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Swimming Australia launches inclusion framework
Swimming Australia has launched its new inclusion framework and website to promote inclusivity and diversity in Australian pools.
The new Inclusive Swimming Framework (ISF) aims to help guide swimming partners and stakeholders on making the sport more inclusive of people by removing barriers that may prevent them from swimming.
Explaining that the framework will endeavour to give all Australians access to swimming and aquatic activities, Swimming Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson stated “swimming is an important part of our national identity and as a nation surrounded by water, it is in our DNA.
“As custodians of swimming, we accept our responsibility to ensure that all Australians have the chance to become involved, develop and excel in both in and out of the water.
“We acknowledge that not every Australian has easy access to getting involved and that for many there may be barriers and these are our responsibility to overcome.
“The introduction of the Inclusive Swimming Framework is intended to provide the swimming and aquatics industry with a consistent approach to enabling access and participation.
“It is an approach that highlights the common factors that contribute to achieving diversity, rather than focusing on difference.”
The framework has been developed in conjunction with safety initiative Play By The Rules and features a new website inclusion website, entitled 7 Pillars of Inclusion.
Swimming Australia Paralympic Pathways Senior Coordinator Michael Woods said the ‘Pillars of inclusion’ will help people understand where to start on the journey toward a more inclusive and diverse community.
Woods explains “the 7 Pillars of Inclusion is about giving you a 'helicopter' view of inclusion.
“It looks at the common elements of inclusive practice across different population groups, such as people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Indigenous Australians and so on.
“It's a framework to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and it will give you a great starting point in designing strategies for inclusive practice.”
Anderson added that the ISF applies at all levels of the sport, from swim schools and clubs through to elite teams and the administration of Swimming Australia and its stakeholders.
He concluded “while Swimming Australia seeks to take a leadership role in this endeavour, I acknowledge that this is not something that Swimming Australia can do alone. The key to success is ensuring all stakeholders in the swimming and aquatics community feel empowered and involved.
“Every Australian should have the opportunity to be involved in swimming in the role and level of their choosing. Through the Inclusive Swimming Framework, it is Swimming Australia’s goal to achieve this by ensuring our sport is reflective of the Australian community.”
To access the 7 Pillars of Inclusion website, go to 7pillarsofinclusion.com/swimming.
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