Vattenstart

Since 2018, we’ve been proud to participate in Vattenstart, a project funded by Länsstyrelsen Stockholm that offers free swimming lessons to adult asylum seekers.

We aim to help asylum seekers learn to swim and teach them open water safety. With more than 3,000 km of coastline and 100,000 lakes, Sweden is a country that offers many opportunities for swimming and other water activities. Kayaking, sailing, taking the boat to the archipelago in the summer and skating on frozen lakes in the winter come natural to Swedes.

For many new arrivals who haven’t participated in water sports for geographic or cultural reasons, the chance to join in these activities is limited and in the worst case, can be life threatening. Our primary goal is to make swimming and water activities accessible to everyone and to prevent drowning in our target group as well as among their children.

Our operations include swimming instruction and first aid/CPR and water safety courses for asylum seekers. Participating in these courses also helps new arrivals integrate into society.

Our students don’t just learn important life skills like swimming and water safety, they also meet people with similar interests, make new friends, improve their health and increase their chances of integrating more smoothly into society.

Our courses for asylum seekers normally take place over 8 weeks in small groups with professional coaches. Participants get the chance to learn to swim and use their Swedish skills in safe, relaxing and warm environments.

Since 2019, the most promising students have also had the opportunity to work as assistant swim coaches after completing the course. A number of our asylum-seeking students are still active in the club and in other organizations. Read their success stories here

In 2020, we focused on open water safety by offering a variety of activities in open water. Participants had the chance to experience swimming in a wetsuit and learned important lifesaving skills as well as safety basics of open water swimming. Watch their progress in the film below!

We offer swimming lessons for asylum seekers from age 16.

We offer regular courses but do not have any courses available at the moment. Contact us to put your name on the waiting list!

NB: When registering, remember to include your LMA number or other documentation that shows you are an asylum seeker.

The Vattenstart project is part of the TIA Stockholm (Tidiga insatser för asylsökande personer) program in cooperation with