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Puffins go for gold

Tesco support helps disability swimming group hold its 10th annual gala.

Haverfordwest Leisure Centre saw sporting triumphs in November 2017 as local disability swimming group Pembrokeshire Puffins competed with local rivals Swansea Stingrays, Bridgend Sharks and the Cardiff Chameleons for gold in the club’s tenth annual gala.

Rachel Mathaias, Pembrokeshire Puffins Treasurer, said:

I’m so proud to say that the Puffins achieved 11 golds, 14 silvers and 9 bronze medals. It was a fantastic day!

The competition was held thanks to a successful funding application to Tesco Bags of Help which supported the club in paying for pool hire, trophies, printing of programmes and refreshments.

Swimming is a fantastic activity for many people with a disability as often mobility issues are hugely reduced, giving increased freedom of movement. It’s also a great way of boosting confidence.

Pembrokeshire Puffins was formed in 2005 and meets every Sunday during term time. Volunteer coaches train over 20 members – adults and children –  who have a wide range of disabilities. The club regularly competes in competitions across South Wales.

Coach Tamara O'Leary commented:

We help the members focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities so that they gain new levels of confidence that they can carry through their day-to-day lives. The competions are all in a safe, friendly and encouraging environment.

Rachel added:

Our club is fantastic as the swimmers get to make new friends, socialise and it’s brilliant for their confidence! We are really thankful to Tesco for helping towards the cost of the gala.

Tesco also provided hands-on help on the day itself, with Hannah Bartlett, the community champion from the local Tesco store in Haverfordwest, attending to help sell raffle tickets and programmes as well as cheering on the competitors.

Click here to read more Tesco Bags of Help success stories.