Last month marked the 25th anniversary of disability rights legislation in the UK. During this time there have been some significant milestones which have not only helped to create step-free access to swimming pools and water activities but also have raised awareness of the benefits of swimming. Here are just a few of them…
The Poolpod - This revolutionary access solution has transformed pool access. It was developed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and has now become the ‘Rolls Royce’ of the pool lift industry. Many swimming pools across the country have replaced cumbersome and unsightly hoists with a stylish Poolpod which provides dignified, independent access to the pool.
Portable pool lifts - These stylish products are ideal for transporting people with limited mobility from the changing room to the pool side and back again before being neatly stored away. A portable pool lift device is suitable for any ground-level swimming pool where the person is being lifted down into the water. The Panda Pod Pool Lift and Blu Pod Deluxe are compact, affordable and provide a flexible step-free solution into swimming pools.
Submersible wheelchairs - Fully submersible wheelchairs are designed for wet leisure activities and for swimming pools which have ramps or a beach style pool access. The amazing Water Wheels is a fantastic piece of water sports equipment for people with disabilities. It was great to see this floating wheelchair on the Pride of Britain Awards where it was being used by an organisation called Surfability UK CIC who provide surfing lessons and experiences for people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
The spool - This is a hybrid of a spa and a pool. It enables people to benefit from water therapy and exercise in the comfort of their own home. The product is much smaller than a swimming pool and about twice the length of an average hot tub. You can set it so you swim against a current which can be adjusted according to your physical ability. Endless Pools® offer a variety of options such as an underwater treadmill, hydrotherapy jets or underwater lights.
When it comes to access, the same principles apply to choosing a pool lift solution for a swimming pool or hot tub - it depends on whether it is in the ground or above ground. If it is fully in the ground, then you can consider a portable or a fixed pool lift or hoist. If it is partially above ground or there is a wall or raised edge, then you will need a fixed pool lift or hoist.
Sport England Design Guidance - There is now much more information freely available online about swimming pool design, for example, Sport England Design Guidance aims to promote a greater understanding of design concepts and critical factors such as disability access. The guide highlights different access solutions including submersible platforms, moveable floors and the use of hoists.
#loveswimming. Last year Swim England celebrated its 150th anniversary. They exist to help people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely and compete in sports. Their #loveswimming campaign which was launched in 2017 aimed to inspire the country to get off their screens and into the pool. Since then, this campaign has continued to raise awareness of the benefits of swimming including promoting good health and encouraging participation across the country.
Currently, many swimming pools are still closed due to the tiered system but we look forward to when they can all reopen so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of swimming again. In the meantime, our team of experts are ready to help with any questions or quotations for our products.