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Sovereign Swimming Club for Disabled People, UK Registered Charity.

Sovereign Disabled Swimming Club News
Fun Gala : Ann Gray Cup : Newsletter : Events : Home Page :

The annual Fun Gala is a free fun event for three mixed ability teams. Eastbourne Lions provide extra manpower, support, medals and a picnic lunch. The extended pool hire is donated by Serco.

Our 2018 Fun Gala was to be held on Sunday 8th April but has been cancelled as Motcombe Pool is closed for repairs.

The 3 pictures below are from the Fun Gala on the 12th April 2015.

Pictures from the 2015 gala.  

The gala starts with fairly conventional races - a "Hares" 1 length for strong swimmers, a "Tortoise" 1 length for slower swimmers and a mixed 3 length relay. These races have a staggered start, based on previous timings for each swimmer, so every disabled swimmer has an equal chance of winning.

Pictured right is the 2012 three length relay.

There then follows a series of relay races across the width of the shallow end.

The three length relay race in action.

The "Fish and Chips" relay entails a strong swimmer starting the race by swimming under water to recover a sinking fish and placing it on the far side of the pool. Other swimmers then take plastic cubes (chips) across the pool and the first team with the fish and all the chips on the far side wins.

The "Egg and Spoon" relay involves play balls and sieves.

The final game across the width is the "Sponge and Bucket" when each team has a sponge and swims across the pool to wring it out into a bucket. The team with most water in their bucket after 5 minutes wins.

The start of the "Fish & Chips" relay

The "Down the Line" relay involves each team sending 20 play balls down the length of the pool, with one swimmer in the deep end and 4 more behind the rope in the shallow end.
A strong swimmer swims with a woggle ring (containing 10 balls in the ring) to the rope. The second team member, using only a sieve (no hands), scoops out the balls (max 3) and passes the sieve down the line to the final team member who tips the balls into a bucket and passes the sieve back up the line for more balls. When all 10 balls have been scooped up, the first team member swims back to the deep end for 10 more balls. The first team with 20 balls in their bucket wins.

"Down the Line" relay race.

The final two games allow every one in a team to take part. In the "Ball Game" there are 400 play balls in the shallow end for teams to collect and place in a team box on the pool side. The team with most balls after 5 minutes wins.

The final game is a version of musical chairs. A Lion stands at each corner of the shallow end holding a playing card symbol. Music is played and when the music stops each person in the water goes to a corner of their choice. A playing card is then drawn from a pack of cards and everyone in the corner of the same suit has to leave the pool. The game continues until there is only one person left in the pool and they win a bonus point for their team.

The "Ball Game" with 400 play balls in the shallow end.

Eastbourne Lions provide a pool side picnic lunch for all the swimmers while the scores from each race are added up.

Each team member is then presented with a medal (bronze, silver or gold) and the winning team leader is presented with a special cup, the Ann Gray Memorial Cup.

Pictured right, members of the 2016 winning "Red Team" with Eastbourne Mayor, Janet Coles, and Kate, Ann Gray's niece.

The 2016 winning "Red Team" receive their medals and the Cup.

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Swimming at Motcombe Pool, in the Old Town area of Eastbourne, every Sunday afternoon with the Sovereign Swimming Club for Disabled People.

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