26/11/2018 - Permalink

News from our partners: Brave swimmer Zoe showing cerebral palsy who’s the boss

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

News from our partners Shropshire Community Leisure Trust

Zoe Goode (7) was born four months prematurely, weighing only 1lb 8oz. She suffered a brain haemorrhage in the first few days after her birth and has cerebral palsy as a result of this. She also has learning difficulties and is moderately deaf. None of this has stopped her from learning to swim though. But she couldn’t have done it without a swimming teacher called Curly.

It may say Karen Rogers on her driving licence, but if you know her, you know to call her Curly. That’s what the thousands of grateful swimming lesson kids have called her for the past 34 years. Curly just goes about her work, changing lives and teaching a skill that will last a lifetime, and she’s been vital to Zoe’s progress in the pool.

Over the last 12 months, Zoe has progressed through the lower stages 1, 2 and 3 and just last month was moved up to stage 4. She’s done it all on her own merit, not letting her disability get in the way, and is now swimming on her front with both arms over the water.

Zoe Goode - young swimmer

Zoe Goode

Zoe’s mum Sally said:

“As her parents, my husband and I are just bursting with pride. She just keeps on smiling, persevering and achieving, showing her cerebral palsy and deafness exactly who’s the boss.

“Zoe started swimming lessons at another swimming pool in July 2016, when she was 5 years old. She was in a Stage 1 class but she struggled in the lessons due to her physical disabilities and deafness. Also, as it was not a learner pool, things were much harder for her. After a number of months, and very little progress, Zoe moved to have lessons at Oswestry Leisure Centre in March 2017 with Karen Rogers in the Alpha Classes. Immediately, she started to make progress.

“Karen was able to spend time with Zoe in the smaller class size to build her confidence and to understand her physical limitations and communication issues due to her deafness.

“We are so thankful that Zoe has the opportunity to have swimming lessons with the best swimming teacher ever, Karen ‘Curly’ Rogers at the fantastic swimming facility at Oswestry Leisure Centre. ‘Curly’ is simply fantastic!”

Zoe Goode and Curly

Zoe Goode and Curly

Alison Wright, the facilities manager at Oswestry, who has known Zoe’s mum Sally for over eight years, and has closely followed the young swimmer’s progress, said:

“We’re proud of all our swim teachers, but Curly exemplifies exactly the kind of dedication and empathy we expect from all our aquatics people.

“Zoe’s progress has been nothing short of remarkable; she tries so hard and never gives up. She’s a great example to kids everywhere and a real credit to her proud mum and dad, Sally and John.

“Zoe’s younger brother, Leo, is also learning with Curly at Oswestry. He’s only four years old, but he’s already nearing completion of Level 3 – a real pair of Shropshire swimming stars.”

Leo and Zoe Goode

Leo and Zoe Goode

Oswestry Leisure Centre is one of five facilities run by Serco Leisure in Shropshire on behalf of Shropshire Community Leisure Trust.

Further information 

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust manages the Whitchurch Swimming Centre, Market Drayton Swimming Pool, Oswestry Leisure Centre, Shrewsbury Sports Village and The Quarry swimming pools.

Our vision is the creation and maintenance of a first class range of healthy leisure and recreational activities and facilities to serve all parts of the communities in the areas we serve.

We work in partnership with the community and all relevant bodies including, but not restricted to, existing providers of relevant leisure and recreational activities, the local and parish councils, Shropshire Council and town councils, and potential funding partners. For more information, visit our website: Shropshire Community Leisure Trust

Serco Leisure

Serco Leisure is a provider of leisure industry solutions, working with clients to bring high quality services to sites throughout England, in Northern Ireland and on the island of Jersey.

Our ethos is affordable leisure time entertainment for all. We run gyms, swimming pools, event venues and national sports centres, including Bisham Abbey, Lilleshall, and the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont Country Park.