Disability Swimming Development

Hoddesdon Swimming Club hosted three separate events to help develop knowledge, opportunity and awareness for Disability Swimming over two weekends.

Sunday 25th October saw thirteen teachers and coaches attend a Training Day led by Carl Cooper Para Swimming Pathway Officer, East, East Midlands, London at The John Warner Sports Centre, Hoddesdon.

Janet Warrington Disability Head Coach said “the day was brilliant Teachers and Coaches were working together from the Borough of Broxbourne (FIT&WELL) and Hoddesdon Swimming Club to improve their knowledge and skills, firstly in the class room and then with a practical session in the pool.  The swimmers were fantastic too; we had five 1:1 lessons which were observed by the teachers as part of the training.  Ruby Codiroli, who appeared in the ‘Girls Can Campaign’, came along with Lottie Mills, Louise Storey, Sam Carter and Jacob Reeves all the swimmers have a disability and train with Hoddesdon Swimming Club, giving the teachers an opportunity to coach and observe them swimming.

On Saturday 31st October Hoddesdon Swimming Club hosted the Special Olympics Eastern Regional Swimming Competition at Herts Sports Village, Hatfield where 116 athletes with an Intellectual Disability took part in the competition.  Swimmers came from all over the UK to attend the event: Basingstoke, Cheshire, Coventry, Essex, Greater London, Hastings and Rother, Leicester, Orpington, Reading, St. Albans, Windsor and Wellingborough.

SO East Herts (Hoddesdon SC’s squad) had seventeen swimmers take part in the competition: Stephen Birks, Ruby-Anna Codiroli, Lottie Jones, Jessica Aldridge, Alex Sorab, Samantha Sage, Max Anker, Jacob Reeves, James Hall, Luke Cooper, Caelan Sikora-Black, Matt Philpott, Sam Downing, Mitchell Wright, Ashley West, Vinnie Gorry and Barry Wynne.  Vinnie and Max swam so fast they both broke the ‘Honest Effort Rule’ and received a certificate with their time on; Vinnie in the 25m Freestyle, swimming a time of 24.66 seconds and Max in the 50m Freestyle swimming a time of 1 minute 35.27 seconds.   

Fourteen gold medals were won by Ruby-Anna Codiroli, Jessica Aldridge, Barry Wynne, Matt Philpott; all winning two medals each.  Other gold medallists were Lottie Jones, Samantha Sage, Max Anker, Sam Downing, Ashley West, and Caelan Sikora-Black.

Four individual silver medals were won by Alex Sorab, Jacob Reeves, Mitchell Wright, Sam Downing and one of the relay teams.

Five individual bronze medals were won by Stephen Birks winning two bronze medals, James Hall, Samantha Sage, and Vinnie Gorry and one of the relay teams finishing 3rd place and receiving a bronze medal each.

Lee Dorman SOEH/HoddSC Coach said “the gala was great, it is really important to have competitions like this so that the swimmers can understand why they are training each week.”

On Sunday 1st November as part of the Disability Session run at The Laura Trott Leisure Centre, Grace Harvey, who has recently been selected for the World Class Podium Potential Squad, came along to the session to swim alongside the participants and hand out some postcards.  Grace has the condition Cerebral Palsy and is classified as S7, SB6, SM7 she is a multiple British Record Holder, has been a member of Hoddesdon Swimming Club since 2008 and is a pupil at Presdales School in Ware.

Barry Wynne, Special Olympics East Herts Athlete said “It is remarkable how she swims so fast and does tumble turns.”

Janet Warrington said “We have had a very busy couple of weekends, but they have been very successful.  I would like to thank everyone who volunteered at these events and in particular Sport England who provided funding to help us put on these sessions which has improved the knowledge of our teachers and coaches and offered opportunities for our swimmers and athletes to improve and compete.”