swim21 Club Network Case Studies

The importance of swim21 Club Network and how it has benefited clubs in the ASA’s North West region can be evidenced in the following case study of Trafford Network.

Trafford Network, the first official ASA swim21 Club Network in the UK (based in Manchester) was officially formed in June 2011.

The Network comprises four Development clubs (Trafford Metro, Flixton Swim Team, Altrincham Swimming Club and Stretford Amateur Swimming Club) and a Performance club (Swim Trafford).  All of the clubs within the Network are swim21 Essential accredited, having held swim21 status for many years.

swim21 club Network is the second module of the ASA’s recognised kitemark for quality, effective and ethical clubs, which aims to recognise clubs who work collaboratively to deliver the athlete pathway in their area, and ensure that athletes meet their potential and are retained within the sport.  swim21 is not only a badge of honour, it is an invaluable development tool that allows swimmers, teachers, coaches and those responsible for developing programmes to continually improve.

The Trafford Network, headed up by Trafford Community Leisure Trust (TCLT) and supported by the ASA North West Club Development Officer, Karen Carter, was initially a three year partnership agreement, which was developed to increase participation and swimming standards within the Borough and formalise the working relationship between the Trust and the Clubs.  The Trust offered numerous benefits to the Clubs, including subsidised pool hire, in return for club attendance at quarterly meetings, which would put the swimmer at the centre of all future discussions/programmes and which covered the following areas:

  • Changing facilities
  • Pool time
  • Courses
  • Workforce
  • Squad movement
  • Strengthening the athlete pathway
  • Mentoring young volunteers
  • Increasing club membership
  • Potential club mergers

Emma Thomas, TCLT’s Swim Well Brand Development Manager explained that “Working within a Network has enabled clubs to share examples of best practice, share pool resources, where appropriate, and to define a comprehensive and clear athlete pathway for the local area, which benefits all”.

Achieving the first swim21 club Network accreditation demonstrates how well the partnership is working and that Trafford is providing real opportunities and pathways for the community to be fully engaged in swimming at all levels.  It is also important to point out that swimming clubs in the area have been established for over 100 years, which is in part due to their ability to adapt whilst remaining relevant to their local communities.

Congratulations Trafford... keep up the great work!

For more information about swim21 Club Networks please contact your Club Development Officer/Regional Officer.

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