InCAS – a Truly Inclusive Fife Swimming Club

Cara Smyth in the pool

Disability Sport Fife (DSF) is proud of the many partnerships it enjoys with sports clubs across Fife. InCAS (Inverkeithing Competitive Amateur swimmers) was established in 1975 and from its inception there has always been a strong inclusive ethos throughout the club. A number of swimmers with physical impairments or learning disabilities have made their mark in national and international Para swimming because of the InCAS approach to inclusive performance coaching and training.

Currently five of InCAS 65 performance swimmers have a physical impairment or learning disability. Four are currently members of the DSF swim team, two train with the Scottish Disability Sport swim squad and one is attached to the GB Para-academy programmme.

InCAS Head Coach Garrie Roberts has enjoyed considerable success in Para swimming and mainstream swimming over many years with Fife clubs. Garrie has been a Commonwealth Games Coach as well as coaching Paralympic and World Championship medalists Paul Noble, Lara Ferguson, Rebecca Lee, Paul Johnston and Andrew Lindsay. Garrie has also been involved with GB Youth European team members and Commonwealth Games members Bryan Morgan and Lynn McLaren.

InCAS members believe strongly that the word “family” best describes the reason for their success as a strong inclusive club. The club is run entirely by parents and other volunteers. As swimmers progress through squads there is a parallel parental committee progression. Fresh blood and new ideas are encouraged and actively sought, while at the same time maintaining the InCAS commitment to affordable and accessible swimming for all. Swimmers with different impairments are not assigned to a specific InCAS session but blended throughout the club at times appropriate to their ability. The InCAS club is committed to all members regardless of ability.

InCAS members are proud of their rich history as the local swimming club based at the Inverkeithing HS Community Use swimming pool. The “Wing” is where the first Fife disability swimming club was based and under Jean Wilson’s guidance William McQueen made it to the Paralympic podium. It is not recognised as one of the most advanced training settings but it is where a number of Fife’s most talented swimmers started out – Tain Bruce, Rebecca Lee, Lucy Ellis, Eloise Barbour are identified among the alumni. The Inverkeithing pool is shorter and narrower than most and learners feel less overwhelmed and considerably safer when moving from lessons to club training. InCAS members are well respected for their turns. After all they have to turn more than those who train in the majority of Fife venues.

The InCAS club continues to grow and develop as a true community swimming resource. The catchment area is no longer restricted to Inverkeithing and as well as the “Wing” InCAS members access the pools at HMS Caledonia (the Cally), Carnegie Leisure Centre, Lochgelly HS Community Use and Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre. The inclusivity of InCAS families stretches to Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Rosyth, North Queensferry, Lochgelly, South Queensferry, Dunfermline, Duloch and even as far afield as Ladybank and Cupar.

Disability Sport Fife is proud to identify the InCas club as a major partner in the promotion of swimming at all levels of the performance pathway. InCAS is proud that it does not have a waiting list. Trials are readily available and the diversity of the squad structure means that all swimmers are welcome to join the family that is InCAS.

Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife