Swimming, Confidence and Art

Published on: February 23rd 2023

Although born with Down’s Syndrome, living with a disability certainly doesn’t hold Keith Watson, 57 years, back. 

Supported by various care workers, he has an active social life each week, spending time doing arts and crafts with WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes, keeping fit and generally enjoying life to the full. 

Learning to swim from a young age, Keith is a regular at Edinburgh Leisure’s Dalry Swim Centre where he swims every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for two hours, with breaststroke being his preferred stroke.

“I normally swim 100 lengths each session. I really like swimming because it helps keep me healthy and helps my bones.” 

It’s also helped with Keith’s weight-loss and he has lost at least a stone in the last year, aided by attending Swimming World sessions – but admits that swimming has made a big difference. 

Asked what Keith enjoys so much about Dalry Swim Centre and Edinburgh Leisure, he’s quick to reply: “It’s an amazing place.  All the staff are so friendly and treat me as an adult. I have a good laugh with them – especially supervisor James Stobie.  They give me lots of confidence.”

Such is his appreciation for all the staff, Keith created a picture for them at one of his art sessions, which has pride of place in the staff room. 

Keith loves his swimming so much that he got involved in the Swimathon held at Dalry in 2018.  He swam a mile and a half, raising funds for a cancer charity.