Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Coach Adam Walker works with Ashley Jenkins who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.
“Ashley can’t move his legs or lift his head. Swimming is the only time he is not confined to his wheelchair. He learnt to swim two years ago and did a mile swim using a mask and snorkel.
I was so inspired by him and wanted to see if I could help him breath in the water on his own accord without a snorkel. I have broken down my stroke using core rotation to get onto the breath…it is working for Ashley.
I drop my top oblique inwards and wait until it goes 180° before I pull. I use my foot to speed the process up, but unfortunately Ashley can’t use his legs – but he can roll from front to back.
With the help of his carer, we are getting him use to less rotation and the balance off being on his side. He is strong with his arms and they can also help balance him. We will set a number of swim challenges once he has mastered the stroke.”
This week, Walker and Jenkins were interviewed by Emma Britton on BBC Bristol [here] after Jenkins had swum a mile in the pool. “He really is an example of courage, determination and will to succeed. We will continue to update with his progress.”
Ashley – like his colleagues in New Jersey and Rio de Janeiro – is a heart-warming example of what people can do in the water who are confined to wheelchairs with disabilities.
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association