Swim with a stoma: Taking the plunge

21 October, 2019

With our Windsor swim still fresh in the memory we hope the story of the day will encourage people to join us for further sessions.

The closure of the M4 couldn’t stop twenty four people attending the latest of our Active Ostomates free swims on September 28th at Windsor Leisure Centre.

This was the eighth session we’ve delivered as part of our swimming programme following Londonderry, Leicester, and Liverpool earlier in 2019 and Sheppey x 2, Gateshead, and Newcastle in 2018.

The aim of the programme is pretty simple, to give people with a stoma the confidence to get in the pool and then empower them to take up swimming on a more regular basis.

Swimming is one of the best forms of activity for anyone. Very little pressure is placed on muscles and joints yet it provides a full body workout.

It’s not all plain sailing though otherwise we wouldn’t need to hold these sessions. The body images issues that many with a stoma have plus worries about leakage are significant barriers to participation. While our idea of ostomate only sessions does reduce those barriers, they still exist, and were very real to many of the twenty four participants in Windsor.

However all of them made it in to the pool and the feedback afterwards was universally positive. Here’s what they had to say.

Cynthia “ It’s the first time I’ve been swimming since I had my surgery last November. I was very nervous at first but I got in the water and felt good! I felt confident when I got going. For anyone who’s worried, don’t be”

Mariamma – “I was really nervous beforehand as I’ve not swam for thirty years. Pauline gave me the courage to come along and then Anne and Fiona helped me take that last step. I was shaking beforehand but they gave me the support I needed. Once I was in the water I loved it. I now think I’m going to take up aqua aerobics!”

Anne – “I really enjoyed it. I used to go to aqua aerobics before I had my stoma but haven’t felt confident enough since. I’ll definitely go back to classes now”

Colin – “I really enjoyed the experience. It was great to do it as a community of like-minded people. It’s definitely given me the confidence to go swimming again”

Ruth – “I’ve not been swimming since I had my stoma. I was really nervous about my bag showing through my costume today. Once I was in the water I really enjoyed it, and I was even confident enough to walk round the pool by the end!”

Our next #ActiveOstomates free swim takes place at the Templemore Sports Complex Buncrana Road BT8 7QL. For more details and to book your place email chrismorrison90@hotmail.com or call 07599 538 159

We’ll be announcing further swims early in 2020. If you’re interested in working with us to deliver a session in your area please email Giovanni and  Giovanni.cinque@colostomyuk.org

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