How SAS began
One Sunday in April 2010 Fiona was speaking to a friend who had a mastectomy in 2008. Fiona asked “Now you are on the road to recovery, what would you like to do?” Her friend replied “I would love to learn to swim but can’t afford the lessons”.
The following morning Fiona telephoned the Swimming Co-ordinator at the council and put her idea forward of a mastectomy swimming group. The advice she received was to go to the breast cancer support group and obtain some feedback.
In May 2010 Fiona did just that and attended the breast cancer support group. She came home armed with plenty of notes and soon realised she had been too narrow-minded. Lumpectomies leave huge scars too.
Fiona soon realised the name had to change from MSG to something of wider scope. That same night Swimming After Surgery (SAS) came to mind and stuck. SAS makes people feel empowered. Swimming After Surgery says exactly what it does on the tin.
Fiona designed business cards and had a further meeting with the Council in summer 2010.
On 26th October 2010 Swimming After Surgery (SAS) launched.
On 12th May 2011 Fiona attended the House of Commons to become an ASA National Swim Hero.
Fiona received a telephone call from a lady in Gatwick asking her what qualifications are needed to set up SAS. Fiona replied she had none at that time. What do you need the lady enquired. Fiona’s reply lots of money and access to a swimming pool. The lady in Gatwick held a pink zumba night raised £7000 and set a similar project up in Gatwick 2011.
Macmillan informed Fiona that Walsall have also had the same idea and launched a swimming group for lymphoedema patients.
Fiona has also been instrumental in setting up Cannock Chase (SAS) which launched in September 2013. This took two years of planning with Fiona and completing the funding application form to Macmillan Cancer Support.
As a thank you for all her hard work in helping establish Swimming After Surgery (SAS) in Cannock Chase Leisure Centre Fiona was invited to attend the Paralympic Torch Celebration weekend.
The week after Swimming After Surgery (SAS) commenced in Cannock Chase Leisure Centre Fiona was invited to the official opening. Where she met the VIP who officially opened the pool. Behind them both is Emma Wilkins.