Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, swimming has been one of the main sports of the Paralympics. Like the Olympic Games, competitors measure their skills in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and medley events.
Swimming is open to both male and female competitors who have a physical impairment, intellectual impairment or visual impairment. Athletes are classified based on their functional ability to perform each stroke. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) 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 visual impairment. No prostheses or assistive devices are permitted.
Para-Swimming is governed internationally by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In Australia, the Australian Paralympic Committee is the National Federation for the sport. Through a mainstreaming Agreement, the APC funds Swimming Australia to deliver the Paralympic Preparation Program.