Sport for Confidence occupational therapists make a splash with Paralympian

The team of occupational therapists and sports coaches at Sport For Confidence have all completed training to integrate inclusive swimming equipment into pool sessions.

‘Adding the use of this equipment into our inclusive swim sessions will enhance the experience for participants, supporting independence, relaxation and play in the water,’ says Cara McCarthy, Sports for Confidence occupational therapist.

Developed by Paralympics swimmer Martin Mansell (pictured above, demonstrating the equipment in the pool), the swimming aid is made of a unique matrix of balls giving total support, flexibility and independence in the water to people of all abilities, disabled and non-disabled, young and old.

Martin explains: ‘In addition to the multitude of proven physical benefits associated with swimming, immersion in water also offers many therapeutic benefits making it an ideal activity for many people with cognitive and mobility impairments.

Through the use of [the equipment], we improve the accessibility of swimming for those who struggle to support themselves in the water, making them feel safe, secure and able to enjoy the unique sensation of being in water taken for granted by many non-disabled people.’

Cara adds: ‘The rate of participation in swimming among disabled people lags far behind the rest of the population. According to Sports England’s Active People Survey, 2,912,800 non-disabled adults in the UK swim once or more per week, compared to just 331,500 UK adults with a disability.

‘Through investment in specialist equipment. . . we are tackling this inequality and working towards a more equitable society where everybody is able to lead a happy, healthy fulfilling life.’

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