International Disability Swimming Gala

Six Billericay Lions, twelve swimmers with learning and physical disabilities and six coaches / helpers travelled from Runnymede Swimming Club, Benfleet to Germany to take part in our international disability swimming gala. 

The event took place on Saturday 6th October 2018 at Voreifel, near Cologne against teams from Belgium and Germany. The Belgian team had won the gala for the last three meets, however this year they were beaten by the Runnymede swimmers who won the gala outright – winning 20 of the 33 races!!

The Biennial swimming gala for the disabled was first held in 1992 and is an event shared with the Lions clubs of Billericay, Voreifel in Germany and Brussels Royale in Belgium. The venue rotates between the three countries with around 100 people of varying ages and disabilities participating.

The Voreifel Lions also laid on additional activities for the Runnymede visitors during the weekend, including a Falconry display, a trip to an outdoor historical nature museum ending up on Sunday evening with dinner in a castle!! 

The gala provided a fantastic opportunity for the swimmers who had never had the opportunity to compete aboard before.  The triumphant swimmers returned by coach and ferry on Monday 8th October and went back to training. They are now looking forward to their next international gala in Belgium in 2021.