If you are, or know of, an para-eligible athlete who might be interested in getting involved in swimming, please contact your local swim club or Carrie Matheson for more information.

Background Information

Para-swimming is Swimming Canada’s fully integrated swimming program for person’s with a disability from grassroots to elite.
Para-swimming combines a broad range of disabilities into three categorie

  • Functional disabilities -

    • Amputees/Dysmelia; cerebral palsy/head injury; spinal cord injury/polio; dwarfism,

    • "others" (Major joint restrictions, coordination restriction, limb paralysis/weakness)

  • Visual disabilities Blind or visually impaired

  • Intellectual Disabilities


Para-swimming grew out of several different movements in the 1940's and 1950's. During this time, four international sports bodies, divided by means of medical disability eventually combined to form the modern day paralympic movement. Swimming Canada became the first integrated National Sports Organization in 1993.

Today, a "sport-first" approach is being taken and international groups have moved towards representing specific sports, with consideration of a person\'s disability as a secondary factor. The world sport governing body for persons with a disability, including swimming, is the International Paralympic Committee and it operates with sport specific committees that oversee the development of sport for the disability groups.

Resources from Swimming Canada

Integrating Para-Swimmers into Meets

IPC Sanctioning

On January 27, 2010, Swimming Canada released a new set of guideline outlining how to integrate Para-swimming events into SNC and/or SwimBC-sanctioned competitions.

The procedure for IPC Swimming Competition Approval Applications shall be as follows:

  1. 65 days out of the meet or earlier, the meet host (referred to as LOC - Local Organizing Committee - below) begins the process by submitting a copy of the meet package and pool survey (if available) with the completed (signed by Meet Manager) IPC Competition Approval Application to the Para-swimming National Coach via Swimming Canada for review and edits.

  2. Once reviewed and edits are complete, package is sent back to LOC for approval.

  3. Once edits are approved by LOC or if there were not edits, SNC will sign application form and submit it to IPC Swimming for approval. SNC will copy the meet manager on the email to IPC Swimming.

  4. Should IPC Swimming require additional information on the application, they will be in touch with the LOC and Meet Manager. Should the Meet Manager need assistance with the IPC questions, please be in touch with the National Coach through Swimming Canada

  5. IPC Swimming will notify the LOC and SNC when competition approval has been granted.

  6. Once IPC Approval is granted, SNC will invoice the LOC for the equivalent of the 50 Euros Sanction Fee.

Please read the following documents carefully, then see the section below for some useful tools to use in running a meet involving IPC athletes.

Some quick links you might find useful: