Born with Cerebral Palsy, from a young age Andy was told by doctors that he would be in a wheelchair by his teenage years. Despite this, his inspiring ‘can do’ attitude has defied medical professionals.
Andy is currently in the process of gaining his para swimming classification, involving assessments of his swimming, diving and medical background by Swim England.
Both a keen short and long-distance swimmer, Andy has previously competed in open water events all over Europe. An already impressive CV includes an English Channel relay, two 33km Ultra Swims in Montenegro, two Humber Bridge Swims, a 200m Bronze in the Derbyshire Masters and three ‘Best Fest’ events in Mallorca.
My disabilities disappear in the water. Swimming is something that pushes me in life – an addiction, but a positive one. I’m always looking for new challenges.
Andy trains five to six days per week, alternating between Grimsby pool and Grimsby Docks with the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Water Rats.
“Travelling abroad it’s lovely because the water is crystal-clear, you can see a good 10-12 feet below you – it’s quite unnerving when there are big jelly fish in there! I love indoor swimming for speed work and outdoors for the endurance and connecting with nature.” Andy added.
Andy’s disability makes it difficult for him to gain any forward propulsion in the water from his legs, meaning he relies more on his upper body strength. He’s currently working on mastering the tumble turn.
Further ahead, Andy hopes to complete ‘Escape from Alcatraz’, a two-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The challenge isn’t without perils, including tides, low temperatures and even shark infested waters!
His sights are also set on Rottnest Swim, a 19.7km swim that is highly regarded as one of Western Australia’s most iconic events.
We wish Andy well!
Lincs Inspire run three pools in Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham, helping to inspire a love of swimming for all ages and abilities. All pools are fully accessible, with disability changing villages. Grimsby and Immingham also host weekly disability swimming sessions in partnership with Care Plus Group.