Advanced Halliwick Course

on therapeutic use of water activities in paediatric neurological rehabilitation  – Dublin

Course Leader:   Jean-Pierre Maes MCSP,  IHA Senior Halliwick Lecturer

A stimulating and enjoyable course, with participants developing a better understanding of the therapeutic needs of children with neuro-developmental difficulties (Cerebral Palsy and similar conditions) and how to address these needs using the Halliwick Concept of swimming and rehabilitation in water,  at an advanced level.


Dates:    13th to 17th August 2018  ( 5 Days )

Many thanks to  Local Course Organiser:  Ursula Barrett,  Halliwick Lecturer       

and the  Halliwick Swimming Association of Ireland


Venue:    St. Michael’s House Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool,  Belcamp, Dublin

Ireland’s first fully accessible Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool.  All areas in the Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool are fully wheelchair accessible.


The Halliwick Concept is an approach to teaching all people, in particular focussing on those with physical and/or learning difficulties, to participate in water activities, to move independently in water and to swim.

IHA – International Halliwick Association



Through active participation you will:

  • deepen & further develop the application of the Halliwick Concept gained during a Halliwick Foundation Course
  • develop a better understanding of the therapeutic needs of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties (Cerebral Palsy and similar conditions) and how to address these needs using the Halliwick concept at an advanced level
  • take part in problem-solving sessions in small groups about specific therapeutic issues related to treatment of children with Cerebral Palsy
  • develop treatment ideas and handling skills in the water
  • take part in practical sessions with clients in the water under supervision
  • reconcile the client’s needs on dry land with treatment aims in the pool
  • justify therapeutic intervention using clinical reasoning skills based upon the individual client’s unique presentation and needs


Halliwick Philosophy

Halliwick, since its inception in 1949, has always emphasised the fun of being in water and how enjoyment enhances learning. It has consistently maintained a philosophy of equality of opportunities.

Halliwick uses the term ‘swimmer’ for anyone who is learning in the water, whether they can swim independently or not, emphasising inclusion, participation and high expectations.

‘Swimmers’ learn to control their own balance in water, without flotation aids. This is achieved by working on a one-to-one basis with a helper who gives adjustable, minimal support.

Working in groups gives the ‘swimmer’ a chance to enhance learning as it improves motivation and allows ‘swimmers’ to learn from each other. The group situation allows opportunities for communication and socialising. Games are also used as a good way of learning through structured play and fun.

Good communication between a ‘swimmer’ and helper is essential for a large number of reasons including the ‘swimmer’ being able to be involved in the learning process.

Halliwick practitioners take into consideration different ways to help people maximise learning. This applies in teaching ‘swimmers’ with disabilities and also when teaching new instructors on courses.


Reference:    The Halliwick Concept 2010 – a paper written by the IHA Education and Research Committee 2010