Thursday, December 9

Young people with disabilities without a place in adapted swimming courses: more burdens on a life of obstacles

For the first time, as they explain, they have had to participate in a raffle among all those registered. And fortune, again, has not been on his side. «My son never missed class. He is aware that he is worse when he cannot go swimming, it shows a lot. This year, for the first time, he has run out of place. And it is a stick since the doctors recommend swimming because it is the most complete exercise for him. It gives him a lot of well-being ”, explains Cruz Marcos, mother of Raúl Martínez, a 28-year-old young man with spina bifida, who I had been swimming for more than three decades in the municipal swimming pools of the city of Alicante and that is now number three on the waiting list. «In the mornings he studies and in the afternoons it was very good for him to go swimming. I do not understand the desire of the City Council to complicate people’s lives, “laments the mother.

In a situation similar to that of Raúl is Daniel Bonet, 38 years old and with Down syndrome. “He doesn’t do other sports, he only does swimming, which is very good for his joint problems. He has been in the courses since 2005 and this year, when a draw was made, he was left out. He’s going to stay home, and that doesn’t do him any good, “adds Rosa Pizarro, Daniel’s mother, who is fourth on the waiting list. I have no hope. Who is going to resign, with the value of the places? I have spoken with the City Council and they tell us that there is no job, and that they are not going to make more pools, “continues the mother, who regrets that her son cannot continue competing, as he did until now, because he could not train:” We are angry, disappointed.

This year, the Department of Sports decided not to renew the places for users municipal swimming pools so that other people can access swimming courses. «There were always casualties because there were people who did not swim again due to getting older or any other circumstance. It is a shame that they run out of places with what is necessary in sport. If the places are sold out, let them open more », says Yolanda Tonda, mother of Ana Patricia, a 35-year-old girl, also with Down syndrome:« She loves to swim, it comes in handy because she has many problems with her knees. She must be one of the oldest students on the Board. He has been swimming for almost twenty years, and he never failed classes. Now, from one year to the next, he is out, without a place. The councilor’s explanations do not convince me, he sees everything very well because he does not suffer from cases like ours. The Alicante City Council, for this course, has enabled four adapted swimming groups. In the Tossal, one from 6 to 25 years old, on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and in Babel, three more: two more for users from 6 to 25 years old, on Wednesdays and Fridays and the only one for those over 26 years old, on Fridays. There is a third pool, that of Vía Parque, without swimming courses.

Neither Raúl nor Daniel nor Ana Patricia, except for a last minute change, will have a place in those swimming courses of the Sports Department. More luck in the draw had Francisco’s daughter, a 26-year-old girl with an intellectual disability. She has gotten a place, but this year she will have half the hours of class than before the pandemic. And it is that, within the decision to strike down the municipal sports schools, the council also chose to reduce the sessions for disabled people by half (from two to one) over 26 years old. “I have called many times, I have spoken with different people from the council and they say they are going to see it, but they still have not rectified. Tell me why an older person has less need to do sports than a younger person. It does not make any sense. Nor do I understand that such an important physical activity for these people is won by lottery. There had to be places for all those who request it, “he criticizes.

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