It is the right of all Australians to have the opportunity to become involved in swimming. Unfortunately for many, there are barriers which stop this from happening. This article provides 7 pillars for inclusion.

Coloured Balloons in a Swimming Pool

When a foreigner thinks of Australia, they naturally think of the sun, sea and swimming (although there are some pretty dodgy things in the sea that can easily scare people).

It is the right of all Australians to have the opportunity to become involved in swimming. Unfortunately for many, there are barriers which stop this from happening.

Swimming Australia, in partnership with a number of key partners, have developed an Inclusive Swimming Framework outlining the 7 Pillars of Inclusion.

These 7 Pillars include:

  1. Access – the importance of a welcoming environment and the habits it creates
  2. Attitude – the difference between positive intention and change in behaviour
  3. Choice – what choices need to be made to make inclusion work?
  4. Partnerships – inclusion happens when partnerships, either formal or informal work
  5. Communication – good, open and transparent communication and the key is effective communication
  6. Policy – how can organisations take responsibility for inclusion by implementing the policy?
  7. Opportunities – what opportunities are available for people, such as translating promotional material or investigating equipment needed to make it happen

There is a resource library available at http://www.7pillarsofinclusion.com/ for organisations to follow.

This is a bold step by a governing body such as Swimming Australia and is one that has already been filtered down into some local swimming pools and Surf Clubs.  

Not every person who has a disability is able to participate in mainstream swimming clubs. That is why it is important for initiatives such as Rainbow Club, which is a swimming program that helps children with disability learn to swim.

For more information about inclusive swimming clubs and Nippers programs near you, contact IDEAS on 1800 029 904.