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Vicki runs a swimming club for the LGBT community – Londoner #279

Vicki runs a swimming club for the LGBT community – Londoner #279


My father got me into sport, he wanted to take me and my sister sailing and he had a little dinghy boat and then he thought
maybe before we went sailing we should go swimming. Then he spent the next five
years watching me and my sister swim up and down a swimming pool and we didn’t
really do much sailing ever. So I’m in a swimming club called Out to Swim. I
volunteer as a part of Out For Sport which is the umbrella organization that
looks after all the LGBT sports clubs in London. So I’m the co-chair of that umbrella organization and we run training events and social events. We try to work as a team all together. In 1994 I just joined the swimming club and
I was just starting out, starting back with my swimming and we went to the Gay
Games in New York. Round about then was like really the height of the AIDS crisis. In fact a lot of my friends died from AIDS. In New York was possibly the
absolute apex of the number of people who were sick and dying.
So going at that time to New York was a really moving experience. I felt very proud of us being strong and powerful. One of the guys on our team he broke a
world record and he was actually HIV positive. The complete opposite of the
image that was in so many people’s minds about what it was to be gay
at that time. We brought that feeling back to London.

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