#LoveSwimming star Trevor has new lease of life and urges others to get in the pool

Tenbury Wells swimmer Trevor Davies has a new lease of life after taking up aquafit to help recover from a stroke that he feared would leave him with long-term health effects.

The 73-year-old lost his ability to swallow and spent time in Telford hospital following his stroke eight years ago, but regular visits to the pool have transformed his mental and physical health.

Since taking up aquafit by chance, he has lost three and a half stone and his stroke recovery was eased – now he is urging others to give swimming a go.

Trevor said: “I had never considered aquafit in the past, but I just came down to swim one day and it was on.

“It’s really benefitted me, it’s helped enormously with both mental and physical health, it’s just a nice place to be.

“Keeping fit was hugely important in helping me. I lost weight and my blood pressure went down so I can be on less medication now.

“Swimming and aquafit has given me a lot. Being in the water just helps you relax and switch off – it’s been fantastic for my mental wellbeing.

“I started coming to my pool about eleven years ago, and really enjoyed the environment – that’s an important factor for anyone, I chose it because it has such a good feeling about it, and I feel very welcome.

“The social element is important too! The classes are always kept interesting as they change the routines a fair amount.

“It’s strenuous enough to have a positive impact physically but being able to spend time with others, given I live on my own, is really enjoyable. Swimming is so important to me in that way.

“I would urge people to give it a try, I really couldn’t see why anyone wouldn’t enjoy it!”

Swim England’s ‘Decade of Decline’ research found that the West Midlands is projected to have a shortage of 83 pools by 2030.

With many others like Trevor relying on access to pools, Swim England has outlined the health benefits in an open letter this week to the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, upon the creation of a dedicated office for Health Improvements and Disparities to lead the national efforts to improve the health of the nation.

The hope is to build upon previous successes with Public Health England, such as including the unique benefits of swimming into the ‘Physical Activity Clinical Champions’ training curriculum.