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Disability swimming in manchester

Here in Manchester, we understand the transformative power of sport, and how important swimming is to our city. Our commitment to swimming and aquatics mirrors our investment in physical activity, welcoming record numbers into our Swim School and Education Swim programmes and offering free swimming to local residents 16 and under and over 60 to access and enjoy swimming. 
 
This summer, we were proud to welcome the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships to the Manchester Aquatics Centre, which as a city of ‘firsts’, continued our tradition to lead the way when it comes to Para sport, having hosted major para swimming events including the prestigious Paralympic World Cup from 2005 to 2012.

Whilst this event positioned the city as a destination for world class international sporting events, it was also important that the event created a legacy within Manchester's communities, ensuring more people with disabilities could access the nine different swimming pool provisions within the city. 
 
Through committed investment into our world class facilities and people, we continue to work to develop a fully integrated para sport programme, with Manchester now home to the British Para-Swimming National Performance Centre at the Manchester Aquatics Centre. 
 
The event not only provided the opportunity to celebrate sporting excellence, but also to inspire future generations, challenge societal perceptions, and further promote inclusivity.  
 
Beyond the starter pistols and podiums we remain committed to widening access and opportunity for our communities to engage and enjoy swimming and aquatics. 
 
We’re pleased to now offer more Level Water swimming lessons across our pool programmes, a series of 1-2-1 lessons for with additional needs and disabilities. Alongside additional inclusive swimming sessions. 

Following the Championships, 34 children with different disabilities now attend Level Water Intensive swimming Lessons across five pools in Manchester. 8 of whom have since progressed onto the weekly 1-2-1 Level Water lessons taking place across varius centres.
 
We have also delivered swim teacher courses to our staff, with over 20 recieving teaching and guidance in teaching people with additional needs and disabilities. Manchester has also now implemented a dedicated Disability Swim Tutor representing the North Region.
 
All of our pools are fitted with a pool hoist or a pool pod. Our pools are also having accessible steps intstalled for easy access and all but one fully equipped with changing places toilets. 

View the tab below to discover more about the legacy programme.

This is part of the journey, one where we will continue to deliver a positive impact far beyond medals won in the pool. 
 
Together, let us redefine the boundaries of possibility and inspire the world. 
 

To find out about disability and para swim sessions in the city, check out the tabs below



Around the event, both pool operators in Manchester (Better UK Manchester and Everyone Active) partnered with Level Water to offer Intensive swimming lessons for local disabled children, shortly after the event finished. 
 
This saw 34 children with different disabilities attend Level Water Intensive swimming Lessons across five pools in Manchester. 8 of these whom then progressed onto the weekly 1-2-1 Level Water lessons taking place across varius centres.
 
Twenty members of staff also received training in how to deliver Level Water swimming lessons, with one instructor being upskilled in the new STA Level 2 Award in Teaching Disability Swimming, and Manchester now having a dedicated Disability Swim Tutor representing the North Region for Better UK.  
 
Moss Side Leisure Centre also hosted Community Integrated Care for a number of days prior to the event.  Access was free and the group brought around 40 people per session and whilst they were at the centre, they took part in arts and crafts, sports and personal development activities.
 
In addition to this Moss Side and Abraham Moss Leisure Centre both offer Inclusive swimming sessions.  These sessions are free to the participants and are aimed at children with disabilities and their families. 
 
North City Family & Fitness Centre and Abraham Moss also offer swimming lessons specifically designed for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, with 28 children attending these lessons on a weekly basis. 
 
As well as offering inclusive lessons and sessions, Manchester also wants to actively integrate any disabled residents into the regular swimming programme at all of its pools. 
 
Wythenshawe Forum and North City Family and Fitness Centre are currently having Changing Places toilets retrospectively fitted at their facilities through Government and Manchester City Council funding.  
 
Once these have been installed all but one of Manchester swimming facilities will have a fully equipped changing places facility and every centre has a pool hoist or a pool pod and/or accessible steps for people to access the water in best way possible for them.

Better UK deliver an assortment of disability swim lessons and sessions from 1:1 sessions for those who need extra help to group classes for more confident swimmers.

Find out more here

Bambers inclusive Swimming is Occupational Therapy Led swimming based in three locations; Piper Hill School in Wythenshawe, Gorton Education Village and Peak School, Chinley.

They also run a session for deaf children.

Find out more here

The MC and NW Disability Swim Club takes place at Wright Robinson College on Wednesday evenings and is delivered in partnership with Bambers Inclusive Swim.

Find out more here

Seashell trust deliver an assortment of disability swim sessions including children’s lessons, 1:1’s, family swim, adult lessons and adult aquafit.

Find out more here.

Aquatic Life Swim delivers 1 to 1 disability swimming lessons working towards inclusion in group lessons as confidence in the water grows. We are a partner with Level Water.

Find out more here

Level Water provides part funded 1 to 1 swimming lessons to children aged 4-11 years of age with a physical disability, visual impairment or hearing impairment.
 
The aim of these lessons is to provide 1 to 1 support until a swimmer is able to join a group lesson/session of some sort to continue their development.
 
You can apply via their website here

As part of the Para Swimming World Championship legacy in Manchester, Institute of Swimming are launching an inclusive swimming teacher recruitment academy with a specific focus on increasing the number of disabled people in teaching.

How does the academy work?
As a participant in our Academy, you will receive fully-funded training which includes:
 
- SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) qualification
- Q Level 2 Teaching Swimming qualification
- Institute of Swimming Membership which includes over £100 worth of free e-learning.
- Practical volunteer placement
- Mentor to support the placement

Find out more information here

The Matt Walker Academy provides a place for swimmers with an intellectual or physical impairment who are looking to train in a club environment to improve their swimming.

This group will support swimmers who are eligible to progress through the classification process, providing the opportunity to compete at para swimming events at every level of the sport.

The Matt Walker academy sits within City of Manchester Swim Team.

Find out more here.