New swimming sessions for disabled

NEW swimming sessions for disabled people are set to make a splash in Ipswich from next week.Disability charity Optua is introducing its Big Splash sessions to the town from Thursday.

NEW swimming sessions for disabled people are set to make a splash in Ipswich from next week.

Disability charity Optua is introducing its Big Splash sessions to the town from Thursday.

Groups already meet in Bury St Edmunds, Leiston, Stowmarket and Sudbury and there are also plans to start sessions in Woodbridge later this year.

The Ipswich sessions will be held at Crown Pools and provide supervised swimming opportunities for people with disabilities without the noise and crowds of public sessions.

The Ipswich sessions are being launched thanks to a grant of £4,862 from the Awards for All lottery grants programme.

David Finn, manager of Optua Leisure, said: “The Big Splash is open to all disabled people, whatever their disability and level of swimming experience.

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“The sessions are already popular in other parts of the county and we want to provide more opportunities like this for disabled people in Suffolk.

“I'm very pleased that we're now able to run sessions in Ipswich and we're grateful to Awards for All for their funding.

“We're still keen to find more volunteers to help us run the sessions and we'd love to hear from anyone who can help.”

Phil Lown, manager of Crown Pools, said: “We're really pleased to be working in partnership with Optua and look forward to more people with disabilities using our facilities.

“We are aware just how popular these Big Splash sessions are and are pleased that Ipswich is now being added to the list.”

Optua is working in partnership with Ipswich Disability and Sport Forum, Ipswich Swimming Forum, Crown Pools and volunteer centres to run the sessions.

A hoist and accessible steps or ramp will be provided along with poolside wheelchairs, fully accessible changing facilities and specialised water support equipment.

Anyone interested in taking part in Big Splash sessions, or in volunteering to help, can call Optua Leisure on 01473 836770. The sessions are from 2pm to 3pm on Thursdays.

N Will you be using the new facilities? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK:

www.optua.org.uk

Big Splash sessions are already attended by around 90 disabled people every week across the county

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