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Hydrotherapy pool aims to get future Paralympians in the swim
AFTER seeing hundreds of Paralympians triumphing in the water, Thamesdown Hydro-therapy Pool is urging a generation of potential athletes to make the most of the facility.
The pool, in Jefferies Avenue, near Pinehurst , which has about 700 visitors a week, is several degrees warmer than a normal swimming pool because many of its users are unable to move around as freely as more able-bodied swimmers and may get cold.
Pool manager Neil Montgomery said they want disabled children and adults across the town to know they can get their feet wet with them.
“The Paralympics was awesome. The whole thing was just absolutely fantastic and the way British people have embraced it is inspiring,” he said.
“Children across the area who have disabilities need to know they can come and use us. “We could be the first part for them and in 10 or 20 years time they could be at the Paralympics.
“Because our pool is warm it is perfect for young children to learn to swim. Once they become able they could progress to mainstream swimming clubs.”
The pool is open to children and adults who have been referred by a doctor or physiotherapist.
Swimmers can bring their families with them and children can bring their siblings.
“There are adults who might have been inspired too. Everyone’s perceptions of disability sports have changed,” said Neil.
Pool-users include people with physical or mental disabilities, including amputees and people with hip or knee replacements.
The pool, just off Cricklade Road, runs open sessions, which means users can swim in the facility as you would in a regular swimming pool.
Last September, the pool launched a fundraising appeal to repair its 30-year-old ventilation system to stop hot moist air causing further damage to the changing room ceilings.
The Friends of Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool have raised £103,000 so far.
This means the first phase of the work, which involves the ventilation and filtration systems, will start in the next few months, and Neil says it may even be as early as next month.
The second phase, which is to re-wire the area, increase ventilation ducts, and replace the changing room ceilings, will go ahead when they have raised the next £45,000.
Neil said: “We have employed the builders but we are just waiting for them to give the start date now.
“It is definitely going to get done so we are very pleased.
“We have got our fingers crossed for October.”
Anyone who wants to donate to the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool campaign can contact it on 01793 496002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Cheques for donations should be made payable to the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool Association.
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