World Para Swimming with the support of Citi announced today the launch of Swim Together, a learn to swim and water safety programme tailored to young people and persons with a disability.
Swim Together was developed by World Para Swimming with Para swimming and aquatic safety experts enabling participants to access swim-safe education through tailored and inclusive activities.
The educational material is targeted at persons with little to no swimming experience and the curriculum comprises of three critical learning areas: Basic Swimming, Water Safety and Safe Rescue Skills.
The Swim Together programme consists of three levels. Each of them includes six individual sessions with both practical activities and water safety messages.
Craig Nicholson, Head of World Para Swimming, said: “Learn to swim programmes are key tools in helping to reduce the likelihood of drowning and preserve life. However, these programmes are not always accessible to groups such as young people and persons with disabilities. That’s the idea behind Swim Together, with a focus on those living in low-resourced areas.
“Any swimming instructor, club or association will have access to the educational material which has been tailored to different disability groups. Our aim is to increase knowledge and skills in swimming and water safety, strengthening public awareness and promoting drowning interventions.”
Swim Together is supported by World Para Swimming sponsor Citi, a founding partner of the International Paralympic Committee’s PARA SPORT programme.
Ryan Djabbarah, Managing Director, Global Head of Sponsorships, Entertainment & Experiential at Citi, said: “As a proud supporter of PARA SPORT and Para swimmers, it’s imperative that we’re constantly seeking out ways to make swimming more inclusive, and safer, for all. The Swim Together programme is an excellent example of educating Para athletes and those who work with them to ensure both safety and accessibility.”
An advocate for the rights of persons with a disability in her country, Singapore’s five-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu knows the importance of projects like Swim Together to provide a safe space in swimming pools and water environments.
"Growing up in Singapore, where the sea is all around us, learning to swim felt like a natural part of life, especially for children. However, other than my parents, no one else around me thought that I could learn to swim. I was lucky that my parents supported my interest and found a coach who was not only brave but astute enough to tailor her coaching to my needs.
“The introduction of Swim Together is a game-changer for individuals with disabilities worldwide. By providing a structured blueprint to help more coaches gain confidence and acquire essential knowledge in coaching individuals with disabilities, I am hopeful that the joy, success, and sense of belonging, which I discovered through Para swimming, will become much more accessible for others."
To have access to the Swim Together Programme Tools contact World Para Swimming through info@WorldParaSwimming.org. For more information about the programme visit the Swim Together page.