Helping disabled youngsters to make a splash

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A new diving programme aimed at young people with disabilities is starting next week

‘DiveAbility’ sessions will take place each Thursday from February 6 from 4-5pm and 5-6pm at Inspire: Luton Sports Village.

Diving has seen a recent surge in popularity in Luton following the opening of Inspire as well as the weekly prime time television show Splash! being filmed at the centre.

Believed to be one of the first of its kind in the UK, the programme was developed by David Jenkins and Harry Glover, both elite divers who are employed by Active Luton to develop the sport locally.

The sessions will be led by head coach Hayley Sage, an ex international diver who competed at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships. Hayley is an experienced coach and has a lot of experience in working with disabled people and those with special needs.

Helen Barnett, Chief Executive of Active Luton, said: “This inspiring new programme aims to offer young people with disabilities enjoyable fitness opportunities with elite coaches while enjoying our world class dive facilities.

“It was great to see Paralympic runner Richard Whitehead competing on Splash! last weekend and it makes the timing of this new programme perfect as he showed the nation that his disability did not affect his ability to take part in the fantastic sport of diving.”

Cllr Mohammed Ashraf, Portfolio Holder for sports and arts, said: “Inspire is a venue that everyone, irrespective of their ability or culture, can use to get active and become healthier. This fantastic new programme hopefully demonstrates our commitment to making sport more accessible to residents.”

The programme caters for disabled individuals aged 11–25 years who have a moderate level of co-ordination.

Divers should be able to swim 25 metres, be comfortable in 5 metre deep water and have a moderate level of co-ordination. People are encouraged to call first to discuss theirs or their child’s requirements.

Sessions are sold in six week blocks for just £18 and people can choose between the two allocated time slots.

For more information or email 01582 393230 or email

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