Competitive Disability Swimming

If you’ve got what it takes to win in the pool, then there is a whole team of people and supporters to help you along the way. Your journey to greatness starts here.

Inspired by Paralympic legends such as Sascha Kindred or Ellie Simmonds? Have a talent for swimming? Well, yours could be the next famous face of Paralympic swimming.

There are local swimming clubs in your area that provide assessment opportunities for swimmers with a disability. They are called Hub Clubs.

During the assessment session you'll be asked to complete basic swim skills and assessment tasks to determine your ability level.

  • Track down your nearest Hub Club with our interactive map in the Disability Swimming section of the British Swimming zone here.
  • Then tell your parents to get in contact with your nearest club and get assessed.


Swimming is the only sport to combine a range of disabilities.

These could be limb loss, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and other disabilities such as Dwarfism.

We want everyone to enjoy competitive sport but to do so we want to ensure there is a fair playing field for all.

To do this we Classify athletes. Paralympic champion Liz Johnson gives a simple introduction to the Classifications in our video on the left.

Swimmers' are classed by labels S1-S15. The full classifications are:

  • S1-S10 Physical disability (eg cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, amputees).
  • S11-S13 Visual impairment ranging from no light perception to visual impairment or visual acuity of less than 6/60.
  • S14 Learning disability for swimmers with an IQ of 75 or less with significant limitations in adaptive behaviour.
  • S15 Hearing impairment with an average loss of 55dB or greater in their better ear.
  • Visit the British Swimming zone here for more detail.
  • Check out our Guide to Paralympic Swimming for more videos explaining Classifications.