USA Down Syndrome Swimming Organization Formed

Don Henshaw
May 9, 2019

Hello my name is Sandra Sanguinetti and I am the USA National Down Syndrome Swim Team Manager. I am the liaison for DSISO as the USA Delegate at the General Assemblies, and to the USA Swimming Disability Committee. I wanted to inform you that we have created an organization to help swimmers with Down Syndrome.

Our organization is called USA Down Syndrome Swimming Organization. The purpose of our organization is to promote participation of Down syndrome (DS) athletes in competitive swimming at the National and International levels.

Many LSC in the USA do not realize that there are international competitions for Down syndrome athletes, exclusively. While many countries send lots of athletes to these international competitions, the US is behind in getting information out to other Down Syndrome athletes.

We need your help to spread the word to other DS athletes, teams and clubs that have DS athletes who would like to compete at a world level.

This is not Special Olympics. These athletes have to get strict qualifying times that are set by the DSISO (Down Syndrome International Swimming Organization) to be able to participate. All times had to been obtain at a USA Swimming or USA Masters sanction events. There are no heat medals. 

The DSISO has 49 countries, with over 800 active Down Syndrome swimming members. At any given Championship the participation is around 220 swimmers.

The last competition held by DSISO in Nova Scotia in 2019, the USA brought 13 athletes, we got ninth in the world! That was the best finish we have ever had! We would love other athletes to have an opportunity to qualified to for the National Team. Most of the athletes that make the National DS Swim Team swim on year-round swimming clubs. We want to give all other DS athletes a chance to make the National Team too. 

We are reaching out to all LSCs to get the word out to other DS swimmers, their families, coaches and Clubs that don’t know we are around. 

Our website: can give more information about our National Team. Or personal contact to

National Head Coach Julie Reilly at

USA National Swim Team Manager Sandra Sanguinetti at


With that as well we have a swim meet for all DS athletes who want to try and qualify for a spot on the National Team. This is important too since it will be the first time the Down Syndrome National Swim Team will compete for the first time all together in one swim meet as a team in the USA.

Topeka Swim Association is Missouri Valley is hosting the first ever National Down Syndrome Swim meet on May 31- June 2, 2019 in Topeka Kansas. This meet is called the Beach Bash and is open for all USA Swimmer and US Master Swimmers.

While this might be late notice for most swimmers, it is currently still open and we welcome anyone who would like participate in the swim meet to try and quality for the National Team.

Currently we have 9 swimmers, from all over the US, that have the qualifying times to attend the upcoming European Championship in Sardinia September 12-22, 2019.

We also have 5 swimmers that will attend the INAS Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, October 6-20, 2019.

After these competitions our next sights is the World Championships in Turkey, April 2020. This is the Olympics for Down Syndrome Swimmers.

USA is a dominant swimming force. We want to add the Down Syndrome swimmers to that list as well. We have additional spots for more swimmers to qualify for the National Team. We would love to walk on the world stage with a huge USA Down Syndrome swim team. We need your help though.

We are asking all LSC's to share the news and mentioned our information to swim coaches, post the news on the LSC websites, or just by copying my email and sending it out to all of your local swim clubs.

We know there are many Down Syndrome swimmers in the USA, who have been swimming for many years who don’t know that we exist. We just need your help to reach them. Thanks for your cooperation in advance. 

Please feel free to contact me for any further information or go to our website: Thank you very much!

Sincerely, Sandra Sanguinetti

USA National Down Syndrome Swim Manager    Cell:954-899-7816