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‘Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming’ take on London

On the 5th of November, at Ilford County School, Essex, ‘Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming’ brought together London-based volunteers to celebrate v’s – the National Young Volunteers’ Service – 25th Hour project.

25th Hour recognises that London 2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and uses the idea that we can all find the extra hour and more to make a difference.

The young disabled volunteers are very excited about the opportunity that can catapult them to the Paralympic trails

The volunteers utilized their extra hour by travelling across London to meet their mentors for the first time, meet each other, and most importantly discuss their hopes and aspirations for the programme.

The ‘Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming’ programme is delivered by the ASA and aims to increase the number of young disabled people volunteering in the swimming community through training 42 young people and offering them the chance to volunteer at the 2012 Paralympic Trials.

Yvonne O’Keeffe-Mol, the London mentor on the programme, currently has 10 young volunteers under her belt, so the celebration of the 25th Hour was the perfect opportunity to bring her young volunteers together. The event saw young volunteers assisting in the pool, helping on poolside and generally encouraging other young people to swim and have fun in the water.

Through talking to the young volunteers on the programme it is clear just how great the impact is going to be on developing the confidence and skills of the young people.

Rochelle Sampy, the ASA Media Liaison Volunteer, said: “The young disabled volunteers are very excited about the opportunity that can catapult them to the Paralympic trails.

“Cousins, Jack, 19 and Michael, 20 stated that ‘sport is a part of their life’ as they are currently studying for a BTEC in sport and also take part in after school sport activities. So they are the perfect ambassadors for the Olympic Games and sports, in general.”

Both Jack and Michael are keen swimmers and are members of Cheam Maracuda Swimming Club, in Croydon, They have also recently joined a mixed water polo club because they’re so enthusiastic about aquatic sport.

They believe that taking part in this ASA programme will help develop their future aspirations of coaching and will be “useful for the CV”. In the future, they hope to become qualified lifeguards or swimming coaches and hope to be able to help swimmers achieve their goals.

To join the Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming programme click here.

To learn more about the 25th Hour click here.

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