Swim Ireland, as the national governing body for swimming and associated aquatic disciplines aims to provide appropriate opportunities to all those who wish to participate in swimming in whatever capacity they choose. Swim Ireland works in partnership with the national governing bodies for disability in Ireland, being the Irish Wheelchair Association Sport, Irish Blindsports and Cerebral Palsy Sport Ireland to promote the sport of swimming for all and to coordinate swimming activities with a view to enhancing the efforts of the sport and the swimmers to grow and flourish.
What is Paralympic Swimming?
Swimming for men and women has been a part of the Paralympic program since the first Games in 1960 in Rome, Italy. Today the races are highly competitive and among the largest and most popular events in the Paralympic Games. The Paralympic games take place in the same venue and just after the Olympic Games. Paralympic swimming competitions occur mainly in 50 metre pools and, while competing, no prostheses or assistive devices may be worn
Paralympic swimming competition is open to male and female athletes in the categories for dwarfs, amputees, blind/visually impaired, spinal cord injured/wheelchair, 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.
For further information, please visit Paralympics Ireland
Special Olympics Ireland – Swimming
Special Olympics Ireland provides sports training and competition opportunities for people with an intellectual disability. It offers 14 different Olympic type sports, one of which is Swimming. Special Olympics Ireland is open to males and females with an intellectual disability who from 6 years of age may participate in training only but can compete from 8 years of age. There is no upper age limit.
Special Olympics competition is offered at Area, Regional, All Ireland, European and World Level. Special Olympics World Games take place every two years, alternating between summer and winter games, similar to Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Swimming within Special Olympics comprises a number of different events which include all four swimming strokes; freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. In addition a number of Special Olympics specific events are offered. It is appropriate for athletes of all ability levels because of the variety of events and distances offered in the sport.
Competition includes individual events and a number of four person relay events. All events are timed, using a manual system i.e. stop watches or at larger events an electronic system may be used.