Benefits of swim21

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swim21 is a valued club development tool, recognised as a quality mark across the industry, and of benefit to every club that holds it. The swim21 programme enhances club management, strengthens the structures and unites the club with a philosophy, and programmes, that ensure the best environment is available for all swimmers.

swim21 club also offers national recognition that clubs are providing a quality service for all members, which is recognised by Sport England i.e. all clubs gaining ASA accreditation will automatically receive Clubmark status. Clubmark is widely recognised by potential funders, schools and other partners that can assist with club growth and development (

Below are just some of the key benefits/outcomes of becoming swim21 accredited:

Process Benefits

  • Access to a development tool for club improvement, including the production of a Club Development Plan. swim21 is the beginning of a journey to facilitate overall club development and raise standards
  •  Identification of workforce training needs to improve club operation
  • Develop an effective club management structure with clearly identified roles/responsibilities
  • Self examination of the club is crucial, plus enhanced support and expertise from ASA Club Development Officers / Regional Club Coordinators 
  • Access to a range of ASA templates and policies, following best practice and improving all areas of the club
  • Develop clear goals and ambitions that can be communicated to all club members/wider community

General Club Benefits

  • Greater number of appropriately qualified volunteers, who are safe to work with children and young people, with defined role descriptions
  • Enhanced quality of coaching/teaching delivery and general improvements to workforce quality
  • Prioritised support from ASA staff
  • Pool time is sometimes prioritised towards swim21 clubs (local operator decision)
  • Opportunities to share best practice with other swim21 clubs and network with the swim21 community
  • swim21 accreditation can be promoted within the local community by offering a safe environment to children and therefore security for parents. It is a tangible statement to all stakeholders (Local Authorities, Schools, Parents, Swimmers etc) that you take quality and safety seriously

Financial Benefits

  • £100 worth of IoS vouchers towards course/CPD costs per annum (12 month duration to use voucher) –
  • 5% discount on ASA Awards and discounts at ASA Club Conferences and events
  • County Association Grants/Bursaries – please note that each Region/County is semi-autonomous to the ASA and therefore have their own incentives for swim21 achievement (check your regional website for details)
  • Some pool providers offer a discount to swim21 clubs – National Club Survey findings indicate that the average pool hire rates of £18.60 per lane versus average of £15.48 (17% less) for swim21 accredited clubs. This provides a saving of some £3000 per annum
  • Accreditation can help with eligibility towards sports specific funding pots (e.g. County Sports Partnerships/Sport England- Small Grants Fund)
  • Grant application support and prioritisation

The importance of swim21 can be evidenced in the following case studies:

Saffron Walden Amateur Swimming Club
The club committee recognised there were a number of benefits available in adopting the ethos of swim21. When the club first began working towards their accreditation, they had between 100-120 members, most of whom swam only once a week. Through the development and fruition of a swim21 Improvement Plan with clear targets, the club now has 160 members and many swim more than four times each week. They have also been able to improve their finances and ensure a greater focus on teaching delivery and as a result are in a much healthier position. They have additional teachers in place, a greater number of volunteers with defined role descriptions and an improvement in their performance in the county mini-league by nine places – in just one year!

Garstang Swimming Club
Another club informed the ASA that swim21 was integral to helping a brand new committee run their club. They used the compliance section of swim21 to audit their club and committee, and see which areas needed work and what policies and procedures needed reviewing. The compliance section also offered guidance in what the committee roles entailed and helped build the confidence of the new members. The audit led to an action plan, which led to contracts for their entire paid workforce and establishing working relationships with their local council and facilities team.

South West Disability Swim Squad
South West Disability Swim Squad achieved swim21 in March 2011 and it was fundamental to getting the squad operating properly. The process enabled them to get all staff members appropriately trained, ensure the correct paperwork was available to all members and launch their website, which has proved to be an invaluable marketing and communication tool. As an added bonus, swim21 gave them the opportunity to submit a successful British Gas Club Grant and has allowed them to run long course training camps for disabled swimmers within the South West.

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