Castors go for Gold at the Paralympics  

by Pool Builders on 10-22-2011 in Articles

A year before the Olympic Games begins, the Aquatic Centre opened in London this month. This vast amazing aquatic building has a roof span greater than Heathrow Terminal five. Construction of the aquatics centre began back in 2008, designed by international acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid. The Aquatics centre contains a 50 meter competition pool, a 25 meter competition diving pool, and even a 50 meter warm up pool for the athletes. Spectators enjoying swimming and aquatic events are not a recent modern invention. Evidence has been recorded that people swimming for sport dates back to Ancient Greek and Egyptian times. With over 600 athletes competing in over 150 events across ten days of the Paralympics, making aquatic events and swimming one of the most popular Olympic and Paralympics sports.

As with many swimming pools across the country, castors aid mobility equipment for disabled swimmers from local pools to Olympic sized pools. Many experts agree that swimming and swimming therapy have wide ranging benefits as well as being a competitive sport at the Paralympics. Benefits include increased cardiovascular function, reduced stress on joints in the water, increasing muscle strength, breathing, agility, balance and overall confidence and esteem. Paralympics swimmers, top of their classifications, have been an important part of the Olympics since the 1960's. Paralympics swimmers are classed by four different strokes, from Freestyle (essentially Front crawl), Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. Races can start from either standing, sitting position, on a platform or within the water, and a range of equipment on castors facilitates the start of the race.

A range of mobility hoists on castors from manual pool hoists to powered hoists and lifting platforms on castors ensure pool exit and entry is eased for disabled clients. Powered mobile manual or automatic pool hoists are mounted on a range of stainless steel castors, which enable the hoist to be positioned in the correct place for pool entry and exit. There are also a range of hoists on castors, placed on mobile platforms that ease entry and exit from poolside. Mobile platforms have an anti slip base for the pool chair to rest on. Stainless steel castors with rubber wheels, again ensure the pool chair does not slip or slide. Surrounded by safety bars and with an emergency stop button, ensures swimmers feel safe when going for a swim or start in a race. Making the chairs plastic and the platforms and castors stainless steel ensures the mobility equipment does not rust and is resistant to chemicals, such as chlorine.

Paralympics swimmers have the second largest number of athletes at the Games, and in the year 2000 over 500 Paralympics swimmers took part in the Sydney Games to great success. With London 2012 just around the corner the newly opened Aquatics Centre has been designed to accommodate these vast numbers of athletes. But what happens after the Games have come to an end? The Aquatics Centre has plans to be transformed to a swimming facility for the local community, for clubs, schools and for elite swimmers as a training facility.

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