Local resident creating opportunities for others

The adaptive and Disabled Open Water Swimmers (ADOWS) website and coaching service was set up by resident Sophie Etheridge who is an exceptional swimmer. Sophie previously competed at county level, qualified as a beach lifeguard, and enjoyed open-water swimming. Unfortunately, due to injuries following a car accident, Sophie now lives with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and is a wheelchair user.

Sophie’s recovery was aided by getting back into the water and she became the first wheelchair user to qualify as an STA Level 2 Open Water coach she has constantly set herself new challenges, including her incredible achievement in swimming the channel in 2023.

Sophie contacted the development team at Hunts Forum to discuss her plans to be able to support other disabled swimmers from across the country to access, and enjoy open water swimming.

Hunts Forum and Adaptive and Disabled Open Water Swimmers

Hunts Forum recommended to separate the raising awareness and support aspects from the coaching services by setting up two separate organisations, a Charity and a Community Interest Company (CIC). This decision would allow each organisation a more targeted focus on the different aspects of the initiative, ensuring that both awareness-raising efforts and coaching services can be optimised for maximum impact.

The support provided by Hunts Forum in the form of legal structure guidance, assistance in forming a board of trustees/directors, and insights into income-generating opportunities are crucial elements for the successful establishment and operation of such organizations. By offering this guidance, Hunts Forum intends to not only help lay the foundation for such a good cause but also to contribute to the organisation’s sustainability and growth.