Rainbow swim club for disabled possible in Byron Bay

SWIMMING: Trilbey and Lorissa Barratt at the the Byron Bay Swimming Pool.
SWIMMING: Trilbey and Lorissa Barratt at the the Byron Bay Swimming Pool. Christian Morrow

A NEW swimming club for children with disabilities is looking for participants and volunteers to get started in September in Byron Bay.

Organiser Lorissa Barrett said the new Rainbow Club was well on its way to having the 20 members needed to get up and running.

Rainbow Club offers heavily subsidised, one-on-one swimming lessons for children with a physical or intellectual disability, from pre-school to high school age

"The club believes that learning to swim is important for all children, including those with a disability," said Ms Barrett.

"We also recognise that concentrated and individual focus helps those with a disability acquire the skills needed to stay safe in an aquatic environment."

Ms Barrett's six-year-old daughter Trilby has Down Syndrome and had attended Rainbow Club swimming lessons in Bondi in Sydney.

When the family moved to Ewingsdale three years ago, Ms Barrett was surprised there was not a Rainbow Club here.

"Children with disabilities go well with many therapies and something like swim training is good for children with low muscle tone," she said.

Ms Barrett would also like to hear from interested corporate sponsors to ensure the club can continue to operate in the years to come.

Mark Sims, director of Fishheads, who operates the Byron Bay Swimming Pool, said he was happy to support the Rainbow Club setting up at the pool later in the year.

The president of the Rainbow Club, Mark McCormack, said it was a non-profit organisation that relied on donations.

"We use qualified instructors and heavily subsidise the cost of the lessons through our fundraising activities," he said.

"We train around 450 swimmers with a disability every week."

For more information about the Byron club, email byronrainbowclub or call 0409 028 153.

For more about the Rainbow Club, go to www.rainbowclubaust.

Topics:  byron bay disability swimming water safety

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