Galway Triathlon Club (GTC) recently held another successful Aquathon Series which involved six weekly 750m Swim and 5km run events. In total, over 70 members from GTC, Predator Tri Club and Tri Sport took part. As part of engaging with the community, GTC agreed that any funds generated through the Aquathon Series fee would be donated to support the Octopus Swimming Club.
Octopus Swimming Club, which was founded in 1981 and based in Kilcornan, Galway, is no ordinary swimming club. It operates using the ‘Halliwick’ concept, which is suitable for all and is particularly suited to people with disabilities – be it spinal cord, amputee, head injury, stroke, spina-bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, visual impairment and also people who are fearful of water – to become “water free”.
Mary Arrigan, the founder, explains that “If somebody is 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, we teach them to become balanced in the water and to have good breath control so 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 connection between the clubs 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 in taking on new challenges.