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Disability Swimming Fund Providing Valuable Support

Announcement of the Latest Round of Funding from the Disability Swimming Fund


Swimming NZ is proud to be continuing their support for individuals living with a disability to access swimming. We all know the endless health and wellbeing benefits of swimming, so this is one way we are looking to help people with a disability to Unlock Their Greatness in the water.


The Disability Swimming Fund was designed for individuals with a disability aged 6 - 24 years to open doors to the world of swimming. Whether it be acquiring adaptive equipment or specialised coaching, our aim has been to make swimming accessible for all.





SNZ's Disability & Para Swimming Participation Manager, Cameron Leslie, acknowledges the importance of enabling swimming to be more accessible.

"Statistically, we know raising a child with a disability can be more expensive. We also know for those living with an impairment gaining water confidence or learning how to swim can take longer depending on the individual's impairment(s)."

This was the driving force behind developing the Disability Swimming Fund, to be a connector between the varying levels of learning to swim and participating in recreational and/or organised club swimming.


Leslie also noted that learning how to swim with an impairment can be really hard.

"As hard as it is to admit, sometimes having a swim school open to learn and work with a swimmer's impairment type can be hard. This fund and the success of it is proof and reassurance the learn to swim space is becoming more accessible - and if we can play a small part in supporting that then we are doing our bit."

In the last intake that closed on 30 June 2024, we have been able to provide financial support of $30,000 dispersed to 109 successful applicants from across the country.


Breakdown of Support Per Region

We have been fortunate to receive applications from all across New Zealand. The breakdown of support for each region is:

Auckland

34% (37)

Hawke's Bay

12% (13)

Otago

12% (13)

Manawatu

8% (9)

Taranaki

8% (9)

Wellington

6% (7)

Bay of Plenty

6% (6)

Northland

6% (6)

Canterbury West Coast

4% (4)

Waikato

4% (4)

Nelson Marlborough

1% (1)

Breakdown of Impairment Types

We have also been able to support multiple impairment types in this round of the Disability Swimming Fund. A brief summary included 60% of applicants in this round have are part of our neuro-diverse community, 19% of applicants have a physical impairment, 7% of applicants have a visual impairment and 5% a hearing impairment.


A full breakdown is:

Intellectual Impairments

28% (30)

Physical Impairment

12% (13)

Intellectual Impairment & Global Development Delay

11% (12)

Health/Medical Condition

8% (9)

Global Development Delay

7% (8)

Intellectual Impairment & Other Impairment Types/Combo

7% (8)

Intellectual & Physical Impairment

7% (8)

Visual Impairment

7% (8)

Physical/Intellectual/Visual Impairment

7% (8)

Hearing Impairment

5% (5)

Leslie has been grateful to the families who have been previously supported from this fund for the support we have provided.

"We constantly receive positive feedback from whanau. Not only is a fund like this rare, but it has the participant at its centre - we want to encourage and support whanau not make it harder. For our neuro-diverse community, there are very few (if any) sporting funds available to assist them. So we get heaps of positive feedback from whanau in that space around their appreciation and acknowledgment of an impairment which is often not seen."

We look forward to hearing how the latest funding support helps these 109 successful applicants have a positive experience in the water.


If you'd like to learn more about the programmes and support we are offering to swimmers with a disability, please check out our:




If you'd be interested in supporting us in continuing to make swimming more accessible to people with a disability, please reach out to us via emailing dsf@swimming.org.nz


Learning to swim and being active in the water is one of the most important life skills you can gain. To find your local pool or Registered Swim School, please use our finder function on our:


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