Episode 34:


Published: October 2012 Updated: January 2013, September 2017

Partners: Martin Mansell

Floatsation is a simple yet smart initiative that facilitates independence in the water for people of all abilities. It’s a labour of love for Martin Mansell from the UK. In this episode we catch up with Martin and take a look at Floatsation in action.

www.floatsation.com The Inclusion Club—Episode34: Floatsation LogoWe love hearing about the activities and programs of Inclusion Club subscribers. This episode we are looking at a labour of love for Martin Mansell from the UK. Floatsation® (formerly known as Original Floatsation and New Age Floatsation) is a unique matrix of balls giving total support and independence in water for people of all abilities, disabled and non-disabled, young and old. The original product Floatsation® was developed in the mid-1990s and was promoted as a teaching and hydrotherapy aid to physiotherapists and SEN (Special Educational Needs) teachers. Re-developed in 2003 by Martin, Floatsation® has gone on to be one of the most inclusive swimming/floating aids ever, proving popular with swimming teachers, therapists and parents in all swimming settings, whether school, Leisure centre or at home. Martin believes that everyone should be able to enjoy the freedom that being in water brings. Incidentally, Martin has spent a lot of time in the water over the years. He won 9 medals in the pool (including 4 gold medals) at two Paralympics (’84 and ’88). So he knows what he’s talking about! We were lucky enough to catch up with Martin at the EUCAPA Conference in Ireland and we took some time out with him to explain and demonstrate Floatsation®. So, take a look at the video with Martin and see Floatsation® in action with some of the Conference delegates.

The equipment itself is quite simple. The best ideas are! The products are made from high quality netting containing a random mix of bright citrus coloured plastic balls. There are four configurations that you see below. Simply hover your mouse above each images to reveal more.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34
The Big Citrus

The Big Citrus is a large rectangle which is 20 balls long and 9 balls across, this gives maximum support as a good starting point for all. It can support 2 people at one time.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34
The Citrus

The Citrus is a little smaller than the Big Citrus and is made up of smaller balls, with the addition of a pillow for those of us who like to rest our heads while in the water.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34
The Citrus Burst

The Citrus Burst is a rectangle 9 by 8 balls and can be used in many different ways as a progression towards total independence in the water.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34
The Citrus Flexi Tube

The Citrus Flexi Tube is just a tube, but an adaptable device for those who just need a little extra support in the water towards independence. It brings a variety of support and hence confidence to all users. It is also suitable for play by swimmers of all abilities.

We think that from the video and the brief description of the equipment here you will have a good idea of what Floatsation® is all about. If you want to find out more Martin has an excellent brochure that gives a lot more detail. You can download it below.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34Click the image of the Floatsation brochure to download a zipped PDF

In addition check out the Floatsation website below where you’ll find more videos and explanations of how to use the equipment and access any training if you need it.

The Inclusion Club—Episode34: Floatsation Websitewww.floatsation.com

Thanks again to Martin for sharing his work and passion with The Inclusion Club. If you are interested in providing opportunities for people with disability to experience the freedom and activity that the water can bring then Floatsation® is worthy of your attention. NOTE: Here at The Inclusion Club we don’t endorse particular products unless we think they are really good ideas and deserve sharing! Note that we receive no financial incentive from Floatsation or any other product manufacturer.


About the author: Peter Downs

About the author: Peter Downs

Founding Director - The Inclusion Club

Peter is Founding Director of The Inclusion Club and Manager of Play by the Rules – a national initiative to promote safe, fair and inclusive sport. Peter has worked for over 25 years in the field of inclusive sport, disability sport and physical activity including 17 years managing the Australian Sports Commission’s Disability Sport Unit.  In 2013 Peter was fortunate enough to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport and physical activity.