Date: 17/09/2017

Coach/Leader: Moira Harkins

Age Range of Group: Adult

Summary: As part of Scottish Swimming and Scottish Disability Sport’s commitment to providing more opportunities for people with disabilities to get involved in Swimming, Aberdeenshire Council ran an Inclusive Swimming Teaching workshop at Inverurie Swimming Centre.

Key points:

16 swimming teachers took part in the insightful workshop, which aimed to provide them with a better understanding of their swimmers’ impairments and needs.

The workshop was predominantly interactive, and included elements such as: etiquette guidelines to help teachers interact positively with swimmers; communication tips for teaching people with sensory impairments, communication difficulties, and learning disabilities; guidance on adapting activities using SDS’s Sports Inclusion Model and STEP framework; and best practice guidelines on supporting, assisting and assessing swimmers in the water. There was also a practical opportunity in the pool for candidates to work alongside swimmers with various physical, sensory and learning disabilities from the local area in order to put their newly-acquired skills into practice.

It is hoped that the workshop will strengthen the Learn to Swim programme within Aberdeenshire, with 10 pools across the region now having suitably-qualified teachers. It is expected that those teachers who are already working with swimmers with disabilities will have improved confidence and better knowledge & awareness of how to modify and adapt their practice to suit the individuals.  For those who aren’t already teaching swimmers with a disability, it will hopefully give them the skills to start getting involved, meaning more instructors will be willing, able and trained to teach children who require 1:1 lessons or modify their group lesson to accommodate everyone.

Thanks go to Moira Harkins from Aberdeenshire Council for organising the workshop, and to all the volunteers swimmers who enabled the teachers to practice.

Contact: Moira Harkins, Swimming Development Officer for Aberdeenshire Council – 07824 518632