SVI Learn to Swim, Water Confidence and Swimming programme

Following the success of our Aqua Fitness sessions last year, we are very pleased to tell you that we have been given a grant from the Community Activity Network Oldbury, to run ‘learn to swim, water confidence and swimming for visually impaired people.

It’s an exciting six month programme that starts in April. It will help you to learn to swim or improve your swimming ability and build up your confidence to do more.

Take a dip – first step. Whether you have never been a swimmer, not swam for a long time or haven’t been in the water since your sight loss, this is just the thing to get you dipping your toes and building confidence to actually get in the pool, move around freely and become confident in the water. These sessions will take place on Monday lunchtimes in the therapy pool at the Portway Lifestyle Centre – they are sure to be fun and will help you to make friends as well.

Learn to swim – second step. Take to the water with a fully qualified swimming instructor who will get in the pool with the group and help learners in the way that visually impaired people need, and at a pace that suits each learner. These sessions will lead on from the above and will also take place Monday lunchtimes in the therapy pool at the Portway Lifestyle Centre.

You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have.

Get in the swim – third step. New or less confident swimmers can progress to a larger pool that holds separate swimming sessions for disabled people.  With the help of an SVI swimming buddy to meet you at the Swimming Centre, assist in the changing room and in to the pool, there’s nothing to fear – swimming buddies will join you in the water and encourage you to increase your swimming skills and keep safe. These sessions will initially take place on Monday mornings at the Langley Swimming Centre but other pools may join the scheme at a later date.

Staying in the swim – final step. Now that you are a confident swimmer, you will want to swim at a time to suit you and this is where our one-to-one swimming buddies come in. A swimming buddy will be matched to you, will arrange a time to suit you both and meet you at the swimming centre of your choice and assist you to swim in a public pool. From then on the world, or should we say the water, is your oyster.

Swimming is a great way of keeping fit, and even trying it out by ‘dipping your toes’ and gaining confidence in the water will make taking exercise more fun and less strain on your body. If you can swim already, you can join our swimming programme at stage three or the final stage but this won’t commence for a few more weeks yet.

You can register for this programme at whatever stage of non-swimmer or strong swimmer you are, by calling the SVI office on 0121 525 4810 or email We will take your details, find out what stage you are at already and ask you a few questions about your health just to make sure that swimming is the thing for you. After that you will either start straight away or be put on to our waiting list.

Please note: for the water confidence and learn to swim sessions numbers are limited, so if you don’t get a place straight away, you will be contacted when spaces arise.

Grateful thanks to the Community Activity Network [Oldbury] who have funded this programme – sessions are free but we are unable to meet travel costs for this programme.




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