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If you are a swimmer with a disability who has not considered taking part in competitive swimming, why not start now?

Swimming is also a great way to have fun, keep fit and learn new skills!

We offer ‘Learn to Swim’ and ‘Improver’ classes through the Runnymede Swim School. Swimmers who want to progress to competitive swimming then move into the most suitable Runnymede Swimming Club Squad.

We provide an inclusive environment for swimmers with disabilities to train alongside the mainstream squads and take part in the club’s social activities.  We also offer competitive opportunities and provide information and support on swimming competitively at disability galas/para-swimming.

Runnymede Swimming Club has wheelchair access to the pool, as well as accessible parking and accessible changing room facilities. Runnymede Swimming Pool also has a hoist for entry and exit, in and out of the pool, if required. If you would like further information, advice or support regarding disability swimming from the Runnymede Swimming Club, please contact us by sending an email to: swimability@runnymedeswimmingclub.com


Training Times

4 available sessions – 5 hours per week

Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun
a.m. 5:30-7:00  5:30-7:00
p.m. 6.45-7.15
80:05-9.00 1:00-2:00

All swimmers of the SwimAbility Squads take part in disability galas around the region and throughout England. In addition, SwimAbility Squad members compete in mainstream galas where appropriate to their times.

For swimmers with learning disabilities, we are affiliated with Special Olympics Essex.  This provides more opportunities to take part in Special Olympics galas around the country and internationally. Special Olympics Essex is part of the Special Olympics GB and worldwide organisation.  If you would like more information about Special Olympics, email: specialolympics@runnymedeswimmingclub.com


Runnymede Swimming Club operates in accordance with the ASA Child Protection and Equal Opportunities Policies. It also operates a Code of Conduct for all its members and personnel.


Disability Classification

Classification is the grouping of swimmers with like ability to ensure that there is a fair playing field. Classification is vital for those swimmers wishing to pursue a pathway in competitive swimming. Each impairment group has a different range of numbers that is summarised in the table below, each number is given a prefix. S denotes the class for Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly events. SB denotes the class for breaststroke events and SM denotes individual medley.


Outline of Swimming Classifications

Category Classification Description
Physical Disability S1/SB1/SM1 Most Severe Physical Impairment
S10/SB10/SM10 Least Severe Physical Impairment
Visual Impairment S11/SB11/SM11 Little or no vision
S12/SB12/SM12 Visual acuity of up to 2/60 and/or a visual field of less than 5 degrees
S13/SB13/SM13 Visual acuity above 2/60 up to 2/60 and/or a visual field of more than 5 degrees and less than 20 degrees
Intellectual Disability S14/SB14/SM14 IQ of 75 or lower
Hearing Impairment S15/SB15/SM15 hearing loss of 55dB or greater in the better ear over an average of 500/1000/2000 hertz

There are different processes for classification for different disability groups.

For swimmers with a function/physical impairment, swimmers need to complete a FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION APPLICATION FORM, and return it to: ASA National Disability Swimming Office, Macclesfield Leisure Centre, Priory Lane, Macclesfield, SK19 4AF. Functional classification sessions are held at regional championships, and in order to be considered for classification swimmers must enter the regional championships.


Useful Weblinks

The following links take you to the Amateur Swimming Association and East Region website sections for Disability Swimming and will provide you with information on their policies and insights into the sport for disabled athletes…

Swim England: Para Swimming Classification

Swim England East Region: Disability 

English Federation of Disability Sports

       Deaf Swimming

Special Olympics Essex for swimmers with intellectual impairments

CP Sport for swimmers with Cerebral Palsy