Swimming Australia Ltd (SAL) launched the Inclusive Club Standard Program in December 2011 with the aim of increasing the standards of inclusive swimming in Australia, by fostering an accessible and enjoyable environment for people with a disability.
Over the course of the program there was a 16% increase in national registered membership of people with disability. Victoria’s Doncaster-Templestowe Amateur Swimming Club, Western Australia’s Superfins and Mount Anan Swimming Club in New South Wales, all scored 86% or above in the Program, giving them five star status and identifying them as leaders in inclusion.
The Program has been in development since 2009 and has been integrated into Swimming Australia’s major club development Program, GO Club PB. By completing the Inclusive Club Standard Program the clubs will be positively contributing to their overall Go Club PB results.
As the Program develops it could also have a long term effect on the base of talent for the Paralympic pathway and with less than 75 days until the Paralympic Games in London and the announcement of the Australian Paralympic swimming team imminent, it is a timely reminder to clubs that inclusion is vital to the future of our sporting success.
A new area of focus addressed in this program looks at how clubs connect with the disability sector; Swimming Australia’s General Manager of Community Sport Adam Pine said it was important to facilitate communication between swimming clubs and other disability organisations.
“Less than 20% of clubs are actually making contact with disability organisations in their local community. Improvements in this area will encourage more people with disability to get involved in club swimming,” he said.
A total of 140 clubs participated in this year’s program with each club receiving individualised results from Swimming Australia, allowing them to set a benchmark and aim for year-on-year improvement.
As a further incentive, ten of the participating Swimming Clubs were randomly selected to receive a $500 grant.
Swimming Australia would like to congratulate the following clubs on their completion of the Program and their dedication to improving inclusive practise within their club.
Clubs Receiving $500 Grants (randomly selected):
North West ASC – VIC
Palmerston and Rural – NT
Seas the Limit SC – NSW
Parkes SC – NSW
Albany Creek – QLD
Whyalla SC – SA
Brisbane Grammar SC – QLD
O’Doherty’s Swimming Team – VIC
Grace SC – QLD
South Lake Dolphins – WA
A full list of participating clubs can be found here