In the Swim participant, Emma, tells us why she took part, what she learnt on the day and why she would fundraise for United Response again.
When a friend suggested I participate in a charity swim event – United Response’s In the Swim 2012 – I immediately said yes.
I’ve loved swimming ever since my first lessons and I honestly regret giving it all up when the sessions became too frequent and too early in the morning! So for me personally, In the Swim was great motivation to get back in the pool.
I still swim fairly regularly so I was confident that I could help my team to achieve the 2012 metre target (symbolic of London’s Olympic and Paralymic year). So, instead of stepping up my training I decided to prepare for the event by researching United Response and their work .
Having a clear picture of how my sponsorship money would be used by the charity was important to me and helped when discussing the event with potential sponsors.
I remember feeling slightly worried about my own inexperience in working alongside people with disabilities but as soon as I arrived at the leisure centre and met the other participants I felt at ease. Paralympian Fran Williamson gave a short introduction and then the event was underway with the 5 teams racing to complete the distance.
The event was a lively one, with lots of cheering and encouragement for all the swimmers. It was reassuring, having United Response staff on hand to keep a tally of the lengths and ensure that every team achieved the 2012 metre target.
Once the swim had been completed, we regrouped for a much needed cream tea and the prize giving ceremony. After Fran had awarded the prizes there was a good opportunity to socialise and talk to the other swimmers.
I was interested to hear that the idea for the event had originated from one of the people United Response supports, and that In the Swim was the first inclusive swimming event. This is not so surprising when you take the time to consider the facilitates at your local leisure centre!
I would happily participate in another event for United Response – I had a great experience at In the Swim and hope that it will be repeated next year. Clearly the charity has a very positive impact on people’s lives and participating in these events is a fantastic way to support their ongoing work.
Thanks to all my generous sponsors – you might not have got your hair wet but you have helped a fantastic charity!
Inspired by Emma? Then sign up to In the Swim 2013
This year’s event is taking place at the superb swimming pool at Surrey Sportspark, an Olympic and Paralympic facility.