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Para swimming initiatives launched for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

News –

OTTAWA – With the International Day of Persons with Disabilities around the corner, Swimming Canada’s Para swimming program is launching two key initiatives. These initiatives will focus on coaching and on return to competition.

Held annually on Dec. 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was created in 1992 by the United Nations to promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities. The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be, “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities”.

Swimming Canada is making its Para swimming coaching module free through its Learning Management System for all coaches from Nov. 30 -Dec. 5. This module, normally $15, helps coaches remove barriers when it comes to coaching Para swimmers and will help Para swimmers be better served and better coached. The module aims to get coaches to ask better questions, be more prepared, and as eager to learn about their Para swimmers’ needs as the swimmers themselves are to succeed.

“Every one of our Para swimmers has a story of inclusion and success, and their coaches are part of that story. We want to celebrate the Para swimmers who are part of our swimming community, and drive awareness of the resources available for coaches to help equip them to make their clubs inclusive, accessible, and sustainable to Para swimmers,” said Associate High Performance Director and Para Swimming National Coach Wayne Lomas.

The second initiative will be to promote the return to competition with the Ken Demchuk Para Swimming Tournament. Ken Demchuk developed Canada’s first points calculator, a key achievement which has been invaluable to the development of Para swimming.

“Ken is a mathematically-minded volunteer in Saskatchewan that had a great idea 15 years ago, and we want to recognize his contribution. The first annual Ken Demchuk Para Swimming Tournament will help will the gap of competition of Para swimmers in 2020 and beyond,” Lomas said.

The first annual Ken Demchuk Para Swimming Tournament is a double elimination virtual tournament designed to test Canadian Para swimmers against each other. It will run from Nov. 30 to Feb. 25. The tournament is for registered Para swimmers with a minimum Level 2 classification and at least one Provincial Championship standard. The exact structure of the bracket will be determined by the number of registrations.