Saturday 28th September 2019 : 14:30 – 17:30
The Seahorses Swimming Club encourages, promotes and develops swimming amongst less able people in Haywards Heath and the surrounding areas.
The Seahorses Swimming Club was set up over 35 years ago and runs every Tuesday evening at the Dolphin Leisure Centre, a much-loved Club where individuals with a range of special needs and physical disabilities come together to exercise and socialise.
Swimming starts at 6:15pm, although many of our members arrive before this time, and continues through to 7:45pm, after which members can socialise in the cafe over food and drink.
We tend to follow a swimming routine throughout the year – Club night is essentially a ‘working night’ Members can choose to follow a swimming programme or their own pursuit. Even for able-bodied people, finding time to exercise can be difficult. For our members, exercise is even more important and they are encouraged to take the opportunity to experience quite a thorough workout if they so wish.
The Club examines for distance and water skills awards operated by NASCH (The National Association of Swimming Clubs for the Handicapped) the STA (The Swimming Teachers’ Association) and the ASA (The Amateur Swimming Association). Distance awards range from 5 to 5000m in a continuous swim.
The ASA also promotes a Swimfit scheme which extends to 1500 miles, but these are cumulative distances. The Club has gained hundreds of badges in previous years. To see a less able swimmer achieve their first length or maybe discard their buoyancy aids is the very reason why the Club exists.
Periodically, we include fun and serious swimming galas, sponsored swims and the annual Club Championships. For many years we have taken part in (and continue to do so!) the Lions Club Swimarathon on Good Friday. In recent years we have also taken part in the Mid Sussex Marlins Disability Gala, competing against 6 other Clubs from Mid Sussex.
People’s disabilities have definitely changed over the last decades, from physical to mental – but all are welcome at Seahorses. Less able members literally go hand in hand with our helpers. We have a small number of very committed and willing helpers who, week by week, bring their expertise and patience for the benefit of the Club.
More help is always welcome on a Tuesday evening and if you have enthusiasm and patience, Seahorses would definitely like to hear from you. It is really encouraging to see that quite a number of our swimmers and helpers have been with our Club for many years.
We have an annual sponsored swim and a stall at Lindfield Village Day. The money raised at these two evnents goes towards the upkeep of our minibus and general Club funds. From time to time we also receive sponsorship from local companies.
The Club has approximately 50 members on its books, including a mix of less-able and able-bodied individuals. They range in age from early teens to 80+ years of age.
The Club serves the community by recognising the immense value of swimming in the process of physical and psychological rehabilitation of less able people. An essential feature of the Club is the minibus, which is used to transport membesr from Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Lindfield and Haywards Heath for the Tuesday evening sessions.
In 1995, the Seahorses undertook to raise a substantial amount of money for a new minibus. With generous donations from many local firms, a sponsored ‘Channel Swim’ of 22 miles undertaken by Club members at the Leisure Centre pool in a single evening and a grant of £22,500 from the National Lottery, we achieved this target.
That yellow minibus (which many local supporters of this page may well have seen driving around Mid Sussex on their travels) gave us 19 years of regular service transporting members to and from both the Club on a Tuesday evening and galas further afield, before succumbing to old age.
The Club is currently looking to raise funds towards the cost of a new vehicle, which has space for at least one wheelchair, for use on a weekly basis transporting members to and from the Tuesday night sessions, as well as occasional weekend galas and outings.
Seahorses Swimming Club would be very grateful to receive donations towards the cost of a new minibus so that our swimming sessions can continue to be enjoyed by those that need them most.
In 2016, the Seahorses Swimming Club celebrates 35 years of service to the local community through swimming!
‘Like’ our page and find out more about our Club, its members, the galas we attend throughout the county and social events we organise to help us raise valuable funds towards the cost of a new minibus.