Exciting new challenges

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A COMMUNITY group in charge of a local pool is hoping to make a splash by starting a swimming club for people with disabilities.

Geoff Henson, the general manager of Hindley Community pool, is hoping to produce the borough’s next Paralympic star and claims the club will be the first to promote competitive swimming.

And the plan has received backing from Paralympian swimmer Rachael Latham who swam for Great Britain between 2004 to 2010.

The Borsdane Avenue baths was rescued from permanent closure last year when it was taken over by community coalition Phoenix.

Mr Henson is optimistic that youngsters and adults alike will take advantage of the pool’s excellent facilities for disabled swimmers.

He told the Evening Post: “We are hoping that the club can be up and running in the new year and we’re trying to get as much backing as we can between now and then, it’s a really exciting process.

“We are going to be the first pool in the area to have specialist classes for those who want to take up competitive swimming.

“When we took over the running of the pool we realised that we had these ideal facilities but they were being under used and we’ve had a bit of a refurbishment and turned that around.”

Rachael, who grew up in Standish and competed at Beijing 2008, is now a commentator and presenter for Paralympic sports.

The 25-year-old told the Evening Post: “The London 2012 Paralympics allowed society to see disability sport in a different light.

“It was new and exciting for a lot of people and changed a lot of perceptions.

“By continuing to keep disability sport in the public eye with initiatives like they are doing in Hindley, is not only good for local disabled people but it keeps the hype and excitement of Paralympic sport alive.

“Swimming classes specifically for disabled kids and adults may also find the next Paralympic champion, who may have not even had the chance to learn how to swim without such 
opportunities.”