Media release: World champion helps inspire next generation of children with a disability to learn to swim

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ABERDEEN-based athlete, Toni Shaw, a multi medallist from the 2019 World Para Swimming World Championships, today helped launch Scottish Swimming’s #SeeMyAbility campaign, which aims to encourage children with a disability to learn to swim – as part of the National Learn to Swim Framework, proudly supported by Scottish Water.

The National Learn to Swim Framework is an inclusive programme that develops opportunities and provides a progressive pathway for children with a physical, sensory or learning impairment. Scottish Swimming support Learn to Swim Providers across Scotland to ensure inclusion of children with a disability in their mainstream programmes.

Toni Shaw, who learned to swim at her local pool, progressed to her local club, Cults Otters, and is now part of the University of Aberdeen Performance Swim squad, said of the campaign: “I’m really proud to be an ambassador for the Learn to Swim Framework and really pleased that children with a disability are taught in inclusive learn to swim environments. If there’s someone with a disability and the swimming teachers are aware of the impairment the lessons can be adapted.

“It’s great to develop as a swimmer and be seen beyond my disability. This has helped me integrate into a performance environment where I get to train alongside other world-class athletes.”

Scottish Swimming hope the #SeeMyAbility campaign will get parents to talk more openly about their child’s disability and encourage them to get their child into mainstream swimming environments. At the same time, swimming teachers and coaches will be provided with a resource toolkit to help them teach and coach in an inclusive way.

Paul Wilson, Disability Performance Development manager, Scottish Swimming, said: “Scottish Swimming’s vision is ‘everyone can swim’ and learning to swim is an activity for all regardless of ability or disability and the whole swimming pathway can be taught in an inclusive way.

“Swimming provides the opportunity to learn a life skill whilst interacting and having fun in a group environment. This should be no different for a child with a disability.”

Scottish Swimming continue to work in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport to provide opportunities along the full aquatic pathway, and Gavin MacLeod, CEO, Scottish Disability Sport, said of the campaign: “Scottish Swimming is a great example of a sport’s governing body that is committed to and actively delivering their sport in an inclusive way and this is particularly prominent with their work around developing inclusive club environments and engagement with local partners.”

The National Learn to Swim Framework aims to raise standards and achieve consistency in swimming programmes across Scotland and is proudly supported by Scottish Water.

Brian Lironi, director of Corporate Affairs, Scottish Water, also commented on the campaign: “We are proud to support the National Learn to Swim Framework and are delighted that it will have reached more than 100,000 children across Scotland giving inclusive opportunities for all children to become confident, competent and safe swimmers.”

More information on the National Learn to Swim Framework can be found on the dedicated website:

Notes for editors:

About Scottish Swimming

Scottish Swimming is the national governing body for swimming and aquatics in Scotland. Scottish Swimming represents our clubs, swim schools, aquatic disciplines, athletes, coaches and thousands of talented and committed volunteers across the entire swimmer pathway. We are focused on delivering in the following key areas to reach our vision to ensure that everyone can swim: learn to swim, participation in aquatic activities, club development, coaching partnerships and performance. Further info at

About Scottish Water

Scottish Water provides vital water and waste water services, essential to daily life, to 2.52 million households and 153,000 business premises across Scotland. At the heart of our business is everyone who lives and works in communities across Scotland. Every day we deliver 1.38 billion litres of clear, fresh drinking water – enough to fill over 540 Olympic swimming pools. We also take away and treat 929 million litres of waste water and help protect the environment across Scotland – every day of the year. More at

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