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Swimming in Scotland

Photo: Are you ready to take the plunge?

The Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project is a four-year programme which is being delivered in Scotland.

The Big Lottery – Young Start funded project aims to break down the barriers deaf children and young people aged 8–24 face participating in swimming and aquatics activities including swimming, water polo, diving, surfing, lifesaving and open water – to ensure all deaf young people are fully included.

Deaf young people can face many barriers to taking part in swimming activities, however, we know by taking small and simple steps these can be overcome.

We can support swimming centres, clubs, teachers and coaches to gain the knowledge, communication skills and confidence to overcome these barriers to ensure deaf young people have the same access to swimming as their hearing peers and develop a sporting habit for life.

We have teamed up with Scottish Swimming to create and produce resources. We have an online iLearn course, deliver workshops to hearing teachers, we hold taster days, swimming lessons and pool parties. We also have a bursary scheme to support and fund deaf young people to undertake coaching and teaching qualifications.

For more information or to request resources contact: Eleanor Connelly, Swimming Development Officer: or 0141 354 7860


Swimming Lessons

In partnership with Local Authorities, Sports Development & Leisure Trusts we have set up deaf friendly lessons across the country; Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Stirling, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire.


Deaf-friendly swimming lessons in Ayrshire are run by South Ayrshire Sports Development.

  • Prestwick Swimming Pool, South Ayrshire
  • Every Tuesday, 7pm - 7:45pm
  • £2.10 per lesson
  • Age 5 - 16 years

To book call 01292 474 015 or email


We work in partnership with Edinburgh Leisure to run deaf-friendly swimming lessons. Teachers have been trained in adapting activities for deaf children.

  • Portobello Swim Centre, Edinburgh
  • Every Tuesday 5:15pm - 5:45pm
  • £18.36 per month | £5.50 per lesson after 1st block
  • Age 5+

To book call 01358 727 910 (Press 2 - Learn to Swim or Reece Ironside) or email


Sport Aberdeen run deaf-friendly swimming lessons for deaf children in Aberdeen.

  • Tullos Swimming Pool
  • Every Friday
  • Beginners 4:30pm - 5:00pm
  • Improvers 5:00pm - 5:30pm
  • £44 (half price with Access to Leisure)
  • Age 5+

To book call 01224 507 681 or email


Active Stirling run deaf-friendly swimming lessons for deaf young people in Stirlingshire.

  • Wallace High School Swimming Pool
  • Every Saturday (Beginners and Improvers) 12:25pm - 12:55pm
  • £25 for 1st block - 10 lessons | £17 per month after 1st block
  • Age 4+

To book call 01786 273 555 (option 2 then 1) or email

Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dundee, East Lothian and Highland

We have delivered deaf awareness and basic BSL for swimming with all of these local authorities. They also use all of our deaf-friendly swimming lessons resources. You can go to any pool in these areas and request a deaf-friendly swimming teacher.

If we do not have a partnership near you at the moment, we hope to have one soon!

Swimming Events

Our Come Try events and Pool Parties are posted on our events page. Take a look it see if we have something near you soon.


Our face to face workshops are fun and informative. They help teachers and coaches develop confidence when communicating with deaf children and give advice on adapting swimming activities to make them more inclusive.

Our next workshop: Sunday 12 May, Dewars Centre, Perth.

More info or to book: 

Coach Bursary

The scheme can fund deaf young people to become swimming teachers or lifeguards. Are you interested in gaining a formal aquatics qualification to help support deaf young people in the pool?

Get in touch today by emailing:


We have lots of deaf friendly swimming resources to ensure deaf children are included in mainstream swimming lessons.

See our YouTube channel to see swimming signs from our flash cards in action.

Contact our Swimming Development officer for copies of our toolkit and BSL flash cards.

Top Tips


Online Courses

We have teamed up with the ASA to create the Deaf Friendly i-Learn Course to help teachers and coaches be more deaf aware. This accredited course is FoC or £15 if you require a certificate.


See why our Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project won a National Lottery Award.

Our bursary scheme

Louise Sloan, who benefited from our coach bursary scheme.