NI Open Swim Championships showcases Ballymoney’s disability sport champions

Catherine Park and Megan Fleming from Ballymoney Special Olympics Club pictured with coach Sally Martin at the Disability Sport NI Open Swim Championships
Catherine Park and Megan Fleming from Ballymoney Special Olympics Club pictured with coach Sally Martin at the Disability Sport NI Open Swim Championships

Disability Sport NI’s 16th annual NI Open Swimming Championships turned out to be one of the largest participation events ever staged by the local charity that aims to support people of all ages with a disability to get involved and take part in sport and physical recreation.

Almost 200 children and young people with various levels of physical, sensory or learning disabilities from right across Northern Ireland descended on the Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex in Bangor on Saturday 15th November to compete in a range of swim events designed to ensure that everyone taking part was given a fair and equal chance to test their ability and showcase their swimming talent.

Harry, Michael and Stephan with Coach Rachel Martin from Ballymoney Special Olympics Club at the Disability Sport NI Open Swim Championships

Harry, Michael and Stephan with Coach Rachel Martin from Ballymoney Special Olympics Club at the Disability Sport NI Open Swim Championships

Family, friends, and coaches from clubs as far afield as Derry, Lisburn, Newry, Portadown, Belfast and Ballycastle came along in force to cheer on the talented swimmers

The NI Open Swimming Championships is the only pan disability event of its type to be held in Northern Ireland. Over the years the Championships have attracted many recreational swimmers but for some it will be the first stepping stone towards Paralympic swimming and is a great way for talented hopefuls to get their first real taste of competition. Some of our most talented local Paralympic swimmers such as Bethany Firth and Lawrence McGivern started their competitive swimming carers at the Disability Sport NI Open Swimming Championships.

If you or someone you know with a disability is inspired to get involved and take part in a sport or physical recreation such as swimming, please visit the Disability Sport NI website at www.dsni.co.uk for more information on local clubs and associations that support people with disabilities to become more active in your area. Who knows, you may end up being the start of the 2015 NI Open Swimming Championships.