Prepare yourself for the Tribal Series 2016

9 February 2016

Tribal Series is holding an exciting new Para-swim open water event, the UK’s first mass-participation disability swim event at Dorney Lake in Windsor on the 15 May.

The swim brings together people of all ages and encourages disabled and non-disabled people to take to the iconic waters of Dorney Lake. Many of the swimmers will never have entered a competitive event before.

It doesn’t matter whether you can only swim a length, or if you are a hard-core marathon swimmer, there are solo swims, relays and aquathlons. The shortest swim for novices is 50m, and the furthest solo swim is 750m for more experienced swimmers.

The Tribal Series really breaks down barriers to sport for disabled people, allowing free buddy accompaniment, no equipment restrictions and no classification for entry. It is a fun-filled and accessible event which will inspire a love of open water swimming for hundreds of competitors.

Swimming remains the country’s most popular sport, with over 2.5 million adults taking to the water on a weekly basis. It is also in the top three most popular sports for people living with impairments, with over 340,000 disabled people swimming once a week. According to the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) 70 per cent of disabled people in the UK want to do more sport, and one of the main barriers is a lack of opportunity.

The tribal series is not just about swimming, there are also para-run/push events and triathlons which offer the same level of flexibility to encourage as many disabled people as possible to take part.

“We had an overwhelming response to our first event,” says Tribal Series founder and Paralympian Sophia Warner. “Para Tri was a realisation of a 20 year dream and it was amazing to watch participants, most of whom had never contemplated entering an event like this before, come together to achieve something extraordinary. We want to build on this by giving the UK’s 12m disabled many more inspiring sporting goals for 2016 and beyond.”

Check out the Tough-O-Meter to see what race will suit your ability. Jamie Hooper, ASA Equality and Diversity Lead, commented: “It’s fantastic to see events that are helping to break down barriers to sport that encourage everyone to take the plunge together, and discover the excitement of open water swimming, whether disabled or not.

“This inaugural Para-swim is the first mass participation event of its kind, and hopefully sets a precedent to encourage more events like these to be run in the future, and providing inspiration for making swimming a sporting habit for life.”

GB Para-dressage athlete, Erin Orford, completed the swim leg of the Tribal Series 2015 Team Para-Triathlon event said, “I took on my first-ever open-water swim of 400m at Tribal Series Para Tri last summer and loved it! What’s unique about Tribal Series Para Swim is that it caters for participants of all levels and ages with relays and solo challenges ranging from 50m up to 750m.

"You can use whatever equipment you need in the water, including flippers and floats, and bring a swimming buddy to keep you on course if you wish – which I might opt for next time! After some initial navigational issues, a kind canoeist from the swim safely team re-directed me back on course and I finished with a not too horrific time.

"For my next challenge at Para Swim in May I'm looking at attempting a longer distance and hopefully this time I will remember to look where I'm going!”

Find out more about the Tribal Series events coming up in 2016.

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