We are so lucky to have a beautiful climate, the best beaches, and lots of opportunities for swimming and other water activities. Many people with Down syndrome love the beach and other swimming activities just like anyone else, and need little or no support to stay safe. Others need a bit of support to develop skills and confidence, and some need much more.
In addition to community swimming and water safety activities that might be your first port of call, here are some places to try that aim to help you make the most of summer (and much of autumn and spring, or all year round), whatever support you or your child might need ...
Little Heroes Swim Academy is based in Sydney's eastern suburbs, offering classes and other activities in a number of locations there, and at Putney (Ryde). They are very experienced in teaching people with all kinds of disabilities, and include a program to 'bring the beach to people with disabilities because everyone has a right to be included'.
- Little Heroes Swim Academy on Facebook (see the 6 January post about the beach program)
Down Syndrome Swimming Australia - 'DSSA encourages individuals with Down syndrome to actively participate in the great sport of swimming at all levels of competency. Our aim is to give people with Down syndrome the opportunity to swim competitively against other athletes and to provide a pathway to local, national and international competition.' DSSA has selected a team to compete in the World Trimsome Games in Florence, Italy in 2016.
Disabled Surfers Association of Australia 'is uniquely Australian having ambitions to go global, whilst setting world’s best practice for the sport of Disabled Surfing. Initially set up for injured surfers, within a short time the DSA had dramatically widened its target group to cater for all disabilities that is anyone willing to have a go.' The website and Facbook page have the best photos!
Sailors with Disabilities 'provides free sailing and training programs for people with a disability, disadvantaged children and adults, and their carers.'
Special Olympics Australia offers recreational and competitive Aquatics programs. You need to check into your local region's page on the website to see what activities are available. Some regions have their own Facebook pages.