Swimmers break ‘poo taboo’ for Colostomy Day

Triathlon Caroline Bramwell held event in Sidmouth to raise awareness of Colostomy Day

Triathlon Caroline Bramwell held event in Sidmouth to raise awareness of Colostomy Day - Credit: Archant

Triathlete, Caroline, aims to raise awareness of challenges faced by people with stomas

Triathlon Caroline Bramwell held event in Sidmouth to raise awareness of Colostomy Day (pictured at

Triathlon Caroline Bramwell held event in Sidmouth to raise awareness of Colostomy Day (pictured at the finishing line of a triathlon last year). - Credit: Archant

Swimmers took to a Sidmouth pool to help break the ‘poo taboo’ and raise awareness of Colostomy Day.

Triathlete Caroline Bramwell organised the event in a bid to highlight challenges faced by people living with a stoma who, she says, often feel they have to give up sports and activities following surgery.

A stoma is an opening made on the side of the abdomen through which bodily waste can pass into a ‘bag for life’ that sits externally.

Mum-of-two Caroline, from Ilfracombe, had life-saving surgery after living with a debilitating illness, ulcerative colitis, for five years. She said the event held at Sidmouth Harbour Hotel aimed to prove ‘there is nothing to be ashamed of’.


You may also want to watch:


Caroline, 50, added: “Events being held around Colostomy Day (on October 1) have been a great way to raise awareness of a subject that is traditionally thought of as ‘taboo’. Many people need an ostomy as life-saving surgery and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I was so ill I couldn’t even play with my two young children. Surgery is the start of a whole new chapter for those who are struggling with conditions affecting their bowel, bladder or intestines. And it’s not just affecting the older generation - many children and teenagers have to live with a stoma too.

“I invited ostomates to join me in the pool at Sidmouth Harbour Hotel to help their confidence. With a ‘bag for life’, I often hear people have given up sports and activities that they once enjoyed because they either don’t think they can any more, or are concerned about the bag or getting a hernia. Our swim confidence event was a relaxed informal meeting, so ostomates don’t feel alone.”

Most Read

The self-confessed former ‘couch potato’ took up cycling to get fit after surgery and rode from London to Paris in just 24 hours, a year after her operation – she competes in triathlons and is training to be an ironman despite only learning to swim two years ago.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus