Hi my name is Suzanne; I am a Para-swimmer from Holland-on-Sea, Tendring. Sport and physical activity has always been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. As a family we all participated in sports and outdoor activities as a group but also as individuals. At school I loved every sport and was in as many clubs and teams as possible. I have participated in three main sports though, two of which were as an able bodied athlete in Gymnastics and Running.
Then after a serious illness and deterioration of my health I became disabled. I had a tumour on my pituitary gland at the base of my brain which bled and triggered my problems. Since then I have had an acquired disability – my neurological disorder and Addison’s disease which is life threatening if not managed carefully. Whilst on holiday I realised I could still work out a way to swim using just my strong arm and strong leg. I then looked up a club and now I compete in Para-Swimming at International level. I swam in my first competitive race in 2013 and so playing catch up with younger swimmers, but I really enjoy training and competing as it gives me a lot of pleasure and achievement as well as boosting my confidence.
Swimming is like therapy, as I swim I have to focus hard on what I am doing, so forget everything else. I have also met some amazing friends in every sport I have taken part in. It has been a great tool to increase confidence for different reasons, as well as helping me manage my physical and medical conditions. On top of that it teaches self-discipline, demands hard work and determination and gets me out of the house to face the fears of my disability and promote sport to others.
Discover what physical activity and sport opportunities are available near you.Find Your Active here