Local charity swimmer excited to get back in the water

Swimming lover Kay Dulley is making a big splash after finally being able to back in the pool now that facilities have reopened.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:57 am

Kay is based in Wales, Sheffield, and swims at Aston-cum-Aughton Leisure Centre.

For so many swimmers, pools being closed has meant many tough weeks; unable to train, unable to see friends, and lacking that freedom that comes from taking time out from everyday life to enjoy swimming.

She said: “I’ve missed the pool as it is my main source of exercise and a place where I go to just be me. I was born to swim, forced to work. I’m not a teacher or Mum or daughter or wife. I put my costume/cap/goggles on and become 15 again - all be it a lot slower!”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’ve also missed my swim buddies. We are a collection of ‘odds and sods’ of varying ages with originally nothing in common except we like swimming. We have formed a support network through various things - operations, bereavements, house moves... you name it.”

“I’ve been going to Aston every week for seven years”, she added. “Swimming saw me through a divorce, hysterectomy and a pacemaker. My local pool is brilliant. The staff are fantastic and you are treated as if you matter by everyone. It was actually designed by my dad when he worked for the local council!”

Having to cope without swimming over multiple lockdowns has been a tremendous challenge for so many across the UK, and Dulley is no different, stating: “Not being able to swim massively impacts on both my physical and mental health. I go three times per week, and I can’t run as there is too much vibration on my pacemaker.”

“Swimming also helps me manage my asthma, and it fits in around my working week - it gives me structure and an outlet for frustrations. I’m a carer for my elderly dad and, sounding selfish, swimming gives me about an hour to myself.”

For Dulley, a return to the pool also has an extra level of importance, as she plans a charity swim later in the year. After undertaking six Swimathon events in the past, she is planning to swim another 2.5k this year to help raise much-needed funds for Marie Curie and Cancer Research - following her own personal experience.

“My sister had a breast cancer scare and I now raise money for a very important cause. I swim because I can.”

The Foundation’s main pool-based ‘Swimathon’ has raised over £50 million for charities since it was started some 35 years ago, with dedicated swimming lovers like Dulley ensuring that it continues to be a success year on year.