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5 steps to becoming an elite para-swimmer

So you’ve learned to swim and have joined one of the hundreds of swimming clubs in England. What’s the next step to becoming an elite para-swimmer?

It’s not an easy pathway – only the fiercest, strongest and most committed athletes make it to the top of the sport!

It may be your dream to line up for ParalympicsGB at the Paralympic Games, buzzing from the noise of the packed-out crowd as you prepare to race for a place in the history books.

But guess what? It’s also the dream of the swimmer in the lane next to you! And probably the swimmer in the lane next to them as well…

So keep your head down, listen to your coach, don’t take anything for granted and follow our five steps to becoming an elite para-swimmer.

Becoming an elite para-swimmer

  1. Attend regular training sessions with your club – Learn and develop competitive skills to ensure you develop the most effective and efficient strokes possible.
  2. Attend regional training – Once you’ve started training regularly, there are opportunities throughout the year to train with other para-swimmers across the region to gain additional information about pool and land training, the classification process and to learn the skills and terminology required to progress onto the England Para-Swimming Talent Programme.
  3. Compete – Once you have the skills to compete, there are a range of competitive swimming opportunities, from club championships and regional para-swimming championships. You will learn to compete and start the national classification process, from national to international competitions, if you receive a national or international level classification and have the skills to compete at that level.
  4. England Para-Swimming Talent Programme selection – The different levels of this programme ensures that if selected, the athlete and coach are supported in the holistic development of skills and environment, to further progress onto World Class Programmes. This support is carried out through monitoring, home programme visits and camps, as well as monitoring and support at national level competitions by the England Para-Swimming Talent coaches, who work closely with British Para-Swimming.
  5. World Class Programmes Selection – The various levels of the British Para-Swimming Programmes, further develops the skills and competitive performance of an athlete for progression to international level competition and potential selection to major international meets.
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