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Ryan Carstairs wins Great Britain Deaf Swimming Club’s ‘Andrew Rees award'

Swim England Ripple Effect volunteer Ryan Carstairs has been awarded Great Britain Deaf Swimming Club’s ‘Andrew Rees Award’ for his volunteer work within the sport.

Ryan joined the Ripple Effect project from UK Deaf Sport and despite being profoundly deaf and autistic he recently progressed to level 1 judge in training after completing the theory element.

He’s done this alongside studying for an A-level in photography and a diploma in sports studies as well as caring for his mum and being a competitive swimmer himself.

It adds to Ryan’s recent honour at the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s National Awards where he was awarded ‘Inspiration of the Year’ and his nomination as a finalist at the Swim England National Awards in November.

He was presented with the award at GB Deaf Swimming Clubs annual championships last month and was shocked to receive the prize.

He said: “Wow, Wow! I was totally shocked.

“I just love helping people and love swimming so to win an award for doing this is incredible.”

‘Always looking for ways to help’

The Andrew Rees award is presented to someone who has made a positive contribution to Great Britain Deaf Swimming Club in the past year, an achievement which helps raise the profile of deaf swimming or a club member showing exemplary commitments with a chosen task.

And GB Deaf Swimming Club head coach, Martin Lee, explained why Ryan was chosen as this year’s recipient.

He said: “Ryan has had to overcome some personal issues over the past year but he has continued to work as a volunteer in swimming. I’ve known Ryan for many years now, and I always get the same smiley, happy Ryan whenever I meet him.

“He has this bubbly persona which is clear to see when he is swimming and he’s always looking for ways to help and teach younger swimmers with some of his acquired knowledge.

“He shows a massive love of swimming and working with the younger swimmers, I would go as far as saying you would be getting a service with a smile if Ryan was your teacher.

“For these reasons, he was a clear choice for this year’s Andrew Rees award.”

Ryan may potentially have another award to his name later this year as he’s recently been nominated in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category for the Deaf Sports Personality Awards later this year. The event takes place in Glasgow at the end of November.

You can find out more about the Ripple Effect project here.

Main image: GBDeafSwimming