Para-swimming champions unite in Manchester this weekend

Swimming ChampionshipsThis weekend Paralympic and World medallists will be in Manchester for the National Para-Swimming Championships 2015. Over 300 para-swimmers will take part at the Aquatics Centre on 12 and 13 December. They include World and Paralympic champions Sascha Kindred, Jessica-Jane Applegate, Oliver Hynd and Eleanor Simmonds.

With less than a year to go to the Rio Paralympics, swimmers are in preparation for the tough year ahead. Amongst them is established swimmer, Sascha Kindred (Leominster Kingfisher). He is aiming to qualify for his sixth Paralympic Games as one of the most decorated swimmers in the Paralympic movement, having won 12 medals from the past five Paralympic Games.

He said:

“In the build-up to the Rio trials in April, I want to hit some solid swims to see how my training is going. So this weekend I am focused on the 200m Individual Medley.”

Kindred, who celebrates his 38th Birthday on Sunday, is quick to acknowledge the young talent involved in the weekend’s event too:

“The women’s SB6 100m Breaststroke is once again looking strong with three girls ranked near the top of the world rankings. Also the S14 girls and boys events are very competitive. Jessica-Jane Applegate and Tom Hamer are having both good seasons.

“It’s a great opportunity to see young swimmers involved in the same water as a number of British World Champions. This could be the beginning of a great career for the younger swimmers.”

City of Norwich swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate has been one of the top S14 swimmers (classification for those with a learning disability) since her 200m Freestyle gold medal at London 2012. She won silver in the same event at this year’s IPC Swimming World Championships and a second in the 200m Medley. Her gold came in 100m Backstroke.

Looking forward to the weekend’s competition, Applegate said:

“My preparation is going ok, I have been getting lots of short course racing in but I now need to convert that to long course.

“I am aiming to work on my skills, practise my starts and above all enjoy the weekend. I am really looking forward to meeting up with the Para-Swimming team and staff as I haven’t seen them for a while.

“It’s really important for me to start racing long course now in preparation for trials in April. I am taking part in every single S14 event this weekend. It’s the first long course event of the season and my coach sees it as an ideal opportunity to get some long course race practice in.

“I have been practising Breaststroke and I did it for the first time at Nationals in July so I am having a go at that just to see if my training is paying off.”

This event is organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) in partnership with British Swimming. The national charity is proud of the Disability Sport Events (DSE) programme, which is delivering the Championships amongst the annual calendar of participation opportunities. EFDS exists to make active lives possible and ensure that millions of disabled people can lead active lifestyles.

Dedicated to disabled people in sport and physical activity, EFDS supports a wide range of organisations to include disabled people more effectively. The national charity looks to a better future where everyone can enjoy the opportunities available. Established in September 1998, EFDS has a vision that disabled people are active for life.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:

“With a year to go to the Rio Paralympics, you will not be disappointed with the huge display of talent in the pool this weekend. This is testament to the amount of work delivered at grassroots level to introduce new swimmers and grow participation.

“We are always seeking new partners to enjoy the huge benefits of supporting key participation opportunities such as this one. DSE has been instrumental in ensuring thousands of disabled people enjoy lots of sports at regional, national and international level.”

Spectators can attend free of charge during any of the four sessions. Details are as follows:

Event: National Para Swimming Championships 2015

Venue: Manchester Aquatics Centre, 2 Booth St East, Manchester, M13 9SS

Dates: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December

Saturday:  Session one- 9:00am – 12:30pm. Session two- 2:30- 5:00pm

Sunday: Session three- 9:00 am – 1:00pm. Session four 2:00- 5:00pm

The latest list of entries is available on this link. Start lists will be available on the day.

Full results will be available on EFDS website over the weekend. Follow the event tweets on the event hashtag #ParaSwim15

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