Louis takes to the water with our inclusive swim club
(Written by Louis Gilbert – Greenhouse Sports Coach Core Support Officer)
Last Saturday, Volunteer Coordinator Kate Arthur and I volunteered at the Greenhouse Sports swim club in Hammersmith. I knew very little about the format of the club, despite encouraging our Coach Core Apprentices to help out there if they got the chance, so I wanted to experience it for myself. Greenhouse Sports Inclusive Swim Club offers young people, including those with disabilities, the chance to learn to swim together and improve their skills and fitness.
As I approached the swimming pool, I felt a little apprehensive and nervous about helping young people to swim, but in no time I was in the water and having a great time. Helping Sophie kick her legs and move her arms was more of a challenge for me than it was for her! With the help of a noodle float, and some encouragement from Suzy the swimming teacher, who I found out worked at a nursery during the week, we managed to do several lengths of fantastic swimming. With us both beaming, I then moved on to working with Jason who was learning how to do ‘rockets’, which is blasting off into the water from a standing start. He was good. Jason was going to the moon and back in that pool.
I then got to work with Hannah, who was a little older and a very confident swimmer. We did lengths on our front and then decided to stretch ourselves by trying to do this on our back. This was a challenge that suited us more as we could spend time in the shallows. By the end of it, we didn’t need a noodle just plenty of encouragement and laughing. By the time I had finished one last length with Hannah, it was time to get out. I chatted to her mum, who spoke so highly of the swim club. It was great to experience it first-hand and to see how much the participants and volunteers love it.
If you are interested in joining swim club or becoming a volunteer there, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org