What is Para Swimming?
Swimming can be done competitively or recreationally and can be enjoyed in numerous ways based on an individual’s likes and dislikes, however their condition has affected them. Swimming generally has numerous physical and psychological benefits including strength, self esteem, improvement of mobility as well as social interaction.
Who Can Take Part?
Swimming is open to everyone with a physical, visual, intellectual and hearing impairment. Individuals will need to swim unaided if swimming competitively.
There is no single classification for individuals with CP in swimming, but the classification system is designed to make sure individuals are classified fairly according to; how their impairment has affected them, how this has then affected their functional ability and ability to do different swimming movements, and whether the effects of their impairments is similar to a different individual with a different medical condition.
The classification system for swimming runs from S1 to S15, and individuals with physical impairments are classed between S1 to S10. Individuals are given a lower classification if their impairment affects their swimming to a larger degree, and a higher classification if their impairments affects them less.
World Para Swimming
World Para Swimming (WPS) is the governing body for Para Swimming and is in charge of classification. WPS has encouraged the sport to grow since it debuted in the Paralympics in 1960.