Disability Sport NI and Swim Ulster have been working in partnership since 2005 to encourage people with disabilities to get involved in swimming and to strengthen and support the performance pathways available.
Swimming is one of the oldest Paralympic Sports and has featured in the Games since they were first introduced in 1960. It is one of the most popular events at the Games with athletes competing in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, individual medley and relay events.
Paralympic swimming competition is open to male and female athletes in the categories for Dwarfs, Amputees, Blind/Visually Impaired, Spinal Cord Injured/Wheelchair User, Cerebral Palsy/Brain Injury/Stroke and Les Autres. Classification takes place to ensure that persons with the same levels of disability swim against each other.
Swimming in Northern Ireland has always been very popular with large numbers of people with disabilities taking part in the sport. Every year Disability Sport NI with the support of Swim Ulster host the Northern Ireland Open Swimming Championships for People with Disabilities.
The event is designed to give people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in competitive swimming in a fun and exciting environment and is open to anyone with a physical, sensory or learning disability, who can swim at least 25 metres unaided. The event is open to club swimmers and individuals. Although the event is used by many as an introduction to competitive swimming, the Championships is also used to select junior swimmers for the Swim Ulster Disability Squad.
Further details on Swimming clubs and Performance Pathways in Northern Ireland can be obtained from:
Odhran Doherty, Disability Sport NI, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 02890469925 Textphone: 028 9046 3494
Swim Ulster, Bangor Aurora Aquatics and Leisure Complex, 3 Valentine Road, Bangor, Co Down, BT20 4TH Telephone: 02891877577