[Paul Wilson] The sport’s aimed at everybody
and anybody. Basically it’s one of the few sports across the board that pretty much we
can get everybody in the water at some level and get them involved in our sport. Whether
it is just that recreational and social side of the activity, or whether it is where they’re
getting involved with a disability club or a mainstream club, and actually looking at
the competitive side of swimming as a sport. The overall appeal of the sport is down to
the fact that everybody can get in there and do it, whether it’s a wheelchair user, an
amputee, somebody with a visual impairment, a deaf swimmer. In disability swimming everybody
can get involved and get in the water. So I think that’s the big, sort of, appeal
to the sport. People get that sense of freedom in the water that they may not get in some
other sports that are available to them. We’ve got quite a good pathway from the learn
to swim schemes right through to our Paralympic athletes. Obviously at learn to swim level
it’s about getting the guys in the water. Really for us it’s about identifying them
then and knowing where they are. From there we’ll encourage everybody and anybody
to get involved in the competitive side of the sport.
SDS offer a great opportunity for everybody, sort of participation and inclusion level
and above. So the opportunities there are fantastic.
From there, obviously we link in to disability clubs looking for more training opportunities,
then into mainstream clubs to try and access some more pool time. Obviously then we’ve
got the sort of DSE championships down in Sheffield for juniors and senior swimmers,
and it kind of builds from there through to Paralympic swimming after that.
[Sean Fraser] I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few awards but my finest achievement’s
got to be the Paralympic medal. I mean hopefully it’s the first of many. That experience
in Beijing was unbelievable. Being part of a Scotland team, or a GB team,
you know you’re so proud to put the t-shirt on and all that, you know, representing your
country. But everybody just gels and gets on so well, it’s a great atmosphere and a
great place to be. Everybody’s behind each other, supporting each other.
That’s the best time of my life so far. [Paul] To get involved in our sport, it’s
really just get yourself down to the pool. Let yourself be known to the guys on poolside,
learn to swim, local authorities, and pop down to your local disability club. Contact
SDS, they’ve got contacts with all the local disability clubs and mainstream clubs. Contact
myself at Scottish Swimming. If you want to get in the water we can get you in there and
get you swimming, get you competing if that’s what you’re after.
[Sean] You never know where it’s going to take you. You might really enjoy it, you might
fancy just taking it up or joining a club and taking it step by step. It doesn’t matter
how disabled you are or how little disabled you are, if you want it you can get it.