Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project reaches new heights

Swim England News

Applications are open for the National Deaf Children’s Society’s (NDCS) residential Swimming Teaching course in February next year.

This comes after the Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project received additional funding earlier this year to continue running until March 2018.

Deaf people aged 16-25 can train as a Level 1 Swimming Assistant on a majority subsidised residential course. Food, travel and accommodation during the course will be organised by NDCS. Applications will remain open until Thursday 30 November 2017.

  • Click here to visit the NDCS website and find out more information.

Originally a three year project, the Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project has made great strides towards addressing the number of deaf children who miss out on learning to swim.

Around 250 deaf young people have taken part in deaf-friendly swimming lessons. With support from the National Deaf Children’s Society and the Institute of Swimming (IoS), 10 deaf young people aged 16-25 have already become fully qualified Level 2 swimming teachers. 18 deaf young people have qualified as Level 1 swimming teachers.

Around 600 swimming teachers and coaches have received training in deaf-awareness and British Sign Language (BSL). 100 per cent of swimming professionals that attended the Making Swimming Deaf-Friendly course said that they would recommend the training to a colleague. 76 per cent say that they have made deaf-friendly adaptations to their swimming activities as a result of attending.

The nine-month extension has led to other exciting new elements, including teaming up with Swim England to run deaf-friendly Swim Safe sessions and the Deaflympics Celebration Day.

Deaf children attend bespoke Swim Safe sessions

In August this year, NDCS teamed up with Swim England and the RNLI for Swim Safe. This partnership offered free deaf-friendly outdoor swimming and water safety sessions.

A group of 7 – 14 year old deaf young people took part in a fun, interactive Swim Safe session. They learned all about how to stay safe by the sea with safety advice provided by RNLI lifeguards and in-water tuition with specially qualified swimming teachers. Following their Swim Safe session, the group took part in a kayaking and paddle boarding taster session.

NDCS holds Deaflympics Celebration Day

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) held a Deaflympics Celebration Day last month to celebrate Deaflympians and their achievements, and allow young deaf swimmers to meet their role models.

27 deaf children attended the event, and heard from eight Deaflympians about their experiences in swimming. They also showed off some of their medals to the youngsters.

Following their presentations, the athletes led team games and races, followed by a pool party to celebrate swimming. The young attendees received a medal and certificates and had kit signed by athletes.

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