Swimming is one of the most beneficial sports for our health. In fact, Egyptians used it already as therapeutic treatment for people with reduced mobility.
Thanks to its popular advantages, more and more swimming pools have been adapted turning this type of sport into one of the most practised by people with a spinal cord injury. Adapted swimming was already present in the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960.
Benefits of swimming for the spinal cord injured
Swimming is an aerobic activity which train and strengthen every muscle. Practising it frequently allows people with a spinal cord injury to gain strength and stamina.
It also helps psychologically because it improves self-reliance, self-esteem and boosts social relationships. For many people with a spinal cord injury adapted swimming represents a way of rising above themselves and overcome their limitations. This is a key factor to face a spinal cord injury.
This type of sport becomes for many people a life style, even at a professional level among its several categories.
Categories and classification of adapted swimming
Swimming was one of the first sports to be adapted in the first Paralympic Games (together with basketball, athletics, snooker and others).
Adapted swimming has the same strokes than conventional swimming: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, free stroke… and you compete for the same distance: 50 metres in speed, 50 and 100 metres, and 400 metres.
This sport includes several types of classifications, depending on the disability degree of the sportsmen and women who are competing for each style:
- From S1 to S10: sportspeople with physical disability and cerebral palsy are included in this group. S1 would be the most severe cases and S10 the least affected.
- S11: this category is for blind people.
- S12 to S13: this is for those with visual impairment.
- S14: this is for those with intellectual disability.
How can I distinguish the categories?
“S” stands for free stroke category, butterfly and backstroke. “SB” stands for breaststroke and “SM” for mixed tests.
We strongly encourage you to take up this sport. It will help you to improve your body condition and feeling better.