Newbridge scoliosis swim coaches bound for Kilimanjaro

Charity fundraiser

Niamh O'Donoghue


Niamh O'Donoghue


Newbridge scoliosis swim coaches bound for Kilimanjaro

Lesley, Clara and Johanna

Two Newbridge scoliosis swim club coaches are heading for Kilimanjaro to raise funds for charity, and create awareness about the club.

Lesley Walsh, Johanna Tilley-Rock, and her daughter Clara (15) will begin their adventure on August 15 and finish on August 26.

“I teach children how to swim whom have had, or have been diagnosed with Scoliosis,” explained Johanna, who lives in Suncroft.

Both Johanna and Lesley, are recently retired members of the Defence Forces.

Straight2 Swimming is the world’s first tailored swim program for pre and post-surgical scoliosis patients under 18 years of age. This program helps to promote fitness, confidence, well-being and helps encourage scoliosis patients back into sport. As part of the programme, some post surgical members undertake the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This climb is organised and led by Kilimanjaro Achievers, an Irish based non-profit trekking organisation.

“We are working very hard to raise funds for the expedition and are hoping that more people will be made aware of the service we offer to children with scoliosis,” explained Johanna.

Set up four years ago, the Kildare Straight2Swimming club takes place at the Curragh Camp pool every Saturday from 4 to 5pm and the coaches say they are indebted to the Defence Forces who allow them to use of the pool. Anyone who has been affected by scoliosis, who is under the age of 18 is invited to come along.

The ladies have been preparing for their challenge and Clara, who attends the Holy Family Secondary in Newbridge, also helps out at the swim classes.

They have set up a Go Fund Me page where you can find out more and support the Kildare Straight2Swimming team.