We are Swimmers First

Around 1 in 6 (18%) people in Australia—or about 4.4 million*—have a disability.

Many disabilities can’t be seen or heard. Some people don't want you to know they have a disability. Respect is appreciated.

We are swimmers first. Swimming Victoria supports making swimming more welcoming for people with disabilities.

Swimming is For All of Us

Swimming Victoria is committed to making swimming more inclusive for persons with disabilities by raising awareness, changing attitudes and creating opportunities for multi-class participation so everyone enjoys the benefits of swimming.

We begin by making persons with disabilities feel more welcomed in the pool.

Learn more by downloading our Key Messages.


  • Key Messages for Swimmers & Their Supporters
    1. Swimmers with disabilities have more challenges to overcome when we train, compete, interact with our swimming friends and coaches, but at the end of the day we love the sport and want to be our best in the pool.

    2. Swimming is an important life skill. It builds stronger bodies, friendships, learning and communities.

    3. About 18% of Aussies have a disability and about 90% of disabilities are invisible. You may not even know that another swimmer lives with one. Some people don't want you to know they have a disability. Respect is appreciated.

    4. Disabilities are as unique as the individual. Having an open dialogue, when invited, and not making assumptions builds inclusive cultures. Swimming is for everyone.

    5. People with disabilities are regular people living ordinary lives – doing ordinary things - like going to the pool and swimming. Although some swimmers aspire to be Paralympians, but not everyone does.

    6. Swimmers with a disability sometimes need adjustments with access to the pool, technique skills, learning and coaching. Openness, acceptance and quiet understanding is what’s needed. No fuss.

  • Key Messages for Coaches
    1. Coaches change lives, not only improve swimming. The best coaches make everyone feel welcomed. They get the best out of us, whatever abilities you have.

    2. Swimmers with disabilities are people first. Clubs and coaches can make changes to welcome everyone.

    3. Swimmers are the heart of a swimming club. Coaches can facilitate inclusiveness in our clubs to create more connected communities.

    4. Swimming makes our minds and bodies stronger. Regardless of our abilities, swimming supports us all.

    5. Coaches must be supported by clubs to work with ALL swimmers regardless of their abilities and whether or not people are open to discussing their personal lives.

    6. As a coach you need to know your swimmer’s abilities to help them become their best. Listen and learn more. Communication leads to knowledge.

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