school gym and a local pool were made available for land training and swimming coaching. It certainly added to the excitement of the weekend. The swimmers all enjoyed the land training with a former member of Team GB before heading off to the pool. The GB coaches worked them hard and made sure every swimmer went home knowing what they needed to focus on to improve their performance.

We had a really sociable evening meal in a local restaurant where the swimmers, parents and carers met up with old friends and made some new. It was a very tired group that headed back over to Portsmouth on the hovercraft that evening.

With no pool available for Sunday morning despite Neil’s best efforts, some kind volunteers took the swimmers bowling whilst the parents held a meeting about the aspirations for the organisation and the plans for the coming year.

Top of the bill was a fabulous, inspirational talk by Mike Goody, a multi gold winning medallist from the Invictus Games who is also an ambassador for the STA. Find out more about him here.

Mike told us his story and the many challenges he had overcome to pursue his love of swimming despite a devastating injury received whilst serving in Afghanistan. He spent a lot of time answering the (many) questions from the audience and stayed afterwards for some great one to one chats with the swimmers. They all share the dream of meeting up again at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.