More children with disabilities learning how to swim in Falkirk region

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Greater numbers of children with disabilities in Falkirk district are being supported to learn to swim, new research has found.

The National Learn to Swim Framework, a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water, delivered by Falkirk Community Trust across eight pools, aims to ensure children of all abilities can become confident, competent and safer swimmers.

A report by Scottish Swimming revealed that Falkirk has 48 children with disabilities who have attended learn to swim lessons, developing not only their swimming ability but also their confidence and social and communication skills.

Christina MacKenzie, swimming development officer at Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We are delighted to be part of the #SeeMyAbility campaign, and we hope to increase the numbers of children and adults with disabilities participating in our Learn to Swim programme.”

Learn to Swim ambassador and World Para Swimming World Champion Toni Shaw said: “I’m really proud to be an ambassador for the Learn to Swim Framework and really pleased that children with a disability are taught in inclusive learn to swim environments.

“It’s great to develop as a swimmer and be seen beyond my disability. This has enabled me integrate into a performance environment where I get to train alongside other world-class athletes.”

All Scottish Swimming performance centres have athletes with a disability, while Scottish competitors won nine medals at the recent World Para Swimming Championships in London.

Euan Lowe, CEO at Scottish Swimming, said: “Scottish Swimming’s vision is ‘everyone can swim’ and learning to swim is an activity for all regardless of ability or disability, and the whole swimming pathway can be taught in an inclusive way.

“If teachers are aware of a child’s disability then lessons or activities can be adapted.

“Swimming is an important life skill and can be great fun in a group environment. This should be no different for a child with a disability.”