THE BENEFITS OF Swimming FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Level Water builds the confidence, resilience and self-esteem of disabled children who often feel excluded or have low levels of well-being, by providing specialist one-to-one disability swimming lessons, enabling each child to join a group or mainstream activities and engage in a lifetime of activity.
Disability, health and lack of opportunities and awareness are the main barriers to participation for children with disabilities. Level Water helps to address these barriers by improving local access to sport, inspiring disabled children to get active.
Our lessons are currently free to families as we know the cost of bringing up a disabled child is 3 times greater than that of bringing up a non-disabled child. We are trialling a project where families contribute to the lesson cost with the aim of helping even more disabled children nationally.
- People with disabilities are the most under-represented group in sport
- By working with children, we can have the biggest long term impact
- The sport that children with disabilities most want to do is swimming
- Without one-to-one lessons, most children with disabilities will never learn to swim (Sport England 2001)
What the physio's say about us...
"The Hackney Ark has referred a number of children and young people to Level Water with extremely positive results. The children love the sessions and it provides them with the support required to access mainstream swimming clubs, including school swimming. Some of the children and young people we refer have limited independent mobility, so teaching them a skill where they can move independently through water is invaluable. It is also an opportunity to challenge their cardio respiratory systems which can be difficult when you have a physical disability, doing all of this whilst being fun is invaluable!"
Serena, Highly Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist
When Emily was 4/5 months old, her parents noticed that she didn’t use her right hand, only her left, and her right foot didn’t move like her left. When she was 6 months old a brain scan confirmed Emily had right sided Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy.
Emily is now 6, and wears splints on her right arm and leg, and uses a wheelchair when she is tired. She is very good at adapting to most things, and attends mainstream school, keeping up with her peers. The only thing that Emily couldn't do is swim. She has very little use of her right arm in the water, and her leg is not as strong as it should be. Her parents tried several types of lessons over the years, including private lessons which were extremely expensive, and they were not able to continue with these.
"When we first heard of Level Water, we couldn’t believe this opportunity was available to Emily. It is a fantastic Charity and has provided Emily with 1:1 swimming lessons, that she would otherwise not have been able to access. The teacher is friendly, supportive and encouraging, and gives Emily much needed confidence in the water. Emily is due to have mainstream swimming lessons with her school next year, and before her lessons, I was extremely worried that she would not be able to participate at all. She is much more confident in the water now, and is trying extremely hard to find a technique that will allow her to swim independently."
Without Level Water, Emily would not have had the opportunity to increase her confidence in the water, and just as important, feel like she is the same as her friends who have swimming lessons.
Click on the button below and apply for lessons for your child. Our Operations Manager, Dan, will be in touch.
What other parents say about our lessons...
“The Level Water lessons have given Ella the opportunity to try things she would have struggled to have access to before. Her confidence in the water has grown hugely and it gives her a positive sporting experience which is hard for her to find elsewhere. On holidays she is keener to go swimming which means as a family we can have more shared experiences which is a huge positive.”
Phil, Ella’s Dad
"When Seb started the one-to-one lessons through Level Water he wasn't able to swim at all. Last week he completed a width of the pool without a float, with his swim instructor swimming alongside him wearing Seb's oxygen tank. Seb still gets tired during the lessons and needs additional breaks, but his instructor is able to tailor the lesson to him, which is fantastic. This kind of achievement is massive for Seb and gives his confidence and self-esteem a huge boost. He adores his lessons, and loves his instructor, Alex, who was assigned to Seb as he has a lot of experience working with children with additional needs. "
Holly, Seb's Mum