Why get involved in swimming?

Swimming is a great recreational and elite sport and is a great way to increase positivity, sleep quality and mood whilst also teaching life-saving water safety. From learning to swim, to being involved in swimming competitively, anyone can get involved.

How do I get involved in swimming if I have a visual impairment?

If you want to get involved in swimming recreationally, then a few recommendations can be made to be as independent as possible in the water:

  • Make the lifeguard aware of your visual impairment so they can make any necessary changes to fully assist you with your independence- using anti-turbulent ropes instead of ropes standard ropes, placing brightly coloured markers on the bottom of, and around the pool.
  • If swimming lanes, count how many strokes it takes to reach a length in the pool. This will enable you to work out when you are approaching the end of the lane.
  • Familiarise yourself with the pool and swimming area- shallow/deep end, step position to and from the pool.
  • Place a brightly coloured marker, such as a beach towel or water bottle, at the end of the lane to help with turns and orientation in and around the pool.

There are many swimming clubs that are inclusive to individuals who are blind or partially sighted. The sport is adapted for these individuals by using a sighted guide where appropriate, and by using a “tapper”. This is an experienced guide who is trained to observe the swimmer’s stroke and “tap” the swimmer with a long pole/ woggle to indicate the lane ending and the need to make a turn.

Where I can swim?

Any of your local public swimming pools should be able to make adequate adaptations for you to swim recreationally in the public sessions. For more information on these pools please visit the Swim England website