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How Swim England is getting involved in National Inclusion Week 2022

At the start of National Inclusion Week we sat down with our Inclusion Partner, Mike Hawkes, to discuss what work is currently going on across the organisation and how people can get involved.

National Inclusion Week will run from the 26th September to the 2nd October with 2022’s theme focusing on ‘Time to Act: Power of Now’.

What are you looking forward to in #NationalInclusionWeek?

Given this year’s theme is #PowerofNow I’m looking forward to highlighting all of the great work that is already happening.

Whilst we have objectives and a vision as to where we want aquatics to be in the future, it is important to ensure our existing working and opportunities are also shared as widely as possible to maximise their impact!

What sort of things will we be highlighting?

At Swim England our inclusion work can generally be split into ‘Sport’, ‘Project’ and ‘Organisational’ goals. We have tried to cover a range of these and will therefore be highlighting sports updates such as the Certificate of Exception and our inclusion projects such as Inclusion 2024.

Why is inclusion so important within Swim England?

Inclusion impacts everything that we do! We want to achieve a nation swimming; this is only possible if all of the nation’s many communities feel comfortable accessing the water.

What this might look like can vary significantly, for some attending a social swim in their local pool will be a huge step, for others a Commonwealth gold medal may be the objective. By being ‘inclusive’ and considering different motivations and barriers to participation we can help people achieve these goals.

What plans have we got for the future?

Given we are just about to move into a new strategic period it is an exciting time for inclusion. Although we can’t give any content away (yet!), you can be sure that inclusion will play a huge part. Personally I’d like to see us do more work to tackle perceptions of aquatics and in highlighting the amazing work that is already happening in clubs and pools across the country.

How can we keep up to date with the work at Swim England?

Organisationally we published our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan earlier this year. We aim to update this every 3-4 months with our next update due to be published imminently!

This details the work we are doing across all work areas and is broken down into core work and our target areas of Disability, Race & Ethnicity, LGBTQ+.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Genuine and meaningful inclusion is only possible via effective co-production, working together with the communities where we hope to have an impact. If anyone has any feedback or would like to get involved they can contact us via equality@swimming.org

Make sure to keep an eye on Swim England’s channels throughout the week to find out more about the various projects across the organisation.

You can find out more about National Inclusion Week here.

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