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Disability swimming talent search given London 2012 seal of approval

Feb 10 2011

A swimming project that will give young people with physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities the chance to dream of Paralympic glory has been given the London 2012 seal of approval ahead of its launch.

Swim Links, led by the ASA, has been awarded the coveted London 2012 Inspire Mark, which officially recognises projects that have been inspired by the Games.

From March, the project will offer youngsters who are identified at school as having ‘higher swimming ability’ the chance to improve through extra swimming sessions thanks to the 20 Swim Links projects that will be taking place at venues across England.

Those who continue to shine can then have their skills officially assessed by the governing body during an ASA County Athlete Assessment Day to see if they are good enough to make a regional squad.

The project is linked to the National Playground to Podium framework, which literally takes talented children on a pathway from school to international competition.

Carole Barough, the ASA’s National Development Manager for Disability Swimming, said: “By attending the weekly sessions, swimmers will have access to high quality teaching and coaching, and will be able to learn the necessary skills in order to attend the Assessment Day.

“Not only will this help us to find the swimming stars of the future but it will also help to improve the athlete’s own development.”

Disability specific workshops and seminars have been offered to the staff who work or volunteer in the local clubs and leisure centres involved in Swim Links.

Sessions will take place between March and July, to link in with the 2011 Playground to Podium Calendar. Swim Links is open to any young swimmer with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability.

For further information on where the projects will be running (not all are yet confirmed) please email: disability@swimming.org or telephone: 01625 440434.

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