swim21 exceeds 500 junior club accreditations

21 November

The swim21 National Panel is delighted to report that the number of junior clubs achieving swim21 accreditation has exceeded the 500 milestone.

The panel met in September to validate the submissions put forward by the regional panels. On this occasion, 13 new accreditations were submitted by junior clubs, as well as applications from an additional 18 clubs that came forward to reaccredit for a further four year cycle.

This is very encouraging for the swim21 programme, as it suggests that clubs acknowledge the value of accreditation and the benefits it can provide. These benefits may include an overall improvement to club structure, the development of teachers, coaches and volunteers, the quality of provisions for athletes and access to funding opportunities.

Ian Cotton, swim21 National Panel Chair said, “It is a great success that over 500 junior clubs have now achieved swim21 accreditation. This is due to the dedication and commitment of a huge number of volunteers running clubs across the country, to ensure that they offer the most professional service to athletes of all abilities.

“Club development is an integral part of aquatics and swim21 is a model for clubs to ensure they deliver the best environment for athletes to reach their full potential.”

In the latest cycle, many clubs took advantage of the opportunity to complete their submission using swim21:Online, which has been proven to simplify the accreditation process. Hemel Hempstead SC in the ASA East region is a junior club that submitted its application online.

Joan Keevil, Chair of Hemel Hempstead SC said, “HHSC was one of the first clubs to be swim21 accredited but unfortunately we allowed this to lapse. I can truthfully say that regaining our swim21 accreditation was worth the effort, even if at times it seemed daunting.

“We are fortunate to have a coordinator within the club who managed the process for us and uploaded all the documentation into the new online system. This process highlighted the importance of being well organised and thorough in our approach, from club management to coaching, leadership and health and safety.

“As a result of swim21 we now have tightly managed procedures throughout the club which benefit our swimmers, parents and volunteers. We’re grateful to the ASA for the financial support that comes with swim21 and can’t wait to have our certificate presented, so that we can publicise our achievement to our local community.”

All of the junior clubs were also awarded Clubmark accreditation as a result of their swim21 approval, providing further support and benefits. In the latest cycle, Stocksbridge Pentaqua Swimming Club in the North East region achieved reaccreditation at Skill Development Level in Swimming.

David A Wright FIOSC, swim21 Coordinator for Stocksbridge Pentaqua SC said, “The ethos behind swim21 is fantastic in the sense that every club should be open to everyone, managed by competent people and provide pathways and training.

“All of these ideals are constructive to the development of a club and show that when a swimmer joins, they are in a safe and caring environment where coaches will do their best to help them develop to the best of their ability.

“It is gratifying to know that as a club we were actually doing most of what was required before implementing swim21, but its introduction has certainly helped us to focus on some key areas.

“We are now in a better position to ask for assistance should the need arise and we have more opportunities to access training courses that will help the club going forward.”

The swim21 panel meets four times per year to validate accreditations, reaccreditations and annual revalidations, and are continually developing the programme to ensure it remains current.

The dates for the 2012 swim21 National Panel Meetings are:

Wednesday 21 March

Wednesday 20 June

Wednesday 26 September

Wednesday 12 December

All clubs are encouraged to liaise with their region to apply or progress swim21 submissions and to confirm timelines for submissions to regional panels.

For further information about swim21 accreditation click here.

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