Accessibility | Disability and Equity in Education | Health and Physical Education | Other Kinesiology | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies


The purpose of this study was to examine the basic conditions required to implement a para-swimming program at the community level. This was undertaken using a qualitative benchmarking approach based on documents/literature and semi-structured interviews with representatives from 13 countries as well as from the International Paralympic Committee’s Agitos Foundation. Results indicate that successful community-level para-swimming programs should focus on promoting the inclusion of para-swimmers in swimming clubs, with integration being a step towards inclusion. The basic conditions needed to do so include facilities and logistics, financial, and human resource needs. Findings also highlight the importance of the local context and culture. Based on these findings, guidelines are offered for implementing a para-swimming program at the community-level, notably: following inclusion principles, following a sport development pathway, and developing a stakeholder network. Funding remains an overarching barrier that must be addressed for such a program to be successful.