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Positive Eye:

Tue 24 Jul, 2012
By Editor


In the year that the Olympics and Paralympics come to London, Out To Swim believe that it has never been more important to include everyone in sport, particularly those experiencing ill health, isolation and poverty

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Out To Swim secure FreeSport funding for FREE swim programme for adults with HIV

Out To Swim secure FreeSport funding for FREE swimming programme for adults with HIV

Out To Swim LGBT masters swimming club have secured a FreeSport grant from the Mayor of London to provide free swimming lessons for people living with HIV (PLWHIV) in London, to coincide with the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The grant was obtained with the help of match funding from Wandsworth Oasis - who provide small grants to HIV organisations in London - and the generosity of Out To Swim members.

In the year that the Olympics and Paralympics come to London, Out To Swim believe that it has never been more important to include everyone in sport, particularly those experiencing ill health, isolation and poverty. There are many non swimmers in the London HIV community and many who although they can swim, lack the confidence to go and swim in public pools.

HIV can be a very isolating illness.

Swimming is a ‘life skill’ and the aims of the pilot programme are simple, but powerful: to teach PLWHIV to swim or improve their swimming ability; to break down barriers and stigma associated with HIV and sport; to improve health and social interaction of communities affected by HIV; to be inclusive of all adults living with HIV (over 18yrs); to provide employment, engagement and volunteering opportunities for PLWHIV.

Gareth Johnson, Chair of Out T0 Swim said: "Out To Swim hope that this new initiative will highlight the benefits of swimming for people living with HIV. This funding will provide the building blocks for a meaningful swimming programme that will have significant health and social benefits for the people that participate."

Gillian Perkins, CEO of Wandsworth Oasis said: “This request for funding fell outside our normal grant cycle. However, our trustees felt that Out To Swim’s project vision was so exciting, we wanted to be involved. We are delighted, to assist Out To Swim to help this vulnerable and often stigmatised group to access swimming facilities, helping them to gain the confidence to access public pools in the future.”

The programme will be run by the club’s award winning coaching team, from 4 August for ten weeks. Anyone living with HIV and over the age of 18yrs is welcome to sign up through one of the many referral pathways: The Mortimer Market; Kings College Hospital and St George’s; THT; River House; Positive East; Positively UK; the NAZ Project; Ffena and Cara Trust. OTS would particularly like to hear from people with a sensory or physical disability.

FREE swimming programme for PLWHIV. 4 August - For more information and venue details email otslessons2012@gmail.com or phone 07939 656257.

Find out more about FreeSport

Find out more about Wandsworth Oasis

Find out more about Out To Swim

ENDS

For further information contact:

John Williams
OTS HIV Swim Programme press enquiries
Tel: 07957 267620
otslessons2012@gmail.com

.
Rory Desch
Out To Swim
Public Relations
Tel:07967134532
rorydesch@yahoo.co.uk

 

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