Helen describes what it was like joining GTC.
I joined GTC spring 2015. It had been a long time since I had done any real training and I was extremely nervous at joining a training session because I knew I would be at the back.
Prior to attending my first session I had liaised via email with the head coach, Vicky, and a couple of other committee members to see if they could cope with my levels of ability.
Some clubs I had previously approached had either not replied or were very negative towards me.
At GTC, I was assured that my training needs could be met, and, regardless of what I could and couldn’t do and how slow I was, I would be very welcome.
Vicky offered for me to come along and watch a training session before getting involved, however from our emails I felt comfortable enough to just join in with the fun straight away.
My first session was very much getting to know each other while the coaches learnt how I liked to get in and out the pool, how I moved in the water, my levels of stamina and what, if any other, help I needed. I have found all the coaches to be proactive, understanding and happy to facilitate me at any session I have turned up at.
I am not able to regularly attend training sessions; it can be months between two sessions. However, that is not an issue at GTC.
I am always welcome whenever I am able to attend and now the coaches have got to know me they are able to adjust the training plan to suit my training needs and abilities.
There is more to GTC than just training, I have also got involved in the running of GTC which has made me feel less isolated and more involved.
I am a member of the committee, which meets monthly, and I also write the weekly club newsletter. My next plan is to do my level 1 coaching certificate so I can contribute to club coaching from a specific angle.
The best thing about GTC is how I am accepted for who and what I am. My injuries are not a hindrance, but instead are seen as a level of ability.
“I can” is very much celebrated within the club at all levels.
Success isn’t measured in medals but in the level of participation and how much fun is being had. GTC has become a very positive influence in my life and has given me the courage to try new things and to keep on trying.