Friday, November 26, 2021

SDS award recognition for Scottish Swimming’s Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson, Scottish Swimming’s Disability Performance Development Manager, has been awarded with Scottish Disability Sport’s Elspeth Watson Trophy.

The trophy is awarded to an individual each year who has significantly contributed to the development of disability sport within Scotland.

As part of his role at Scottish Swimming Paul supports the development and implementation of Performance and Performance Development for disability swimming. He is also involved in Scottish Swimming partnership engagement, taking the lead on disability and para swimming areas.

Paul has worked alongside SDS to plan, develop and deliver an inclusive swimming infrastructure to offer engagement opportunities, inclusive clubs, and performance development event opportunities.

He is also responsible for the Scottish Talent Squad to ensure that more swimmers make British Para-Swimming World Class Programmes. He works closely with British Swimming towards providing a seamless pathway from Learn to Swim through to World Class Programmes.

Paul said, “I’m really honoured to receive the Elspeth Watson Trophy from SDS, to be named alongside some of the previous recipients like Jack Calder, Shona Malcolm and Don McFarlane, who have been stalwarts of Disability Sport in Scotland, is a great honour.

This award really comes from the great working partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Disability Sport, providing opportunities and support for swimmers from Learn to Swim through to international representation.”

At this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, 6 Scottish swimmers were selected as part of Paralympics GB, bringing home 5 medals between them. Their success is testament to the work to develop pathway opportunities for disability swimmers in Scotland.

Paul said, “I think a lot of the success comes down to the inclusive approach we have in swimming, identifying the needs of the individual and supporting them through our member clubs.

We have 160+ member clubs in Scotland, and if each of those offers an inclusive environment for swimmers with a disability then I’ve no doubt we can continue to see swimmers progress through the pathway and on to the international scene.”

Paul has also been heavily involved in the Scottish Swimming SeeMyAbility disability inclusion campaign, which has now entered Phase 2 – revisiting the key themes introduced two years ago.

The campaign focuses on the inclusion of disability swimmers within mainstream environments, whilst also educating teachers, coaches, providers and partners on how best to cater to the needs of those living with disabilities and/or learning difficulties.

Speaking about the campaign, Paul said, SeeMyAbility is a way for us to promote awareness of the inclusive nature of our Learn to Swim Framework.

Through engaging with Framework providers, swimming teachers, parents, and children we hope to increase the number of children with a disability learning to swim competently in supportive, friendly and fun environments.”


You can view the videos from Phase 2 of SeeMyAbility on Facebook and Twitter