Tokyo Paralympics 2020 & Disability Sport

Who else loved the Paralympics & the fantastic achievements of all our athletes?! The pool action is close to our hearts in the Moffle family, as we’ve been part of Bingham Penguins disability swimming club for over 20 years.

My daughter, Cambell has cerebral palsy & joined Penguins at 8 years old. She was always a water baby & it was good physiotherapy. For the first time, we were surrounded by people with a range of disabilities & abilities, joined by a shared love of the water. We learned about the broad spectrum of physical & learning ability & the power of interdependence – we had found our tribe.

At Penguins, everyone can access swimming – from individual support with helpers in the water, through to training plans for swimmers competing at national & international level. Cambell swam internationally & as a teenager volunteered with the younger swimmers. Claims to fame include training alongside Paralympians, Sam & Ollie Hynd & having raced with Ellie Simmons!

My swimming credentials are more modest – I started out collecting session fees on poolside & progressed to becoming a coach & poolside co-ordinator. To make it a full family affair, we recruited my partner as club chairperson (or King Penguin as he preferred to be known). Long after Cambell left the club & went off to university, we stayed actively involved & I still help poolside sometimes. The smell of the chlorine & the camaraderie pulls me back.

Watching the elite para-swimmers in Tokyo was thrilling – a celebration of hard work & dreams realised. A wonderful reminder of what can be achieved when we support all our children to reach their full potential, whatever that may be. When we recognise one size does not fit all & remove barriers to participation, it’s amazing what can be accomplished. Penguins may be slow & struggle on land but put them in the water & see them glide.

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