Sports Summary

Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960, Para-swimming has been a feature of the Paralympic program. Like the Olympic Games, competitors measure their skills in backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and medley events.

Male and female athletes with a physical, vision or intellectual impairment are eligible to compete. Athletes are classified based on their functional ability to perform each stroke.

The International Swimming Federation’s rules are followed with a few modifications, such as optional platform or in-water starts for some races, and the use of signals or ‘tappers’ for swimmers with a vision impairment. No prostheses or assistive devices are permitted.

Links

Events & Disciplines

Athletes can contest the 50m and 100m backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x50m and 4x100m freestyle, 150m and 200m individual medley, and 4x100m medley.

Classification

Who is eligible to compete in Para-swimming?

Intellectual Impairment Yes
Physical Impairment Yes
Vision Impairment Yes

What is an intellectual impairment?

An intellectual impairment is a limitation in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills, which develops before the age of 18.

What is a physical impairment?

A physical impairment is an impairment affecting the physical body and relates to one or more of the conditions listed below:

  • Ataxia
  • Athetosis
  • Hypertonia
  • Impaired muscle power
  • Impaired passive range of movement
  • Leg length difference
  • Limb deficiency
  • Short stature

What is a vision impairment?

A vision impairment is an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or pathways, or visual cortex, which impacts the vision in both eyes.

What are the classes?

Athletes are classified based on their functional ability.

Athletes are given classifications with the prefix ‘S’ for backstroke, butterfly and freestyle events, ‘SB’ for breaststroke events and ‘SM’ for medley events.

S1-10, SB1-10, SM1-10 Athletes with a physical impairment
S11-13, SB11-13, SM11-13 Athletes with a vision impairment
S14, SB14, SM14 Athletes with an intellectual impairment
Not Eligible (NE) Does not have an eligible impairment type and/or meet the minimum impairment criteria for Para-swimming

For more information, view the Para-swimming Classification Information Sheet (updated Nov 2019)

How do I get classified?

Intellectual Impairment Click here to find out more about seeking a Para-swimming classification.
Physical Impairment Click here to find out more about seeking a Para-swimming classification.
Vision Impairment Click here to find out more about seeking a Para-swimming classification.

Classification Masterlist

Swimming Australia manages the National Para-swimming Classification Masterlist. This list includes athletes who have been classified in accordance with World Para-swimming Classification Rules and Regulations, Paralympics Australia’s Classification Policy and Swimming Australia’s classification policy.

Click here to view the Masterlist.

Rules & Equipment

Athletes are required to wear a bathing suit that does not aid their speed, buoyancy or endurance.

Swimming caps and goggles are permitted.

Medal History

Year Gold Silver Bronze total
2016 9 10 10 29
2012 18 7 12 37
2008 9 11 9 29
2004 6 14 15 35
2000 14 15 21 50
1996 16 16 12 44
1992 10 12 13 35
1988 5 12 14 31
1984 20 30 24 74
1980 1 8 2 11
1976 3 5 2 10
1972 1 3 5 9
1968 5 5 1 11
1964 9 2 2 13
1960 2 0 0 2

Contacts

We encourage those wishing to explore Para-swimming to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation
Organisation Website
Swimming Australia swimming.org.au
State Federations
State Organisation Website
NSW Swimming NSW nsw.swimming.org.au
NT Swimming NT nt.swimming.org.au
QLD Swimming QLD qld.swimming.org.au
SA Swimming SA sa.swimming.org.au
TAS Swimming TAS tas.swimming.org.au
VIC Swimming VIC vic.swimming.org.au
WA Swimming WA wa.swimming.org.au
Joshua Alford

Joshua Alford

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Jesse Aungles

Jesse Aungles

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Emily Beecroft

Emily Beecroft

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Liam Bekric

Liam Bekric

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Blake Cochrane

Blake Cochrane

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Ellie Cole

Ellie Cole

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Rowan Crothers

Rowan Crothers

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Katja Dedekind

Katja Dedekind

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Timothy Disken

Timothy Disken

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Maddison Elliott

Maddison Elliott

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Daniel Fox

Daniel Fox

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Matthew Haanappel

Matthew Haanappel

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Brenden Hall

Brenden Hall

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Guy Harrison-Murray

Guy Harrison-Murray

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Timothy Hodge

Timothy Hodge

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Tanya Huebner

Tanya Huebner

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Braedan Jason

Braedan Jason

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Ahmed Kelly

Ahmed Kelly

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Paige Leonhardt

Paige Leonhardt

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Matt Levy

Matt Levy

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Jeremy McClure

Jeremy McClure

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Ashleigh McConnell

Ashleigh McConnell

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Monique Murphy

Monique Murphy

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Lakeisha Patterson

Lakeisha Patterson

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Rick Pendleton

Rick Pendleton

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Logan Powell

Logan Powell

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Sean Russo

Sean Russo

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Liam Schluter

Liam Schluter

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Madeleine Scott

Madeleine Scott

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Jacob Templeton

Jacob Templeton

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Tiffany Thomas Kane

Tiffany Thomas Kane

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Rachael Watson

Rachael Watson

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Prue Watt

Prue Watt

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson

Para-swimming

Click to see profile
Meet the 2016 Paralympic Para-swimming Team