Octopus Swimming Club


Galway Triathlon Club are proud to announce their support for Octopus Swimming Club.

Octopus Swimming Club, which was founded in 1981 for people with physical disabilities, is no ordinary swimming club. It operates using the ‘Halliwick’ concept, which, basically, allows people with disabilities – be it spinal cord, amputee, head injury, stroke, spina-bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, visual impairment, among others – to become “water free”.


Mary Arrigan, the founder, explains that “If somebody is stuck in a wheelchair all day, it is great to see their reaction when you put them in water and see their body move and be free! When they start, they won’t be able to do an awful lot but when you teach them to be more balanced in the water and have good breathe control, they become relaxed. And when somebody is completely relaxed, they can float and eventually they can move and swim.” The club, which has over forty members ranging in age from 8 to 74, are extremely grateful of the support from Galway Triathlon Club.


The Galway Triathlon Committee identified the links with both clubs promoting physical activity, through a strong emphasis on swimming, and also social connections. Like GTC members, the members of the Octopus Swimming Club are extremely positive and determined taking on new challenges… just that their challenge might to stand unaided for one second.

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