AWD Program

The goal of Nepean Artistic Swimming’s AWD (Athlete with Disability) program is to allow anyone to participate in artistic swimming! The AWD program is suited for any child who has been diagnosed with a physical and/or cognitive disability and who is comfortable in the water.

The program caters to each swimmer’s needs by offering them a fun learning environment all while helping them develop their social, emotional and physical skills. We strive to provide assistance to the degree required and set challenging and realistic expectations with each swimmer - we want athletes leaving each practice feeling empowered and proud of their accomplishments! Athletes will work 1:1 with their coach but will also get the opportunity to meet and work with other athletes at the club in their age group and level.

Practice Schedules

We offer AWD programming in three different streams, each with a different amount of training and competition. Prior to the start of the season, we will work with families to decide which level is best for their swimmer.

Stream Practice Hours Competitions
Recreational 1-2 per week None, but swimmers are welcome to attend our end-of-season watershow!
Novice (Regional League) 1-2 per week 2 local (Ottawa-area) competitions per season
Competitive 2-4 per week or more 3-4 competitions per season throughout Ontario. At this level, swimmers are also able to participate in mixed ability duet or mixed ability team with our competitive athletes.


An Open Letter from an AWD Mom

"My two children have had the absolute pleasure of being involved in the AWD program with Nepean Synchro. My son participated in the recreational Junior Squirts program and my daughter did her first year at the competitive level. 

My daughter had been having challenges in mainstream programs and had been excluded from many activities due to her physical and cognitive delays. She has always been a good swimmer and with this opportunity I have seen her confidence soar. Her coach was phenomenal and made all the difference for her - providing a program that was built on her strengths and challenged her to improve. Her swimming and accomplishments in swimming have given her confidence in other areas - including at school - where her teachers started remarking that she was participating more during class and making friends for the first time! 

My son with his hearing loss and social delays was able to make a connection with his 1:1 coach and make progress with his swimming. He suffers from anxiety and his coach was able to get his confidence in his abilities to the point where he actually fully participated in an end of year Watershow in front of all the parents... this is still incredible to me! I have been impressed with the caring, commitment, adaptability and overall acceptance that my children have received from Nepean Synchro."