The Rio Games this summer has provided great inspiration for everyone to get back into the pool regardless of their ability. For some, getting back into swimming has its barriers. There are 86,700 residents in Suffolk with a disability or impairment, 67.7% of which do not undertake any active recreation which has further implications on their health. Through programmes like iCAN and iCAN Swim they aim to get more people active, enhancing both health and every-day lives.
iCAN swim has been developed in partnership with Suffolk Sport, leisure operators, leisure operators, Suffolk County Council, and Local Authorities, across the county to get the county swimming. iCAN Swim, an extension of Suffolk Sport’s popular iCAN programme, and has been created to get more people swimming by promoting opportunities for those with disabilities, impairments and long-term health conditions to swim, regardless of their age and ability.
Not every disability or impairment occurs from birth, some long-term health conditions and impairments start later in life and may impact on confidence long after learning to swim. iCAN Swim sessions are designed to help them to get swimming again, retraining the body after illness or injury, gaining confidence.
Swimming is a great pastime supporting 90% of body weight, helping those with mobility problems and pain to take part in an activity that helps support the body whilst being active, reducing stress and pain on the body. The sessions are designed to help confidence, independence and for people to meet and make new friends, creating community activities across the county.
iCAN swim sessions are being launched at Crown Pools Ipswich 17th November with Rio Paralympic swimming finalist Ryan Crouch, leisure operators, charities, swimming session participants and organisations working with people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. Following the event sessions will take place across Suffolk in each borough. The disability friendly centres registered to take part in iCAN Swim are as follows:
• Kingfisher Leisure Centre
• Crown Pools, Ipswich
• Stowmarket Leisure Centre
• Mildenhall Swimming Pool
• Newmarket Leisure Centre
• Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre
• Haverhill Leisure Centre
• Deben Pool, Woodbridge
• Felixstowe Leisure Centre
• Leiston Leisure Centre
• Bungay Pool and Gym
• Waterlane Leisure Centre, Lowestoft
These may increase to other centres over time. Sessions vary at each centre and range from swimming instructor-led sessions, sessions with poolside staff available to assist, designated areas and exclusive use of the pool area and sessions integrated with main swim sessions. Swimmers will progress with confidence to attend any swimming sessions on the pool timetable.
Bespoke iCAN Swim website pages have been designed for each centre detailing accessibility information, cost and types of swimming sessions and all offer free swim places to carers. The consistency in website page design and information across all of the centres creates a seamless service across the county and allow participants to know what to expect of the programme in any participating leisure centre.
John Clough, Director, from Suffolk Sport said “This is a unique opportunity with local operators working and learning together to ensure that inclusive swimming sessions are promoted across the county. Our aim is to make swimming an accessible choice for everyone in Suffolk.”
For information on iCAN Swim sessions; days, times and for information about each session please visit www.icanswim.co.uk
iCAN Swim – helping you to swim without boundaries.
If you have any questions about iCAN Swim please call Suffolk Sport during office hours on 01394 444605.
Suffolk Sport, Helping Suffolk to become England’s Most Active County.