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Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2022

Our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan or ‘DIAP’ lays out the work that we will be doing across the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion in 2022. Following the update of the UK Code for Sports Governance in December 2021, we are committed to producing an agreed DIAP in line with our strategy and publishing a progress update annually.

Whilst we await further guidance from Sport England to be published we recognise the need to communicate our plan as to how we intend to make progress in 2022. This is split into general or ‘core’ work in this area and then the 3 areas of ‘Disability’, ‘Race & Ethnicity’ and ‘LGBTQ+’. We have chosen these in order to address the specific demographics that we know are most underrepresented within our aquatic sports. It is worth noting that many actions aren’t mutually exclusive and there will therefore be crossover between the demographics listed.

Please find a brief overview of all of the actions within the plan below. The plan is not intended to be exhaustive but highlights numerous significant work areas that will impact on inclusion. It runs from May 2022 – April 2023 as we await further guidance on production of a formal ‘DIAP’. In order to keep our members up to date with the work we’re doing we will also ensure quarterly updates are published in September 2022, January 2023 and May 2023 respectively

If you have any questions or for further information please contact equality@swimming.org

Core Work

Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP)

Creation of a DIAP that meets the Sport England criteria and aligns with our wider organisational strategy, due to be published in early 2023.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our existing plan was published online in April 2022. We continue to work to this whilst we wait further guidance as to the standardised process that will be used from 2023.
EDI Position Statement

Clearly articulate our intent with regards to addressing the current inequalities within aquatics.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Swim England will continue to adhere to our ‘Public Commitment Statement’ which includes reference to our position on inclusion. This can be viewed here.
Maintain ‘Advanced’ Level of Equality Standard

As holders of the highest level of the existing Equality Standard we will look to maintain this level, or the equivalent, following the standard’s review in 2022.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Similarly to the DIAP, we await further guidance as to the new structure of the standard.
Inclusion Hub

A hub will be created on the Swim England website including all of the relevant material that exists across this space. Examples include: Our policies, our projects and our partners. The hub will contain information to assist everyone involved in delivering aquatics including teachers, coaches, clubs and volunteers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – An internal hub has been created and launched on our new learning platform, the Aqua Hub. The content is currently being adapted for an external audience with a view to publish later in 2022.
Recruiting for Diversity

Development of a recruitment strategy which will see us increase the diversity of our employed and voluntary workforce.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our People Development department have completed the data analysis of our existing recruitment process and identified the stage(s) that may present barriers to diverse applicants. Solutions have been created and we will look to pilot the new process in the first half of 2023, details of this will be published via our website.
EDI Policies

Updating of all EDI policies, including our core equality policy, to reflect changes in language and approach since their initial publication.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The review of the core Equality Policy is ongoing and will be published in late 2022. All supporting policies such as our Commitment to Dignity policy have been updated and published.
Aquatic Champions

Creation of training to increase awareness of wider aquatics opportunities and pathways. To be delivered as part of our ‘Peers on Poolside’ project (see below).

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Both the content and training have been created. Steps are being put in place to trial this with appropriate audiences.
Map Key Stakeholder Groups

Analyse and review our current stakeholder engagement groups. Aim to build upon this network and focus on new opportunities/stakeholders with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The initial phase has been scoped but work on final mapping is ongoing.
Swimwear Guidance

Publish updated guidance on permissible swimwear within our competitions. Ensure this includes specific reference to period swimwear.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Guidance has been published alongside the launch of our Certificate of Exception. Full details can be found here.
Diversity within the Talent Pathway

Collect baseline data of the demographics within our talent pathways. Improve level of insight via on boarding of athletes and our membership system.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – A talent ‘club’ has been set up for each discipline via our membership system Integra. Internally, this allows for the accurate capture of demographic data for all of our coaches and athletes at a talent level.
Diversify and Improve Brand Awareness of the Recruitment Academy

Increase visibility of the Institute of Swimming ‘Recruitment Academy’ as a means to increase diversity of applicants.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Work is ongoing and this is seeing a large increase in delivery. We have moved from 20 Academies at the start of the year to 79 as of September 2022. A full list of live opportunities can be found here.

