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Whale of a time at disabled gala

PUBLISHED: 15:07 18 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 March 2010

WE had a splashing time!

Disabled swimmers from all over East Anglia had great fun at the Evening Star sponsored Lions Club Gala.

People of all ages had a whale of a time at the two-hour event at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

WE had a splashing time!

Disabled swimmers from all over East Anglia had great fun at the Evening Star sponsored Lions Club Gala.

People of all ages had a whale of a time at the two-hour event at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

Lions Clubs from Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Ipswich and Stowmarket organised the fourth annual gala in which 50 swimmers took part.

"Everyone with a disablement can take part – adults or children and their mums and dads if they are prepared to have a go," said Bill Murton, president of Hadleigh Lions.

"It is a free event and everyone who goes into the water gets a medal. The idea came about four years ago, and it was thought it would be nice to do something. When they come out of the water and give you a great big grin, it is something that you just can't beat.

"You get people who don't think they can swim, and they get into the water and swim. It just adds to the thrill of it all. Plus everyone gets the thrill of winning something."

Freedom

The swimmers from as far afield as north Essex and south Norfolk had the freedom of the pool for the evening.

Ipswich and Norwich Co-op sponsored the drinks and JJ Wilson's fruit and vegetable shop handed out free bananas.

Categories included walking across the pool, widths, width relays, lengths and length relays.

Terry Cloud of Ipswich Life Saving Club and his team were on hand to provide support.

Parent Gill Harris, 56, of Claydon went along to the event with husband Gordon, 58, sons Steve, 33 and Richard, 30.

"It is brilliant because there is not really much done for our sons socially," she said. "Steve and Richard love it. They talk about it afterwards asking when they can come here again, and there are some brilliant swimmers here, there is no doubt about it."

Evening Star editor, Nigel Pickover, said: "It is a very good event, and we are delighted to support it."


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