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NAS Bristol Branch

A Branch of the National Autistic Society

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Supporting Families Living With Autism In Bristol

Until  everyone  understands

Super Swimmers Academy FAQ's

Go to our SSA Gallery to view more launch night photos

Easton Leisure Centre

Thrissell St,



How Did NAS Bristol Super Swimmers Academy Start?


For several years, NAS Bristol Branch have hired Easton Leisure Centre swimming pool for a one hour private session for our members. Our sessions were for a general splash around, an opportunity for families to access swimming sessions.


These free play swimming sessions benefit NAS Bristol Branch members enormously, they:

> Allow families to access regular swimming sessions

> Promote exercise and well being

> Help build children's confidence

> Improve self esteem

> Provide a regular social opportunity


Parents too love the relaxed nature of the NAS Bristol swims, no one is staring, no one is judging, everyone is supportive.


For years the swims have run in the same manner, but we began to wonder if it was possible for our members to get more from their swimming session. We thought of different things, the best being a swimming club exclusively for children with autism - and so NAS Bristol Super Swimmers Academy was born. We as a branch have been supported by Access Sport Bristol to make the sessions



What makes an NAS Bristol swimming session different?


> NAS Bristol swims help families by offering a relaxed session with fewer people in the pool.

Less people and less noise are a huge help to people with autism, as often large crowds, too much commotion and loud unexpected noises can make autistic children's senses hyper acute and cause their anxiety levels to escalate quickly. Because of this, some families are unable to access certain activities / venues during general sessions, which is the reason NAS Bristol run the event, so our members can enjoy all the fun things other families do.


> NAS Bristol has exclusive use of both pools and water slide during their session.


> The session has less people


> Sessions are quieter and more relaxed


> Families feel more relaxed and confident surrounded by others who understand autism


> We don't charge for an NAS swim, but do ask families to make a voluntary donation of £1 per swimmer if they are able.



Why is the SSA different from other swimming clubs? 


> The SSA is a swimming club exclusively for children with autism.  

> The children will learn to swim in bite size lessons of 20 minutes with qualified swimming instructors.

> Children can work at their own pace.

> Children have individual progress charts and receive certificates when they have achieved their goals.


The NAS Bristol Super Swimmers Academy hire Easton Leisure Centre swimming pool for one hour, once a month. We have a great team of qualified swimming instructors who will set individual targets for members and help them to achieve their goals in the monthly bite sized lessons. Each child will receive a personalised Super Swimmers Academy T-shirt, swimming bag, swimming hat and a learning to swim book.


The Super Swimmers Academy will give children a sense of belonging to a real club.


Children will be able to have fun, make friends, learn to swim and gain confidence in the water, Plus it might save a child’s life!


Parents must remain present and support their children at all times during NAS swimming sessions.



How can I join the SSA?


The Super Swimmers Academy is currently full. If you are interested in a place in the future, please register your interest by emailing: you can then be added to the SSA waiting list.



Can siblings join the Super Swimmers Academy?


Unfortunately, due to limited spaces, the SSA is just for children with an autism diagnosis.



My child is not in the SSA, can we still swim with NAS Bristol?




As of February 2016, NAS Bristol will be running its splash & play sessions alongside the SSA. Splash & Play attendees will have use of the smaller splash pool, the slide and the majority of the main pool. Please note, SSA lessons will be taking place in a roped off section of the main pool, members are asked kindly to not use this section of pool while SSA lessons are in progress.


Splash & Play will be advertised by Bristol Branch. Places are limited so booking is essential.



How much do swim sessions cost?


We ask families for a voluntary contribution of £2 per swimmer to help us cover costs and plan future NAS Bristol events.


We welcome families to fundraise for NAS Bristol Branch so that the SSA, Splash & Play and other branch activities remain possible. As a branch of the National Autistic Society we are entirely volunteer run, donation funded non-profit charity.


For fundraising ideas, please visit our fundraising page.