Race & Ethnicity

[England] Swims

Working towards the ‘Capture’ element of Sporting Equals’ Charter we will deliver a targeted insight campaign into the barriers preventing ethnically diverse communities from accessing aquatics. This insight will be used in the development of our next organisational strategy, and shared with the sector.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Working with over 100 partner individuals and organisations the campaign brought in 4000+ responses. As planned, this insight is currently being shared with partner organisations and has been considered as part of our strategy development.
Educator Workforce Diversity

Increase the diversity of our educator workforce by offering a minimum of 8 tutor training bursary places to those from underrepresented groups.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – 4 funded places for tutor training have been provided to date.
Anti-Racism Statement

Produce and publish an anti-racism statement. Training to be delivered to workforce with regards to identifying potential racist abuse and language and what to do if a complaint is received.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our statement has been published and can be viewed here.
Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

Establish an ethnicity pay gap reporting process to be produced annually alongside our existing gender pay gap reporting process.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Work is yet to begin on this objective. We will look at how it can be tied in with our existing gender pay gap reporting process.
Institute of Swimming – Addressing underrepresentation in the workforce

Working with new partners we will look to use non-traditional routes and initiatives to increase the relevance of aquatics as a potential career.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – To date we have engaged with Street Games on collaborative work to reach underrepresented groups. Our Commonwealth Games legacy project, Inspire 2022, has also provided opportunities to work with other stakeholders in the area to increase the diversity of our workforce. Work is ongoing to identify further partners and opportunities.
Peers on the Poolside

Utilising our existing ‘Recruitment Academy’ model we will fundraise and provide training for individuals from ethnically diverse communities to become swimming teachers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – 3 projects have now started in the West Midlands. We are looking at opportunities for case study creation in order to raise awareness of the project, fundraise and launch programmes in other locations.
London Legacy Project – Phase 1

Providing free swimming lessons within a targeted area in order to address the sessions missed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The project was delivered successfully earlier in 2022 with 70+ children from low income households receiving free swimming lessons.
London Legacy Project – Phase 2

Engage with ethnically diverse communities within Haringey to increase awareness of the value of swimming for all generations. Focus on learning to swim and the introductory ‘Start’ programmes across our aquatic disciplines.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Sessions are currently being delivered with community partners, the project remains in progress.


Water Wellbeing Programme

Increase awareness of our ‘Water Wellbeing’ programme and the accreditation process. The programme involves a range of components related to swimming with health as a primary focus.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The accreditation has been launched with several pools already beginning the process. To support this our ‘Introduction to Supporting Swimmers with Long-Term Health Conditions CPD’ has also been launched with the first cohort of learners starting in September 2022.
Inclusion 2024

Improve inclusive school swimming and water safety practice for pupils with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Increase engagement of pupils with SEND in school swimming and water safety more widely.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Building on the successes of Inclusion 2020, 16 ‘lead inclusion schools’ have been identified, increasing from the initial cohort of 8. Our ‘Supporting Pupils with SEND in School Swimming’ CPD has been created and is currently being delivered to schools. Other activities include the completion of our swimming assessment tool for new lead inclusion schools and the ongoing delivery of webinars to the stakeholders involved. More information about the wider project can be found here.
Integration of Para-Swimming Pathway

Integration of our Para-Swimming and Swimming pathways. Ensuring delivery material is cross-referenced across the entirety of the pathway and highlight where, integration can be developed and where specialisation is required.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – From the very positive learning experiences of the 2021/22 season, the Talent team have now developed a pathway that fully integrates disabled and non-disabled swimmers. This is evident from County level through to our performance squad. Coach Inductions for the County & Regional pathways have been delivered by the Talent team where integration is covered and guidance and best practice is discussed. A detailed delivery plan has been created to include technical aspects such as the Optimum Athlete Development Framework, Sports Science and Sports Medicine. Development opportunities have been mapped out for all swimmers, regardless of disability.
The Ripple Effect

Funded by the Spirit of 2012 this 18-month project aims to increase the inclusivity of our volunteering pathway by co-producing solutions with volunteers from a range of national disability sports organisations. The solutions identified will be implemented within the existing pathway to ensure a sustainable impact for current and future disabled volunteers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – A Project Officer has been employed and the project has expanded to include all 7 National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSO’s) as partners. Next steps include the identification of volunteers, updating of resources and identification of the first volunteering opportunities.
Certificate of Exception

Update the ‘Certificate of Swimming Disability’ to make the application process easier for disabled competitors. Furthermore, consider how the certificate can be amended to also take into account swimwear exceptions.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The Certificate of Exception was successfully launched in May 2022 and has significantly simplified the process for applicants. This has already seen a 10% uplift in applications. Work is ongoing to raise awareness of the certificate further. More information about the launch can be viewed here.

Update the organisation’s ‘PoolFinder’ tool to include categories such as pool lifts, Water Wellbeing accreditation and hydrotherapy pools.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – With the Water Wellbeing accreditation launching in recent months, work is ongoing. Accessibility filters such as ‘pool hoists’ are available and work will continue to add in the other data identified above.


Transgender Competition Policy

Review and update our existing policy taking into account prevailing research in this area and the Sports Council Equality Group guidance.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Following a stakeholder and member consultation in August 2022, we are currently drafting an updated policy. This will be shared with relevant groups within our governance structure for feedback on implementation.