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Making waves: Diving into the inclusive world of WeSwim

Laura Clarke talks to the Active Together podcast about finding WeSwim after her MS diagnosis.  

Laura swimming in an indoor swimming pool.

Laura, 42, was diagnosed with MS when she was 30. She gradually found it harder to be motivated to do things, suffering from extreme fatigue. Whilst wanting to be active she couldn’t quite find the right opportunity for her. That’s until she found WeSwim. 

The swimming club in Haringey welcomes both disabled and non-disabled swimmers.  

“It’s like a little community. We often refer to ourselves as a little family. Everyone really supports everyone” Laura explains to Active Together host Sam Lloyd. 

Watch the podcast below:

She goes on:  

“You get supported to access the pool, there’s hoists or people help you get in the pool. In the pool if you need a volunteer to support you, you can have a volunteer to support you. It’s always like ‘what do you want to do, what have you been up to, what have you done recently’ and then try and progress. It’s always really good fun no matter what.” 

The club, helped by Get Out Get Active funding and support, has a team of volunteers on hand to help anyone that wants to swim.  

Laura’s partner, Dave, swims with her, enjoying the session just as much as her. 

 “It’s a very happy place. You can see people are happy when they are going there, and even happier when they leave” he says speaking alongside Laura on the latest podcast. They now do more together away from the pool thanks to the club. 

Both describe the attitude of everyone at WeSwim as so supportive and welcoming for those that might be nervous about getting involved. Something that Laura acknowledges: 

“I know that it’s scary, because it is. It is scary doing anything new, and not knowing the layout of places and how you’re going to be able to do things. But this is such a supportive club, everybody is lovely.”  

And to those looking to make the first step Dave passes on this advice: 

“The first thing is to not to give up on doing what you want to achieve. You can be shown the door but you’ve got to go through it yourself. 

“Don’t give up, try and do exercise and hopefully meet lovely people along the way. That really helps if there’s a group of you there. Join a class and meet people…Don’t give up, always keep on looking for things that might be attractive to you and give it a go.” 

This is the sixth episode of Active Together. The series has featured a Wiltshire garden giving veterans a place to meet, North Wales’ first LGBTQ+ rugby team breaking down barriers and an Amber Valley SEN Disco born out of a WhatsApp group.  

You can listen to the whole series wherever you get your podcasts.  

About Get Out Get Active 

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation.  

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.