The National Lottery money was specifically spent on participation fees, travel costs and regional team kit. Participating in the Opening Ceremony parade in a packed stadium gave the swimmers a tremendous sense of team pride and self-worth.
Unlike the Paralympics the competition is not purely for elite athletes but for committed athletes of all abilities. There are preliminary races so that each final consists of athletes with a similar level of ability. Standing on the podium to receive their medals or participation ribbons allowed them to receive recognition for their achievements and to experience the joy of excelling. They gained the experience of coping away from home and family, increasing self-confidence and self-reliance, and a real sense of being valued members of society, both by the city of Leicester and when sharing their experiences with the local community.
For more information visit www.sharksofmottinghamdisabilityswimming.org.uk
Sharks Special Olympics Swimming Club was funded by Sport England
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