This weekend (14-15 March 2019) more than 100 young para-swimmers took part at the National Junior Para-Swimming Championships.
Held at Sunderland Aquatics Centre, Activity Alliance organised the event in partnership with Swim England.
For many of the swimmers aged 10-18 years old, the Championships are a starting block for national competition. A multi-class event, included a strong contingent of swimmers in class S14 (intellectual impairment)
Many top world and Paralympic medallists discovered their talent at this junior event.
Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive, said:
“It was great to see so many youngsters having a wonderful time at the National Junior Para-Swimming Championships. Activity Alliance and Sunderland City Council did a sterling job in running the event and I’d like to thank them for their efforts in ensuring it was a success.”
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, UK Sports Association said “This really is an important event on the national swimming calendar. It’s great to see so many S14 swimmers taking part in the event, all with big ambitions and big aspirations in mind. It’s the start of their career and a great opportunity to gather important points, but most significantly important experience and exposure.”
“ Congratulations to the winners and to all competitors for the hard work they have put in to prepare for the event.”
Activity Alliance is the leading national charity in England focussed on disabled people’s inclusion in sport and active recreation. The events programme is renowned in working with partners to ensure more disabled children and adults can access opportunities.
Jannine Walker, Activity Alliance’s National Events Manager, said:
“We’re proud to work in partnership with Swim England on this and other swimming championships. This weekend, so many young disabled people were able to experience a national competition, meet their rivals and break personal bests. Our thanks go to the volunteers, Swim England, SOS and Sunderland City Council for their support.”
The UK Sports Association manages classification for the S14 class, which includes both Virtus (formerly Inas) class II1 (intellectual impairment) and class II2 (including T21 Down’s Syndrome).
Internationally through Virtus class II1 and II2 are recognised.
Domestically in the UK only class II1 currently exists at the Junior Para competition level, meaning both II1 and II2 compete under the S14 class together.