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Individuals will receive training from skilled professionals, Source: Kostas Bakoyannis on Facebook

Athens offers citizens with disabilities free swimming lessons

Athens offers citizens with disabilities free swimming lessons

People between the ages of 5 and 40 can seek the help of skilled professionals every week from Monday to Saturday

Children and adults with disabilities can now take free swimming lessons and other training programmes in several sports facilities in Athens. The Greek capital announced this on 16 March, sharing that the Athens National Gymnastics Centre I. Fokianos and the municipal swimming pools in Serafeio, Kolokynthos and Grava will welcome individuals between the ages of 5 and 40 every week from Monday to Saturday.

There, they will be able to seek the support of professionals who are skilled at training people with pervasive developmental disorders (e.g., autism and down syndrome), neuromuscular disorders, and phobias stemming from past experiences with water. One can opt to participate in the programme by themselves or in a group of 2-3 other students.

According to the municipality, the training will improve the physical conditions of the participants and enhance their motor skills. Commenting on the programme, the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis shared:

“We continue the work that we have started from the beginning of our term to lay the foundations for a friendly city, without discrimination and social exclusion. The sports programme in the municipal swimming pools and in the Athens Gymnasium for our fellow citizens with disabilities is another action of the municipal authority that aims to improve their quality of life.”

Building on previous projects

Taking this further, the mayor gave several examples of similar projects that the municipality has carried out. More specifically, he pointed to the reconstruction of the sidewalks in Athens, the installation of elevators and ramps in schools, and the addition of smart sensors that prevent ‘anti-social’ parking.

The sports programme will be implemented through the Organisation of Culture, Sports, and Youth. The contact details and addresses of the municipal swimming pools and gyms offering the training can be seen on the municipality’s website.

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