The Beginning Straight 2 Swimming kicked off on the 4th of October at Olympia Leisure Centre in Belfast with 22 scoliosis kids and young people joining up on the day. It was a great session and our coaches saw some real potential. Eimear took the decision to split the weekly sessions into a non-swimmers and a swimmers group. We’ve watched the swimmers improve technique and fitness. They all certainly seem much more confident in the water and have a lot of fun. The non-swimmers have almost disappeared now because they can nearly all swim and are improving all the time! We’ve even had to promote some into the more advanced group.
Official S2S Launch
We officially launched the Program on Dec 13th with The Lord Mayor’s help – thank you Nichola Mallon! You all looked really smart in your Straight2Swimming T-shirts though it looks like a couple of “big kids” sneaked in at the back. Everyone was very impressed by the swimming and enjoyed a bit of a party afterwards. Your parents and some of the bigger swimmers went to hear some of our scoliosis experts tell them what we hope to achieve this year and how we might help you and your parents. We had expert and special scoliosis physiotherapists, doctors, a sports nutritionist, a parent of a boy who grew up with scoliosis and a psychologist. The TV crews from BBC and RTE news came along to see what we were up to and we were on both TV channels as well as on the radio and in The Irish News. All of you made it onto TV and some of you even got interviewed. Iain thinks he’s a big celebrity now because he kept trying to get in front of the cameras!
After all that excitement we had a break for Christmas, Eimear got engaged and more people heard about you and wanted to join too. We have 35 swimmers now and some of you are even doing extra swimming sessions on your own I hear. The best thing for us apart from the swimming is to see you all make such good friends and have fun. Your parents are all making new friends as well and that helps you too.
We hope that some of our teenagers will be able to join a group from Dublin and London to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in August. The organizer will come and talk to you and your parents about it next Saturday 28th February to see if any of you might be interested. City of Belfast Club BBQ is on Sunday 21st of June and we would love you to come. Remember you are members of a very special club that is part of our much bigger swimming club and all your coaches will be there too.