Now in its 14th year, the Liverpool Aquatics Centre is set to play host to more than 180 swimmers with a learning disability for two days of competition and fun across the weekend of September 21 and 22, all led by qualified swimming officials.

The National Partnership Swimming Competition is open to swimmers from across the country. Not only do our athletes get a chance to experience competition at a National level, they can also try to achieve some personal bests.

As with all Special Olympics Great Britain events, abilities of all levels are welcome. With two full days of swimming, competitions are held over a range of distances from 25m to 800m, across the four main strokes. So, every level is well catered for. Athletes can enter a maximum of four events per day, subject to racing rules.


The event is open to everyone, but competitors need to be at least 11 years old on the start of the competition to take part and be diagnosed as having a learning/intellectual disability. They also need to be part of a swimming club, train regularly and be technically capable of competing at the level of the competition they are entering.

CEO of Special Olympics GB, Michelle Carney, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Mencap once again on the National Partnership Swimming Competition. As with all our Special Olympics Great Britain events, the focus of the weekend is on our amazing athletes. It’s about taking part, doing your best and having a great time at the same time. Also having the opportunity to compete in such a fabulous venue in Liverpool which is all set to host our Summer Games in 2021 – will be a real treat and give us a sneak peek at what is to come in two years’ time. Best of luck to all the competitors! I know they will do Special Olympics GB, Mencap and themselves, proud.”

National Sport Manager at learning disability charity, Mencap, Matt Maguire, said: “We’re proud to be partnering with Special Olympics again this year to host this incredible event which brings together athletes with a learning disability for this special annual swimming competition.

We know that some people with a learning disability face major barriers to getting involved in sport. The swimmers at this year’s National Partnership Swimming Competition will help inspire others by letting them know that they can take part in sport too! We know that taking part in sport can help people with a learning disability feel more confident, healthy and part of their communities. We’re pleased to be able to work with the Special Olympics to help ensure that people with a learning disability have the same access to sports as people without.”

For further details, entry pack and registration forms, visit:

Closing date for entries is by 5pm on Wednesday 24 July 2019.