Para-swimming is pool swimming for swimmers with a range of impairments, including physical, visual, intellectual and hearing impairments.
In order to start competing you will need to either become classified to allow you to compete against others of a similar ability (more info from British Swimming) or obtain a certificate of swimming disability (more info below).
A certificate of swimming disability will ensure a swimmer is not disqualified for performing a stroke incorrectly due to their disability.
To be eligible for a certificate of swimming disability, a swimmer must:
- Have not yet been classified
- Not wish to undergo classification
- Not fit the Physical Classification System
Certification will only be given to swimmers who are Swim England / Swim Wales / Scottish Swimming members with a permanent disability and not to swimmers suffering from short term incapacity.
The certificate is valid for two years and will need to be reapplied for.
To obtain a certificate a swimmer should download the application form and return to the address stated along with a record of the problem and proof of the disability from a physiotherapist, GP or hospital consultant.
A laminated certificate will then be issued for presentation to the referee before the start of a race.