A Brief Hisory of the Dragons D.S.C.

By Rhys Roberts - July 22 2009
A Brief Hisory of the Dragons D.S.C. The Dragons Disabled Swimming Club was set up in 1993. Prior to this, the only avenue open for disabled people in Wales to become involved in competitive swimming was through ASTRA events. The focus of ASTRA Swimming was to encourage disabled people to enter the sport as a form of therapy.

The Dragons Disabled Swimming Club was set up in 1993. Prior to this, the only avenue open for disabled people in Wales to become involved in competitive swimming was through ASTRA events. The focus of ASTRA Swimming was to encourage disabled people to enter the sport as a form of therapy.

 

ASTRA Swimming had a lot of merit in allowing disabled people the chance to become involved in swimming at a therapeutic level and the social element of the clubs was also a key in its popularity. ASTRA did also have a small competitive side with inter-club competitions and an annual National Championship; however, on the whole, this was as far as most swimmers could go.

 

The Dragons D.S.C. was set up to allow those swimmers who wanted to further their swimming careers and enter a more competitive level within the sport. This includes the opportunity to enter National Long and Short-Course Championships run by Disability Sport Events, allowing our swimmers the opportunity to compete in the world-renowned swimming pool, Ponds Forge, in Sheffield. The Dragons quickly established a reputation of being a successful club which regularly sent swimmers to compete in such competitions and one that produced many swimmers who have since gone on to represent Wales and Great Britain.

 

Every Welsh swimmer who has competed in the last three Paralympic Games for Great Britain in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 began their competitive disabled swimming career at the Dragons. These include; David Roberts CBE, Gareth Duke, Liz Johnson, Nyree Lewis and Rhiannon Henry. 11 times Paralympic Gold Medallist David Roberts still retains a connection with the club by coming in as an assistant coach whenever his schedule allows him to attend.

 

The Dragons D.S.C. has also played a major role in helping to set up and organise the Welsh National Short-course Championships which have been held in Ynysawdre, Pencoed and Penlan Swimming Pools and now takes place at Newport International Swimming Pool. This gala is open to all disabilities and has welcomed swimmers from as far as field as the South West of England, Leicester, Derby and Northern Ireland. The running of this competition has now been taken on by Swim Wales.

 

The club has trained at a variety of locations over the years but has been at its current location, Caerphilly Leisure Centre, since around about 1998. In the late stages of 2008 we branched out to having a Long Course (50 metres) session, every third Sunday of the month at Cardiff International Swimming Pool.

As has already been mentioned on this site, the aim of the Dragons Disabled Swimming Club is to allow swimmers the opportunity to develop to a level where it is possible for them to achieve selection for the Welsh and British teams.

Click on this link to see the Roll of Honour for the dragons Disabled Swimming Club:

 

The Dragons Disabled Swimming Club's Roll of Honour