• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

Swimming for wheelchair users

Our co-worker Caro teaches young people with physical disabilities how to swim.

Hi! My name is Caro.

During the week, I work “on shore” at Swiss Paraplegic Research. This is where I focus mainly on the mental well-being of people with chronic conditions.

Caro during the swimming lesson

When I am off work, I enjoy spending my time “in the water” and I love to share this joy as swimming instructor. Once a month, Swiss Paraplegic Association offers swimming lessons for young people with physical disabilities. The participants are between 6 and 20 years young and join us from all over German-speaking Switzerland.

The lessons take place at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre swimming pool in Nottwil. The participants are split into two groups according to their individual swimming abilities. Each group consists of a maximum of 10 participants and 4-5 swimming instructors each that lead the groups.

Costs for the lessons including swimming badge are CHF 180. Further information can be found using this link (in German).

At the beginning of the lessons in January, the course leader Esther Zünd, together with us swimming instructors, develops an individual plan for each child. Young swimmers, for example, start with getting used to the water, i.e. testing how it feels to be in the water. Later they learn skills from how to dive for dive rings to doing the crawl on the 25-metre lane. Throughout the year training takes place for badges such as the “sea horse”, “polar bear” & Co. Aside from the badges, the main goal is to learn how much fun it is to move in the water!

What I enjoy most during these lessons is that we can come up with all kinds of games in the water to motivate the kids. My favourite is the “Rigi Express Steamboat”! Learning to have a proper swimming and body posture there is done with an exercise where you lie flat on the water surface like a water lily without submerging. Nothing exciting so far – that is why we modified it to become the “Rigi Express Steamboat”. For this exercise the child lies flat on her back and is then pulled from one end of the pool to the other. In doing so, each stop is introduced the same way the stops are announced on the steamboats of Lake Lucerne :smileyhappy:

By the way, Swiss Paraplegic Association does not only offer excitement for water lovers – they offer something for everyone. Check it out:


[translation from the original German blog post]

Comments (0)

There are no comments on this topic yet.
Be the first to comment!
Most Recent Answers
4567 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
4388 Wheelie
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
5 Johannes 2018-03-12
Ask the Expert
Most Recent Answers
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-07-20
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-05-07

Most Recent Blog Posts
Writing children’s literature in wheelchair
Stories of Grandad Wheels and Franz-Joseph Huainigg
kitwan 2020-01-27 In Society
The disabled affection
In love with the disabled or the disability?
Sorli 2020-01-13 In News
Robot caregivers
Will robots take care of us in the future?
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
What are contractures and how do they develop? Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently...
In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2020-01-20 In Latest
America first: accessible scooter rental service
Sharing is caring. Recently, Oakland has become the first city in the US to offer a e-scooter-sharing service for people with disabilities. Watch here. The new e-scooter-sharing service is provided...
2019-11-19 In Latest
The car-sharing breakthrough for wheelchair users
Soon it won’t be a dream anymore to car-share as a wheelchair user. Recently, the world’s first car-sharing system for wheelchair users called “WheeM-i” has been showcased at the GITEX Technology...
2019-10-24 In Latest
Free Tickets to Swiss Handicap 2019
Swiss Handicap will take place again in Lucerne this year on 29th and 30th November with the theme “work”. Over 100 exhibitors will gather at this unique national trade fair to promote independence...


Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

Be part of the Community – sign up now!