Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate celebrates success of the British Learning Disability Swimming Championships
204 dedicated swimmers with a learning disability from all corners of the UK took part in the British Learning Disability Swimming Championships last Saturday (17 May). The Championships, run jointly by Mencap and Special Olympics GB, took place at Cardiff’s impressive International Pool.
It is not unusual to see displays of greatness at the Cardiff International Pool – indeed, it played host to both Olympians and Paralympians in the run up to the London 2012 Games. This weekend was no exception.
The event attracted plenty of spectators, including the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Derrick Morgan who delivered an opening speech to welcome everyone to the day.
Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer and Mencap ambassador Jessica-Jane Applegate started her swimming career by taking part in Mencap swimming galas, similar to the Championships run today.
Jessica-Jane Applegate, who has a learning disability, said:
“The Swimming Championships were a real success this weekend. Well done to everyone who took part. Mencap swimming galas were where I had my first experiences of competing at large organised events. The galas really inspired me to progress and put me on the path to winning a Paralympic gold medal! I hope these Championships can do the same for others.”
Ian Carpenter, National Sport Manager for Mencap, said:
“I’d like to thank everyone who made the event so special, and would also like to thank Westfield Health for sponsoring the event. Without their help this event wouldn’t be possible. A massive well done to everyone who took part!”
Karen Wallen, CEO at Special Olympics GB said:
“I’m delighted the championships were such a great event. I’d like to congratulate all the swimmers, volunteers and coaches for their hard work. This was the ninth year the championships were held and we’re already looking forward to making the tenth year a fantastic event.”
The British Learning Disability Swimming Championships were sponsored by Westfield Health.
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. www.mencap.org.uk