The Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards is almost upon us!
That’s it! This year’s Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic countdown is officially over, and with less than 24 hours to go until the event kicks of in Birmingham we’re getting excited here at the ASA headquarters!
In the last five-days, we have given you an exclusive sneak peek at each of our award categories and their deserving finalists - we hope you agree that this year's event has certainly been a tricky one to judge! With so many fantastic entries, everyone should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.
But without further ado, check out our final categories for the evening - the Family Swim Award, the Community Project of the Year Award and the Facility Operator award.
Each one of our finalists has shown sheer determination, courage and commitment to the swimming world.
Family Swim Award
Presented to a family who love to swim, who participate together and have excelled in achieving their Kellogg’s ASA Awards.
The Piper Family
About the Pipers: The Piper family have made a huge commitment to diving; all together they train every day of the week. They travel to numerous competitions each year and compete at a high level for their club, Plymouth Diving. Mum, Ali, has successfully completed her Level 1 and Level 2 ASA Diving Teacher qualifications and now helps out every week at the Plymouth Life Centre with teaching young divers - receiving rave reviews from her young divers. Oscar, despite being only six years old, has showed talent beyond his years and competes in the 11 years age group at his club. Evangeline also competes in the same age category and made finals at the age of seven! Ollie has now made the jump to the Elite Junior Diving Championships finishing in 4th place in 2013.
The Jones Family
About the Jones’s: The Jones family have been swimming with JH20 for 10 years and are their longest-serving customers.
Julia (Mum) has spent hundreds, possibly thousands, of hours sitting on poolside over the years and juggling three busy children’s swimming lessons around their school and social activities. JH20 are very lucky to have such a family who is dedicated to being the best swimmers they can be. 15 year old Laura has also expressed an interest in the ASA Level 1 Teacher qualification which she would like to do when she is 16. In preparation, she has been invited to occasionally help out in some of JH20’s lessons to gain valuable experience. This she has gladly done and shows great potential as a future ASA teacher. The Jones children, Laura, Matthew and Daniel have all been awarded the JH20 Swim School Top Girl or Top Boy award during their time at the club.
The Whittle Family
About the Whittles: Mum, Sofia, acts as the coordinator of the Club Championship galas at Chelsea and Westminster Swim Club and has earned her J1 qualification, and is working towards her J2. Although young in the sport, Madalena (aged nine) and Edward (aged seven) swim competitively. Madalena earned a bronze medal at the Club Championships and 13 ‘speeding tickets’ at various meets this year and Edward has achieved a 200m county qualifying time in breaststroke. Sofia and Martin have worked tirelessly to raise the standards of the Club Championships and now coordinate all of the judges training for the Club. Sofia has also taken on leadership responsibility for the club’s Youth Games teams. Both children made a great effort for the Club’s recent Swimathon, completing 128 and 104 lengths respectively and raising over £200. The Whittle family gives 100 per cent at all club activities, usually with all four of them on poolside in some capacity.
Community Project of the Year Award
Presented to an organisation that, through swimming and Kellogg’s Swim Active funding, has made a difference to its local community.
West Wight Swimming Club and West Wight Sports Centre
Based: ASA Southeast Region
About the project: From humble beginnings, West Wight Swimming Club and Sports Centre has grown from strength to strength, and continues to provide swimming lessons and competitive training for hundreds of children each week. The centre works in partnership with numerous voluntary and other organisations, including the NHS, providing an exceptional range of sports facilities. It also supports the community’s long term health and well-being, by providing specific services for those with long term conditions, youth activities and other far reaching community services. It has become a hub for the West Wight community. In 2013, the centre won the Isle of Wight Community Action Overall award for best charity. This was a reflection of its work with so many charities and its support and development of sport, health, wellbeing across the community.
Age Concern Havering
About the project: In May 2012, the management team of Hornchurch Sports Centre approached Age Concern Havering, who provide a Family & Carer Stroke Support Service to stroke survivors in Havering. This programme, which is the first of its kind in the area, allowed stroke survivors of all ages to use the small heated pool at Hornchurch. Once stroke survivors have left the hospital rehabilitation programme they often find themselves lacking in confidence, feeling isolated and low in mood. This can often lead to Post-Stroke depression. With the help of Age Concern Havering these people were brought together on a weekly basis for a one hour session in the pool and this is followed by refreshments in the coffee shop afterwards. The sports centre staff are always on hand to offer advice and support to this group with a number of survivors gaining confidence to swim again. This innovative project has helped people who have had a stroke to maximise their potential to live fulfilling and enjoyable lives.
Tower Hamlets Womens and Girls SC
About the project: This programme was formed following research with local women, and seeks to break down cultural barriers and increase participation in sporting activities in one of the most diverse and deprived areas in the country. Swimming was found to be one of the most widely sought after activities, with almost 50% of the votes. The swimming lesson pathway now offers 18 single sex swimming sessions across four different pools in the borough and has been developed from beginner to advanced lessons. The project has identified key staff and funded them for their ASA Level 2 teaching qualification, to become role models in swimming and encourage their local community to learn to swim. Through the W&G’s swimming project new multi aquatic opportunities have been offered through free taster sessions, such as aqua jogging, synchronised swimming, diving and aqua circuits.
Facility Operator of the Year Award
Presented to the Facility Operator who, in the panel’s judgement, best demonstrated their commitment and continuous improvement of their swimming programmes in the last 12 months.
About GLL: Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is the UK’s largest charitable social enterprise in its field, delivering leisure, health and community services. GLL manages over 130 public leisure centres, play centres and libraries, working with over 30 local councils, public agencies and sporting organisations and employing a diverse workforce of over 6,000. GLL have a cradle to grave approach for encouraging participation across aquatics, their aim is to provide sessions that met the needs of all members of the communities that they work in. They actively monitor participation reports by activity to understand the current demand, areas for development and niche opportunities. The success of this approach is evidenced by a 36% year on year increase in usage per month. Actions from these reports are implemented throughout Community Sports Officer team, whose job role centres around engagement with the local community to ascertain specialist needs.
About Kirklees: Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) are always actively seeking to increase participation and have implemented a number of schemes and interventions to try and improve the participation levels within KAL’s sites. KAL have recently signed onto a partnership provider programme (PPP) with the ASA and part of this agreement is to have an Aquatics Improvement Plan that identifies how KAL will improve participation levels. 2012 and 2013 have been exciting years for KAL, with participation levels at each of their sites gradually increasing throughout this period. To deal with the increase, KAL have employed Aquatic Activators at each site. They support the swimming lessons and also work with external partners to get more people using the pools more often. To date KAL have employed 17 Aquatic Activators. Over the last two years, the British Gas ASA Learn to Swim programme has also been a real focus for KAL; their current programme has been completely transformed and KAL currently has over 5,000 children registered.
About Everyone Active: Everyone Active is committed not just to getting more people swimming but also to encouraging them to swim more frequently and spend more time in the water when they do. The company’s efforts in this area are also bringing real results – with a 15 per cent increase in use in the first five months of 2013, compared with the same period last year which has resulted in an overall attendance of 2,036,381 swims. Everyone Active operates swimming programmes in 60 swimming pools across the country, with more than 400,000 tracked swims passing through the doors each month. The established swim working party continues to develop new initiatives, progress ideas and deliver the rationale and necessary risk assessments to promote all aquatic sessions. The group work with various third parties to deliver swimming sessions and promotions to encourage more people into the water.