05:00PM, Saturday 13 October 2018
Jeanette Chippington MBE volunteered to be a timekeeper at SportsAble’s ‘junior grassroots swimming gala’.
Swimmers between the ages of three and 12 took part in an event on Thursday, September 27 that included all four strokes and distances of 10-200 metres.
Jeanette is a British paralympic swimmer and paracanoeist and has competed in six Olympic games and won an impressive 12 medals.
She started her sporting career at SportsAble. She became a swimmer with the charity in 1982 when she lost her ability to walk after contracting a virus.
Her physiotherapist encouraged her to attend SportsAble’s grassroots swimming club and with the support of volunteers Jeanette learnt to swim.
By 1983, she was representing Great Britain in European swimming galas.
Jeanette said: “I will never forget how wonderful it felt to progress from being a newly disabled non-swimmer, to representing my country in just over 12 months. They made me believe I could do it and that was exactly what I needed at that time. It gave me a new focus in life.”
As well as providing Jeanette with a new focus and confidence in her ability, SportsAble is also where she met her husband, Stuart, who was a volunteer.
She added: “The passion of everyone at SportsAble is so motivating and it is a club that focuses on what people can do, not what they can’t.”
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