18 March 2019

EMSONI successfully hosted its first ‘New Start Swimming Taster’ initiative, which was funded by Active Belfast at DW Sports on Boucher Road Belfast for 6 weeks. It started on 30 January 2019 and ended with a family fun day on 17 March 2019 with 42 participants.

An initiative aimed at improving access and creating opportunities for new learners and newcomers to learn new swimming skills as a pathway to grow activeness through swimming in our community.

According to one of the participants, I never knew I could learn swimming that fast because I have this fear for water, but this project greatly helped build my water confidence. I am now comfortable in the water which enables my fast learning. Thank you to our instructors and the other volunteers for their help and encouragement.”

Our policy officer, Funmi Abayomi, said, “we were glad to welcome dozens of diverse women on what was the first taster session of its kind for them since their arrival in Belfast. The project was built to develop their confidence and skills as a starting point of a competitive swimming journey, with a view to encouraging them to join swimming clubs in town and then progress into a fully inclusive swimming club strategic structure.”

“It is important to offer such taster sessions to show our ladies that they have a place in the sporting community and can benefit from all the great things swimming can offer.”

“We are already looking forward to see this project up and running again in November 2019 for another 8 weeks to grow swimming at the ethnic minority level in Northern Ireland to address disparity and to encourage and support those women get along in their swimming journey to promote a healthy community in Belfast.”

“Thank you to all the participants, our volunteers, instructors, and funders for making this project a huge success.”