On July 14 the Inaugural Stingrays Club Championships took place, writes Jemima Browning.
Nine of our 12 club members attended, competing in a total of 17 individual races and two relays.
All the athletes had been working very hard to improve their strokes and speed. The Stingrays swimmers raced their fellow team members in races, demonstrating their skills across all four strokes.
Parents kindly volunteered as the time keepers and David Wiseman acted as a brilliant compere. It was my role as head coach, to ensure all the swimmers were where they needed to be, felt comfortable and ready for their races.
All the swimmers swam so well and more importantly they fully supported one another. They cheered on whoever was racing and congratulated other swimmers on their wins no matter what. The parents were a fantastic audience, blowing the roof off with their cheers and applause.
We held an awards ceremony after the races were complete. All the swimmers were presented with either a bronze, silver or gold medal for all the races they took part in. The swimmers had all their achievements celebrated and they were all ecstatic when they received this recognition in the form of a medal.
This was a huge opportunity for all the swimmers to take part and be awarded just like their mainstream peers. Their team spirit grew, they supported each other, and they were allowed the opportunity to gain a competitive spirit. We hope to build upon the success of the event and plan to hold further galas, hoping to invite other disability squads.
The next exciting event Stingrays is taking part in is an event on August 18. The Super Hero Series is the UK’s only sporting series for people with disabilities. The competitors are called the Everyday Superhero’s. This is a fantastic inclusive event where there are no restrictions and the people with disabilities can decide how they participate. This series offers two events, the Superhero Tri on August 18 and the npower Winter Wonderwheels on December 2.
Appearing at the Celebrity Superhero Tri are various sporting stars, including Jonnie Peacock, JJ Chalmers and our very own David Wiseman. There are 22 teams this year. The full Superhero Tri takes place on August 18. There are three different challenges to choose from.
The participants are the Superhero’s and they can have a sidekick too. This is someone who is there to give assistance to the superhero. Stingrays have a brother and sister duo taking part. Freya Shepard is the fantastic, brave and motivated Superhero and her brother Gabe is her willing sidekick.
They are very excited and ready for the challenge. Freya said: “It’s awesome. It is good. I like it because you can cycle, run and swim with everyone. I’m looking forward to doing everything!”
Gabe added: “I think it is an incredible event that anyone can get involved in. It makes me feel great because I’m doing an event with all different kinds of people. I’m looking forward to being able to do a triathlon with my sister.”
Freya is on the official website, Check her out on http://superheroseries.co.uk/our-participants/. Best of luck guys!
The superhero series is a fantastic, truly inclusive event that allows anyone and everyone to take part. As they say ‘anything goes’. Participant’s disabilities will not be a barrier and no matter the requirement or need for any reasonable adjustment, this will be met. It is an incredible event and all the participants have a truly brilliant time and the fantastic organisers and volunteers ensure they get the most out of it.