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London club celebrate swimmers’ achievements at awards

London Disability Swimming Club held their annual awards and Christmas party on the 6 December 2015 at Mile End Leisure Centre.

The event is held to celebrate their members’ ability, determination and successes, and this year it acted as a send-off for the swimmers competing at the National Para-Swimming Championships in Manchester.

ASA Chief Executive, Adam Paker, was in attendance to present the medals to the winners of the awards. He commented: “It was a great pleasure to be invited to celebrate these awards with the swimmers at London Disability Swimming Club, the young people here are an inspiration and the club has a terrific ethos.

“Swimming is a fantastic sport which is accessible to all regardless of age or ability, and this is an example of a club who are doing everything they can to support and encourage young people to swim.”

LDSC Secretary, Emma Sullivan, said: “At London Disability Swimming Club we believe in the ‘ability not disability’ culture. All our swimmers have disabilities and many have overcome a lot of adversity and difficulty in their lives.

“These awards are so important because they recognise and celebrate the achievements, determination and successes of our swimmers.”

The subsequent party was DJ’d by one of the club’s swimmers, Joe Peciuch, A.K.A DJ Flirt. Joe, who has Down’s Syndrome, trained with Map Squad and recently joined the DJ Factory East tour.

The under-18 male improvement shield was presented to Ben Brady. He has a rare disability that meant he was rejected for classification, meaning he could not compete at meets governed by the IPC system. Despite this, he continued to attend all the training sessions, and after a year, was finally classified.

The under-18 female improvement shield went to Charlie Hyde. Charlie underwent a serious operation at the beginning of the year and was out of the water for three months. Since returning the pool, she increased her training to six days a week and recently won seven golds in as many races.

The over-18 male trophy went to James Brand. James competes in the very tough S7 group, but he is always driven and excited to compete and he participates in all club activities, as well as attending every training session.

The over-18 female trophy went to Sarah. Sarah attended a club camp in February and since then has started setting new personal best times in all her events, showing great personal growth.

The GB recognition cups went to Tom Baxter and Susie Rodgers, both of whom are elite swimmers. Tom represented GB in Texas at the World Deaf Championships and won a bronze medal. Susie represented GB at the IPC World Championships and won relay medals there.

The Outstanding Achievement award went to Billy Birchmore. Billy went to the DSISO European Championships and came away with seven gold, four silver and five bronze medals, along with European records, captaincy of the GB Team and Man of the Meet awards.

Find out more about London Disability Swimming Club.