Swim England is launching updates to two resources which will help
to further improve inclusion within swimming.
The national governing body’s ‘Certificate of
Exception’ is the first of the two resources and is an update
of the previously named ‘Certificate of Swimming
The certificate was initially created to enable disabled swimmers
to participate in competition without being penalised for rule
infractions beyond their control.
This was particularly relevant to swimmers who could not, or did
not, want to have a para-swimming classification.
Whilst uptake was positive, it was recognised that the application
process may be a barrier for some and there may be potential to
expand its use.
Therefore, the following changes were proposed and subsequently
The removal of the need for medical evidence when submitting
form for the certificate. This has been
replaced with a simple co-signatory process. The form can be
countersigned by a fellow club member such as a coach.
The extension of the certificate to include a ‘swimwear
exception’. This will enable competitors to wear swimwear
outside of the standard regulations whilst also ensuring compliance
with FINA regulations in relation to swimwear.
Mike Hawkes, Swim England’s inclusion partner, said:
“We know the certificate is a great way to enable disabled
swimmers to access our swimming competitions and wanted to ensure
this was available to as many people as possible.
“The introduction of a swimwear exception is an exciting
development. We’ve listened to feedback about swimming
costumes being a barrier to competition and believe that this
update will remove those barriers for many competitors and
Although the certificate update has now been officially launched,
current holders will be able to use their existing certificate
until the expiry date, at which point a renewal application will
need to be made via the updated process.
A range of guidance has also been produced to help members, clubs
and officials to further understand the new certificate. To view
and download the relevant guidance, please click
Updated swimwear guidance
Alongside the certificate, steps have also been taken to update
Swim England’s swimwear guidance to include reference to
period wear for the first time.
This guidance is currently applicable to swimming only and Claire
Coleman, Swim England head of development, was happy to support the
She said: “We welcomed the opportunity to revise and update
current policies as a way of ensuring swimming is as accessible as
“These changes ensure Swim England is addressing current and
relevant issues head on. Ultimately, we want to make participating
and competing easier for swimmers.
“We look forward to the impact it will have on our members
and achieving a nation swimming.”
The updated guidance for appropriate swimwear can be