Almost 20 years ago grand-parents Maureen and Joe Thomas, along with parent Paul Brashaw encouraged other parents of disabled children to form a new (not-for-profit) swimming club – SCWIDS.
The aim of the club: to provide affordable swimming for disabled children, their families and friends, has remained its principal focus. They knew that many disabled children struggle in mainstream classes and set out to make their club different: with a positive rather than a punitive approach to swimming lessons and recognition that water-play (water-enjoyment) was at least of equal importance.
SCWIDS club takes place every Friday evening between 6.30 and 8.15pm during term time at Westfield Sports College near Beighton. There are three half-hour lessons for children of different swimming abilities. The remainder of the evening is spent in play – what we call a “splash-swim”.
The swimming teachers are exceptional, with years of experience of teaching children with a variety of difficulties. They are totally committed to the club and its children, using encouragement and positivity to get results. The children love them, especially Andy. Andy Sellars has been with us for over 10 years and annually organises SCWIDS fest in which local bands and artists perform live to raise money for our club. This year the event will be held at the Fairway (Birley Wood) on Sunday 6th May at 5.00pm.
We found out about the Xactium Fund from Andy Evans who brings his son Michael to our club. The grant will enable us to provide another lifeguard or part-fund another teacher who can act as a lifeguard when it’s required. The latter will give us much greater flexibility.
Written By Frank Smith, SCWIDS