Para Penguins Sessions

From April 2021, Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club will be running dedicated para squad swimming sessions on Fridays at 7.30-8.00pm at Easton Leisure Centre for swimmers who are at least 8 years old, have a physical or diagnosed learning disability and are able to swim 25m in deep water in both front crawl and backstroke. Swimmers do not need to have an official para classification to join the sessions.

The aim of these sessions is to support swimmers to achieve their potential through improvements in technique, individual support plans to increase progress during other swimming sessions, working towards competitions and making friends and having fun.

We look forward to welcome new and current members to these sessions. Please contact Polly on polly.mullen@bristolpenguins.com if you would like to book a trial or find out more information.

Find out more about Bristol Penguins here.

What will the sessions involve?

When swimmers join the para squad, para lead coach John will have a conversation with swimmers and parents to agree goals for the swimmer and do design an individual support plan. Each session will be tailored towards the swimmer’s aim. The swim session could involve working on a particular stroke, turns, dives, fitness, or something else. John will work with the swimmer’s coach of other Penguin sessions to provide additional support (for example by writing adjustments to sets or specific drills).

The para squad will be coached by experienced coach John Ferguson

John has worked with para swimming in Bristol for three years and has a good understanding of how to get the best out of each swimmer. He is a level 2 swimming coach and level 2 swimming teacher and has lots of experience of coaching swimmers with physical and learning disabilities. John has undertaken lots of training courses for example working with swimmers with visual, hearing, and sensory impairments.

A word from John

I am impressed by the determination and motivation of para swimmers to progress towards their varied goals. I look forward to helping each swimmer reach their full potential, whether that is improving their swimming technique, winning gold medals, or achieving their competitive dreams.

How to join

To join the Penguins para squad, swimmers need to be at least 8 years old, have a physical or diagnosed learning disability and be able to swim 25m in deep water in both front crawl and backstroke. We welcome new and current Penguin swimmers to these sessions. Swimmers do not need to have an official para classification to join the sessions.

If swimmers need any help in and out of the water or to access any part of the centre, please speak to us about this so we can arrange assistance.

Please contact Polly on polly.mullen@bristolpenguins.com if you would like to book a trial or find out more information.

General information on para swimming

To find out more general information about becoming a para swimmer, please look at the information below: