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New inclusion guide will help clubs become more accessible and diverse

Swim England has published a new inclusion guide to help its affiliated clubs ensure their activities are more accessible, diverse and inclusive.

The national governing body’s Inclusive Club Guide aligns with its 10-year strategy, Access Aquatics, to tackle inequalities and remove barriers which currently prevent participation.

It includes a range of supporting resources and tools plus topics on inclusion, inclusive volunteering, disability, ethnic diversity, LGBTQ+ and mental health.

Swim England has referred to a number of community groups and organisations in a bid to drive meaningful change and ensure everyone – regardless of their background – can access a key life skill.

Mike Hawkes, Swim England head of diversity and inclusion, said he was looking forward to seeing how the Club Inclusion Guide would make an impact in assisting clubs.

He added: “This guide is the starting point for many clubs and we look forward to seeing it develop. 

“The guide is intended to evolve as we do. Feedback and suggestions for new content are therefore very welcome and can be submitted to [email protected]

Golden thread

“It was important to us that we had a written resource for clubs that, combined with our free ‘Foundations of Inclusivity’ elearning, could give our members a solid foundation from which to create their own Diversity and Inclusion Actions Plans (DIAP) and enact meaningful change.

“We recognise that increasing the inclusivity and diversity of our clubs is a new area for many and want to ensure they feel as prepared as possible.

“I’m looking forward to hearing about the fantastic work over the coming years, building upon pockets of best practice we know exist in our sports across the country”.

Statistics from Swim England show why focusing on creating an inclusive environment is so vital.

Research carried as part of the England Swims campaign revealed that while 97 per cent of all ethnically diverse communities perceive swimming as an important life skill to have, only 59 per cent see it as accessible.

While 14 per cent of adults in white communities cannot swim 25m unaided, this rises to 49 per cent of ethnically diverse communities.

Mike added: “We believe inclusion should run as a golden thread throughout all of our work areas and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this will have over the coming years.”

To view the Inclusive Club Guide, please click here to visit Swim England’s Inclusion Hub where it can be downloaded.