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Disability Swimming

Stephanie Millward, Team Bath & Aquae Sulis

Para-Swimming is co-ordinated throughout Somerset to provide support and information to young people, adults, swimmers, parents and clubs about various aspects of the sport so they can participate, improve and compete in order to achieve their full potential.

Somerset ASA is working in partnership with Swim England Para-Swimming and Local Sports Partners to promote disability and Para-Swimming at all levels throughout the County and to deliver a programme of training days and competitions.

The 2017 Disabilty Swimming Conference

Sunday 18 June 2017 at Holiday Inn, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton TA1 2UA.

Aimed at both coaches and teachers in clubs and learn to swim programmes this conference will cover:

  • differences and types of disabilities,
  • challengs and solutions,
  • tips and adaptation, and
  • pathways and support networks.

Swim Sessions

From 7 May 2017, a new monthly session will be available to para-swimmers from Swim England South West Region. The swim skills based sessions will also provide an opportunity for teachers and coaches to experience working with swimmers with a wide range of impairments.

Sundays 7 May, 4 June and 2 July 2017 - Hengrove Park Leisure Centre, Hengrove Promenade, Bristol. BS14 0DE
Pre-Pool 3.30-4.00pm
Pool 4.00-5.00pm
View details.

Introducing Para-swimming

Photo: Swimmers taking part in free 30 minute taster sessions at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre on 18 March 2017.


Taking part in competitions
Seek advice on what to look for in a club before joining and the benefits of training with both main stream and disability clubs. Coaching is aimed and revolved around a swimmer not their disability. Talk to athletes and coaches on how they prefer train.

Ask / read how to get classified as it sets up a pathway for future athletes. Find out what young swimmers think about competing for their clubs and how it has improved their self esteem.


The Pathway To Paralympic Gold
Athletes can progress from club, county and regional levels into world class with training and support schemes to gain as much success as possible at future Paralympics.


Steph Millward of Team Bath AS is one of the most experienced Para-Swimmers on the British team having won a total of 10 Paralympic medals including two gold. At the beginning of her career, she was on the fringes of the British international able-bodied team before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 17 years old - and fought back to make the Paralympic finals in Beijing, London and Rio.

We all want our dreams to come true, but we don't all have the tenacity, courage and perseverance that Stephanie had to show to make her dream a reality.


Talent Identification

Join the race to Tokyo 2020 and beyond at a para-swimming talent ID day. More than 60 are planned in 2016/17. Use the Google Map above to find your nearest para-swimming talent ID day in England.


Recreational Swimming
Talk to your local pool about how you can get involved in swimming if you have a disability, the benefits of learning this life skill and how it can progress further into clubs. Hear what parents think of their children learning to swim with a disability and the support swimming teachers can offer.

We hold information about clubs and groups within the County who provide opportunities for disabled people to learn to swim within a sheltered swimming session.  It is hoped that through these clubs they will be encouraged to make swimming a regular part of their weekly routine.


Guidance Information




Links &Training

For further information why not contact Dave White, Regional Para-Swimming Pathway Officer and let Dave or Somerset ASA know if you are interested in becoming our County Disability Liaison Officer (download the role description).




Video* shows an eventful day in the life of a volunteer through their own eyes. They wake up. Have toast, Drive. Sign in at the pool. Time disability swimming races. Meet people. Have fun and finally give out a medal.

* First Light inspires young filmmaking talent and is funded by the British Film Institute (BFI).