LD swimming medalsMore than 200 swimmers with a learning disability travelled from across the UK to compete at the ninth annual British Learning Disability Swimming Championships in Cardiff last weekend [May 17].

Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate, who has a learning disability, was on hand to support her fellow swimmers and hand out the medals at Cardiff’s International Pool.

Speaking after the championships, Applegate said: "The Swimming Championships were a real success this weekend. Well done to everyone who took part.

"Mencap swimming galas were where I had my first experiences of competing at large organised events. The galas really inspired me to progress and put me on the path to winning a Paralympic gold medal! I hope these Championships can do the same for others."

Further reading: Learning disability sports partnership aims to Change the Game

LD swimming startThe event attracted plenty of other spectators, including the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Derrick Morgan who delivered an opening speech to welcome everyone to the day.

Ian Carpenter, national sport manager for Mencap, added: “I'd like to thank everyone who made the event so special, and would also like to thank Westfield Health for sponsoring the event. Without their help this event wouldn't be possible. A massive well done to everyone who took part!”

The championships come after the success of Hannah Payton, from Salford, won recently won gold in the 50m backstroke, silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 200m freestyle at the European Down’s Syndrome Swimming Competition.

Hannah, 17, is a member of the Cheshire Penguins swimming club for people with learning disabilities, and represented England in the competition held in Southampton.