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Kent County Amateur Swimming Association Kent County
Amateur Swimming Association

Kent Sport's Learning Disability Swimming Lessons

30th July 2015

Value of Sport Case Study

District: Canterbury

Strategic priority supported: Health


  • Swimming


Before the project started, the learning disability team used to go Swimming in Kingsmead Leisure Centre as a small group. The sessions were lead by the team and co-ordinated centrally so that those that could swim could benefit from weekly exercise. With the offer of free Swimming lessons from the ASA to kick start more people into taking up Swimming, the learning disability team were offered an 8 week course of lessons to get more learning disability adults Swimming. Due to popularity, another 8 week set of lessons were put on with equal success. The lessons cost £1,400 for two courses of lessons for 20 people to learn to swim. The individuals now pay to swim either at the group Swimming lessons or individually.


  • Canterbury City Council's Sports Development Team set up and designed the project
  • Eastern and Coastal Kent Community Services Learning Disabilities set up the follow up from lessons and provided clients
  • Active Life Ltd. provided instructors
  • Amateur Swimming Association provided funding
  • Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT provided funding


  • 20 adults with learning disabilities were put on the 8 hours of lessons and every single one has continued to attend the weekly learning disability sessions, turning a small group of around 6/8 adults into a group of around 25
  • Since the lessons, the Learning Disability Team has produced a DVD to show other learning disability adults that have some Swimming ability to have the confidence to go Swimming at any time. This has allowed those that learned to swim with the free lessons and others to be able to access the pool at any time. The DVD is acted by learning disability service users on how they arrive at the centre, what they need to do and where they need to go
  • Many of the Canterbury Learning Disability service users are overweight and do very little exercise outside the group sessions. Since the DVD was produced many of the group are now accessing other sections of the leisure centre, including two men who now use the gym and three ladies that do an aqua class with one of the learning disability staff who attends the class outside of work.

Please visit if you would like to find out more information on this project.

Kent County Amateur Swimming Association Swim England Affiliated County Swim England South East London Swimming Swim England British Swimming British Swimming Swimline Child Protection in Sport Unit