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New 2021-22 para-swimming consideration policy published by Swim England

A ‘more inclusive and integrated’ consideration policy has been developed by the Swim England Para-swimming Talent Team – which will see new athletes being invited onto the programme at the beginning of next year.

The aim of the talent programme is to develop athletes’ attributes to progress onto British Para-Swimming World Class progress and perform on the international stage.

However, as a result of the pandemic limiting training and competitive opportunities there will be a slightly different approach to the programme with two phases being introduced.

Phase one will run between September and December 2021 and will be an extension of the existing programme.

The second phase runs from January to August 2022 when a new structure will be implemented and athletes will be invited onto the programme.

From September 2022 onwards, there will be a normal full season talent programme delivered.

Martin Lees, Swim England para-swimming development manager, said: “I am excited to be in position where we can publish a consideration policy for swimmers to be invited onto the programme. 

“With the Paralympics coming up fast, I know that it will help provide an extra bit of motivation and drive for our athletes. 

“We have the Commonwealth Games in less than a year and we need to ensure that our swimmers are in the right environment in order for them to develop their skills to be considered for major events. 

One-team approach

“For the first time in a long time, we have been able to deliver classification and welcome new swimmers into the pathway. 

“We are working with swimming talent to develop a more inclusive and integrated talent pathway developing the ‘one-team’ approach that was so successful at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“I look forward to seeing them compete at the festivals and those who meet consideration standards will be considered for the coming programme”.

Martin said a number of athletes who were competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games had progressed through the Swim England Para-swimming Talent pathway

He added: “Responsibility, Ownership, Commitment and Knowledge (ROCK) will remain the ethos of the Para-Swimming talent programme and has been a key part to helping swimmers progress through the pathway. 

“ROCK provides a platform to holistically develop athletes so that they have a positive benefit from being on the talent programme and are a better person, swimmer and performer as a result.”

The programme has 4 tiers which are banded by age groups and each tier has a separate criteria which swimmers must meet to be considered

New swimmers will be considered for phase 1 and 2 as outlined in the consideration policy.