A SWIM school based in Cwmbran has become the first in Wales to become an Autism Swim approved centre.

CB Training Services Ltd offer swimming lessons and teach water safety to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other abilities requiring specialist training and support to children in Cwmbran, Monmouth and Chepstow.

The swim school holds lessons at Crownbridge School in Cwmbran, Monmouth School for Girls and St John's on the Hill School in Chepstow.

Owner Chris Bateman said: “Thanks to the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) recently partnering with Autism Swim as its exclusive aquatics certification partner in the UK, we were able to access the Australian-based training and certification program more easily - as a result we are proud to have become the first Autism Swim Approved Centre in Wales.

"As an organisation we are committed to workforce development, and we know that Autism Swim’s techniques will help our teachers become even more adaptive and responsive to the needs of their classes, and understand some of the ‘whys’ of ASD behaviours.


“We offer private one to one tuition for children across various pools in South Wales however around 18 months ago we also created a great partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Sparkle at Serennu Centre in Newport, to ensure those living within Gwent area with disabilities or developmental difficulties could have access to specialist group swimming lessons.”

Donna Colwill, centre manager at Serennu Centre, said: “Serennu Children’s Centre and Sparkle are delighted with CB Training’s achievement of being the first accredited Autism Swim provider in Wales.

"We pride ourselves on delivering first class, integrated services to our children and young people and having a specialist swim provider who fully understands the needs of children with autism will help immensely with ensuring they achieve their potential and learn an extremely valuable life skill.”

Zoe Cooper, STA’s sales and marketing director said: “Autism Swim is widely recognised as world leaders in wandering and drowning prevention for those with ASD or cognitive deficit.

"This partnership will give our members the opportunity to access specialist training direct from the experts in this field.

“The latest statistics in the UK show that around 7,000 adults and children have ASD - that’s more than one in 100. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people and its likely there may be a learner in your swimming class who has this disorder.

"By being aware of their needs and knowing how to communicate with these learners is so important. It will not only benefit the individual, but the whole class too.”