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Special Care Session

At West Wight Sports and Community Centre we are proud to have our longest standing special care session. The benefits of swimming and exercise in water is well documented and this session may assist those needing to continue a water exercise programme, assist recovering from trauma, illness or assist to maintain mobility with a progressive condition. It is an opportunity to progress skills, socialise and/or relax with the support of the water.

Our lifeguards and swimming instructor work together to provide additional assistance if and when you may need it in this session. Our lifeguards have been trained in disability awareness.  Our teacher in the water is a swimming instructor with a clinical background in disability and neurological conditions. It is a quieter session with the addition of extra water equipment to aim to help you stay as fit and healthy as possible. If you are unsure of your requirements, please feel free to contact our staff at the centre before you attend your first session.

Our Special Care swim session is one of longest standing sessions and is unique to us. It’s in the main pool only but we raise the temperature of the pool to make it  more comfortable for older and/or less mobile people. We have extra staff on hand to help you get in and out of the water should you need it and where possible we also provide assistance in the water (please let us know before you come if you think you might want some extra help). It’s a very friendly session and newcomers are very welcome.


Wednesdays 12.00-13.00



I swam 400 metres this morning. That’s ten times further than I can comfortably walk. My swim stamina has gradually improved in the special care sessions. I am so grateful. Thanks. The facility for the physically challenged of us to exercise securely in water, with the in-pool presence of a clinician and experienced swim tutor is an absolute joy. Its’s given me the sense of …well…of being ABLE again.


If you can use these thoughts to get whoever to continue to fund the sessions.. I’m happy


I swam in the resort pool on holiday…first time time getting happily down the steps, the lifeguard must’ve called for assistance and wanted to help. There were five other brits in the pool. I cleared it within five  minutes. All this made me feel a bit of a weirdo, unintentionally hurtful. WWSCC treats everyone as human, great. Especially your “wobbly swim”!



When you are at your lowest ebb and feel that there is nothing going for you, the last thing you would be thinking about is swimming.

Water has always played a big part in my life and yet here I was, in my 70’s with every ache and pain possible in my spine due to Osteoporosis.

I had been advised to take up Physio and this I did.

After a few weeks I was asked what goals I had?!! Had I any other than trying to get out of pain and be able to get in and out of a car as well as a bed! Then as an afterthought I casually remarked, with utterly no conviction whatsoever, that I would so love to get into the swimming pool again.

West Wight Sports Centre had played a very large part in my life for 25 years in fact, as a Lifeguard for a few years as well as an assistant swimming teacher for disabled youngsters.

My Physio was incredible. Instead of giving me a pitying smile she said, “right. Let’s see. That gives us six months work ahead of us in readiness for the summer”. I looked at her in disbelief.

The exercises continued but with subtle changes – instead of doing something 5 times it was increasing to 10!. I gradually started feeling stronger and able to actually sit down and stand up from a chair without holding on – amazing.

By chance, really, I heard someone talk of special sessions at WWSP on Wednesdays from 12 – 1pm. This could also include my husband. After a stroke 5 years ago he was finding his right leg getting weaker. Perhaps the pool could help him as well.

We were met by Alison Burton, a sports instructor. There was little that she didn’t know about ailments and peoples’ fears. I remember greeting Alison with “DON’T touch me!!!!! How awful that must have

sounded. Alison was not remotely offended. She knew exactly how to deal with this frightened customer – leave her alone for a bit.

It took 19 weeks to get me swimming again!! 19 weeks of gentle persuasion and encouragement from all the poolside staff as well.

From my husband, Richard, panicking from his first entry saying he couldn’t swim, he was swimming 10 lengths at the end of those 19 weeks. For my part, never thinking I could ever do front crawl again, I was managing 1 length with a short rest before turning round again and swimming back to the shallow end.

Christmas was looming so we decided to take a break and return in the new year. Little did we know that we would contract the Covid cough which was so severe the coughing fractured a lower vertebrae of my already eggshell of a spine.

It will be interesting to know what lies ahead and whether dear Alison will ever be able to get me swimming again. I am reminded of a well known saying “You can, if you think you can” (Virgil) So watch this space.

By Marion Heming