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 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: disability@runnymedeswimmingclub.com


Training Times

Sessions below depend on Groups. Please speak to your Swimability coach if you are not sure which session(s) to attend.

Group 1 Swimmers : £29.00 per month 

Group 2 Swimmers : £35.00 per month 

Group 3 Swimmers : £42.00 per month

Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun
a.m. 5:30-7:00

(Invite only)

p.m. 6:00-7:00


7:00-8:00 Training Pool


(Invite only)



Training 1 


Training 2 


Competition 1

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.

Para Swimming 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

There are different processes for classification for different disability groups. Watch this video to find out how physical classifications are carried out.

Classification provides a structure for competition. Athletes competing in Paralympic sports have an impairment that leads to a competitive disadvantage in sport.  Consequently, a system has to be put in place to minimise the impact of impairments on sport performance and to ensure the success of an athlete is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This system is called classification.

Ten eligible impairments

There are ten different types of impairments:

  • Impaired muscle power
  • Impaired passive range of movement
  • Loss of limb or limb deficiency
  • Leg-length difference
  • Short stature
  • Hypertonia
  • Ataxia
  • Athetosis
  • Visual
  • Intellectual

Once classified, swimmers are allocated an Athlete Classification Status

Where a swimmer is allocated a classification (S1-S14) they will also be allocated relevant exception codes.

Physical impairment

To be classified with a physical impairment, a swimmer’s functional mobility is assessed by  World Para Swimming trained classifiers.

The process involves a physical test, technical test and observation in competition, during which time a swimmer’s classification will be determined along with the identified stroke exceptions applicable to the individual.

A minimum of two classifiers form a classification panel consisting of a medical classifier (a doctor or physiotherapist), who will have undertaken the British Para-Swimming classifier training, and a technical classifier (a swimming coach).

  • Click here to e-mail us for more information on how to become a classifier.

In the first instance, swimmers will need to obtain a British Swimming classification and then as they progress along the elite pathway may be put forward for an international classification.

Visual impairment

Swimmers with a visual impairment range from blind to visually impaired.

When testing is undertaken, the classification is allocated based upon sight in best eye with best correction.

Sight classifications are processed by British Blind Sport.

Intellectual impairment

Swimmers with an intellectual impairment have to meet the eligibility criteria.

There are two levels of II classification in GBR: UKSA and Inas.

Further information

For more information on any of these processes or systems please contact the Classification Coordinator on 0161 244 5332 or send an email to classification@swimming.org

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 GB for swimmers with intellectual impairments

CP Sport for swimmers with Cerebral Palsy

Other Para Sports

The ParaSport website has a search facility to allow you to find a local para sport activity or event.