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26th Jan, 2022

Super Redditch swimmer Dennis makes a splash to conquer strokes

SWIMMING has literally been a lifesaver for Redditch man Dennis Hill.

Dennis suffered two strokes, the first in 2003 the second a year later forcing the engineer to take early retirement and confining him to a wheelchair and using a walking stick after losing the use of his right side.

He also lost the ability to read, write and count but despite it all he was determined to live life to the full.

His physiotherapist referred him to the swimming pool in a bid to improve his mobility and lose the weight he’d gained.

Super swimmer Dennis Hill.

Dennis struggled at first but with the support of lifeguards at his local pool, he developed a stroke that worked for him.

Fourteen years later and now aged 66, he swims 100 lengths four times a week at the Abbey Stadium.

He’s also become an ambassador for physical activity, giving talks to others who’ve experienced debilitating illnesses.

Now he’s backing the national ‘Love Swimming’ campaign to encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of the pastime.

“I am thrilled to be part of Love Swimming and to share my story,” he said.

“If my physio hadn’t pointed me in the direction of the pool I don’t know where I’d be today.

“Swimming has had such a positive impact on my physical health and has also had a real benefit on my mental health.”

Love Swimming has been organised by Swim England and their 12 partners ahead of World Health Day this Sunday, April 7.

The aim is to urge the medical profession to do more in prescribing swimming as part of a programme to manage medical conditions and aid recovery.

Elaine McNish from Swim England said: “Swimming is an ideal activity which can help people manage a range of medical conditions and we are calling on the medical profession to consider recommending swimming to people who would benefit from improved physical health.”


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