Ben Clarke broke his neck last July in a freak swimming accident in Poole. He had just come back from Australia where he had been training with Australia’s top swimming coach as he had been a 2012 Olympic hopeful. Despite surgeons saying he would never move again, he is now back in the pool as a tetraplegic and has his sights set on representing his country in the 2012 Paralympic Games.
To help get him there the family have been fundraising since last September, when he was transferred to The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Injuries Unit in Salisbury to begin his rehabilitation,. Sponsored swims in Poole, Plymouth and Queensland, Australia have to date raised over £11,000. SOS have supported Ben by giving him swimwear, goggles and training equipment.
Now back at home in Poole, in a purpose built flat, he is determined to be the very best at what he does. He is working with Britain’s disability swimming coach Alison Frost and is training as much as possible at The Dolphin Centre pool and gym.
Ben won Gold in 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle at the Stoke Mandeville Games 2011.
Cassie represented Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where she took bronze in the 10k open water swim. She also has numerous national and world championship medals to her name, including the World Open Water Championship Silver Medal and the British Open Water Swimming Championships Gold medal. Her full swimming profile can be seen here. ……. SOS Swim Shop supplies Cassie with SWANS goggles which she uses for both training and competition.
Cassie is competing in the World Championships in Shanghai this summer and from there is aiming for the 2012 Olympics in London. As well as that Cassie is competing in the British Gas Great Swim Series at five locations around the UK.
Stacey Tadd is a member of the Team Bath Performance Squad and SOS sponsor her with SWANS goggles for training and competition.
In 2003 Stacey was Britain’s most successful swimmer at the European Youth Olympics in Paris, winning two individual gold medals and a relay bronze. Her achievements in that year were recognized when Stacey was named Most Promising Newcomer at the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
Stacey suffered a serious knee injury in 2004 and in 2008 each time her knee had to be operated on. After both operations she showed great determination to get back to her full training programme.
Last year Stacey achieved 7th in 200m breaststroke at European Long Course 2010 and broke the English Record. She finaled in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke at Commonwealth Games 2010 and was the gold medallist in both 100m and 200m breaststroke at the 2011 British Championships. Stacey is hoping to qualify for the 2011 World Championships .
Her full swimming profile can be seen here
This is the third year we have supported 13 year old Alan as he constantly improves his club swimming.
In 2009, Alan swam at his first Nationals and came away with a silver in the 100m backstroke and bronze in the 100m butterfly. At the 2010 Nationals, Alan pledged to do better and he did just that. Alan won gold in 100m backstroke and in the 100m butterfly to claim his first National titles. Alan also won silver in the 200m backstroke.
Alan is close to our hearts as we taught him to swim when he was just 4. He stayed with SOS Swim School until he was 8 when he moved on to start his competitive career at Poole Swimming Club. Alan spent a short spell at Ferndown Otters before moving back to Poole Swimming Club where he now trains with the club's excellent coach Robin Armayan
This year Alan will be swimming at the 2011 British Gas National Age Group Championships. He is aiming to retain his National titles as well as challenging for more medals in the 200m backstroke and in the team 4 x 100m Freestyle and 4 x 100m Medley relays.
Alan’s achievements since leaving her SOS Swim School impressed Maureen Bursey and this has earned him a sponsorship with the SOS Swim Shop in 2009. The SOS Swim Shop supplies Alan with performance swimwear and SWANS goggles for the British Gas National Age Group Championships