Deaf Great Britain record holder
Stuart Ring

Over the May 2008 Bank Holiday weekend the Ring family made the long journey to Loughborough University in Leicestershire. Their son Stuart Ring, aged 10, had been invited to compete in the Great Britain Deaf Swimming Championships for the first time. Stuart swims for West Dorset Warriors Swimming Club based in Dorchester and is their only county level deaf swimmer.

Loughborough is an Olympic sized 50 metre eight lane pool and this was the first time Stuart had seen a pool this big, let alone swum in one! After a training session on Friday, the races were on Saturday.

Stuart’s Dad said – “We were so proud of Stuart’s efforts, he trains four times a week so he deserved his medals. But, for me, the best part of the weekend was seeing Stuart signing and communicating so well with all the other swimmers - something he can’t do at his own swimming club.”

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Through his times achieved in Dorset, Stuart had qualified to swim in five races, the 200m Individual Medley (I/M), the 50m breastroke, the 50m backstroke, the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle. The 200m I/M involved 8 lengths of the pool doing 2 lengths of each stroke, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl.

This was Stuart’s first race and the one he was looking forward to the most – and with good reason as it turned out – he set a new Deaf British Record time for the under 11 years age group in a time of 4 mins 7.02 secs!! Not content with that, in his other four races he picked up four silver Deaf Great Britain medals. His older sister Hannah, who also swims for West Dorset Warriors, won the bronze medal in the hearing siblings 50m freestyle race.

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