Skip to content
This website uses cookies to help us understand the way visitors use our website. We can't identify you with them and we don't share the data with anyone else. Find out more in our privacy policy.

Aquatics Centre installed swimming pool access system for disabled people

The Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford, UK has incorporated a unique system to improve swimming pool access for disabled people.

The centre has employed Poolpod, which is an innovative lift mechanism that fits to the side of swimming pools, becoming one of the first such venue. Poolpod is a submersible and mobile pool platform enabling independent access which can be used at any pool.

A platform lift lets specially enabled people to remain standing as they enter the water, while a submersible wheelchair allows users to transfer from their own wheelchair in the privacy of the changing room. Once the user is inside the Poolpod, they can activate the system by using an electronic wristband. The system remains level at all times. It takes around 20 seconds to lower the user into the water and can be stowed neatly at the side of the pool.

The working model has already won a ‘New Product of the Year’ award at NAIDEX National 2012 – the UK’s largest disability, homecare and rehabilitation event. Poolpod is the result of a design competition run and led by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and supported by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

British Swimming has now bought seven Poolpods, which are being installed in a trial scheme across England. One of the first venue will be Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the home of the Paralympic Games and the UK’s national centre for disability sport. Separately, LLDC has placed an order for a permanent Poolpod to be used in the Aquatics Centre following its transformation after the Games.