Plymouth Marjon University student, Maddy Hopson has been appointed Patron of North London Aquatics (NLA), a charity committed to disability diving. After the council closed a pool in Hendon, the London based charity are planning to open a new pool, complete with movable floor, in 2019. Maddy tells us more…
In 2016, Barnet Copthall had the devastating news their pool was to be closed down and rebuilt without diving boards! There had been no communication about this and with so many young divers in the ‘Tom Daley Academy’ plus those diving weekly lessons action needed to be taken.
North London Aquatics was quickly set up as a charity and fund raising began. The local council agreed to give the land and money was pledged by the local MP and so the fundraising began to raise enough money to build a new pool in 2019 complete with diving boards and a moveable floor! The new centre will offer 50 different aquatic activities for the local community including DiveAbility and other aquatic sports for disabled people.
News of my trying to promote more DiveAbility sessions around the country reached NLA and I was asked by them to write why diving was so important to me and how accessible it was as a disabled person. After following my diving journey, in January this year they asked me to be one of their Patrons (alongside actress Joanna Lumley).
As their Patron they were very keen to meet me and hear my own story, so in July they came down to Plymouth to interview me and film me diving. Plymouth Life Centre were kind enough to let us use the facilities and I spent a very nervous but fantastic afternoon with my coach and a camera crew in the pool and on poolside. Certainly nerve wracking to begin with but everyone helped me relax! And you can watch their video here…
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