A trilingual swimming class has been set up in Caerphilly town and is aiming to be “as inclusive as possible”.
South Wales Swim School, which teaches through the medium of English, Welsh and British Sign Language (BSL), is hoping to give people with physical and learning difficulties easier access to swimming lessons.
The classes, which are currently based at St Martin’s Comprehensive School, were first set up in October by swimming instructors Rhian Hares, 18, and Rhys Gronow, 33.
Miss Hares said that while anyone is welcome to take part in the classes, regardless of whether they are disabled or not, “our staff are trained and experienced in making adaptations for the individual’s needs.”
The classes are available for anyone over the age of six months.
Miss Hares, who has been a swimming teacher for more than two years, said: “We stumbled across the Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project but noticed it was only available in England and Scotland.
Having invested the money she earned working in the business, Ms Hares has studied for a special education diploma and taken part in autism training, deaf-friendly training and has learnt sign language.
“We try to make the sessions as inclusive as possible, but unfortunately the pool we use at the moment doesn’t have wheelchair access.” said Miss Hares.
She added: “It’s not fair that children with physical and learning difficulties can’t access swimming lessons as easily.”
Currently, South Wales Swim School is running 45-minute group sessions and 30-minute one-on-one sessions, as well as parent and toddler classes.
Miss Hares said that they are hoping to one day have their own swimming pool.