20 February 2018

Straight2Swimming, a unique programme for young people with scoliosis, has announced its expansion to Cork. Already a huge success in Belfast and Kildare the world's first tailored swim program for pre and post-surgical scoliosis patients under 18 years of age is now coming to the Mardyke Arena.


First launched in 2014 in Northern Ireland, the free of charge swimming programme has proved a great success and further expansion into other countries is in the pipeline. The Cork launch which will be held in The Mardyke Arena from 7pm-8pm on Saturday 10th of March is expected to be attended by specialists in the world of adolescent psychology, sports medicine and orthopaedics as well as participants and their families.


The brainchild of Philip and Edel Convery, the Straight2Swimming programme has grown to include 150 young swimmers in fewer than three years, and the new addition of the Cork session each week will initially enable up to 25 additional swimmers to join the programme whilst cutting the travel commitments for many members who travel across the country each week to attend.


Speaking ahead of the launch, Programme Director Eimear Brown explained how far they have come and their delight at launching in Cork “Straight2Swimming launched in September 2014 in Belfast with just eight swimmers. Since then the programme has grown to include over 150 members in May 2017 and we are delighted to announce today that the weekly free of charge swimming sessions will be coming to The Mardyke Arena in Cork,”


Echoing Eimear’s sentiments, Mr Pat Kiely Consultant Spine Surgeon from The National Children’s Hospital said “I welcome the addition of a third Straight2Swimming programme in Cork to accommodate the growing number of young people eager to take part in this unique initiative. Straight2Swimming is the most positive single action in enhancing scoliosis patients’ capacity, allowing them to be themselves and all that they can be.”


coliosis is a condition that affects as many as two in every 1,000 children in Ireland. With many patients facing extensive wait times to receive their corrective surgeries, Straight2Swimming has offered an invaluable service, working to help build body confidence among its swimmers, improve swimming techniques, and boost overall fitness, therefore reducing recovery times for many who have undergone spinal surgery, and acting as a gateway for many young people in returning to sport.


Funded by American specialist spine medical device company K2M, the weekly swimming programme also provides a supportive forum for the families of those who are impacted by the condition as they help their loved ones through the painful condition. While young swimmers train with professional swimming coaches and meet many other young people, who have also been impacted by the same condition, parents gather each week to consult with experts in the field of scoliosis and treating young people with the condition to compare stories and experiences and offer support for those going through similar journeys.


For more information on Straight2Swimming please see www.swimbelfast.com/straight-to-swimming/