Kerry Swimmers In Poland For Halliwick Gala

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Cian Begley (centre) from Ballydavid who is in Poland next week with four other Kerry swimmers, for the Halliwick Gala, pictured here with swimming coach Mairead Sheehan and his dad Donnacha. Photo by Dermot Crean

FIVE swimmers from Kerry are in Poland today (Saturday) competing in the Halliwick Gala.

It’s a competition based on the Halliwick Concept, which is an approach to teaching all people, in particular, focusing on those with physical and/or learning difficulties, to participate in water activities, to move independently in water, and to swim.

Aoise Healy from Tralee, Luke O’Donoghue from Tralee, Cian Begley from Ballydavid, Nathan Guerin from Kilflynn and Cian Horgan of Listowel make up five of the six members of the Irish team at the event (the other person is John Kelly from Galway).

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They’ve been training hard for months at Tralee Sports Complex and at the Aqua Dome for the event under the instructions of Brid Browne, who has been training four of the swimmers, while Mairead Sheehan teaches Cian Begley. Mairead hopes that the group might produce a Paralympian for Ireland in the near future.

We met 20 year old Cian — who attends the Skills for Life Programme in St John of God in Boherbee — at the Aqua Dome and he said he loves swimming and being in the water. His father Donnacha said his son is looking forward to it.

“He is really excited, especially about flying in the plane. He loves being in the water, he’s nearly more fish than man!” he said. Cian trains five days a week at the Aqua Dome and Donnacha thanked Manager Mags O’Sullivan for all the facility has done for Cian over the years.

“It’s great to see Cian doing so well, he’s been coming here for three years putting in a great effort and we’re all proud of him representing Ireland,” said Mags. Best of luck to them all.

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