Swim England clarifies adjusted selection processes for talent squads

Swim England has clarified its selection processes for its 2020-21 swimming talent squads.

The Swim England National Event Camps and National Development Programme have been confirmed for the new season.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the guidelines for selections have been adjusted to take into account the fact that racing opportunities were cancelled from 16 March onwards.

Grant Robins, Swim England Head of Talent – Swimming, said: “Swim England Talent has tried where possible to make the guidelines robust and transparent whilst also promoting fairness and inclusion to all of our aspiring young swimmers.

“We intend to continue to collaborate with our regions and counties and, where possible, continue our pathway activities to help enhance the daily training environment so swimmers and coaches that show future performance potential have continued support along their journey.”

In the post Covid-19 period, the following points should be noted:

  • Due to the pandemic there will be no pool camps in 2020. Given timing and our ability to host safely, pool activity may resume in 2021
  • All dry land activity will be done online in 2020
  • The Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF) curriculum workshops will be delivered online for swimmers.
  • As in previous years, there is a mandatory online inclusion and culture induction when accepting a national team place.

Important to engage with future champions

Grant added: “In addition to the objective ranking criteria, the use of discretionary selections will be particularly important to the 2020-21 selection process given the lack of competition opportunities.”

Some, or all of the following points will aid any discretionary selections:

  • Chronological, developmental and training age of the swimmer
  • A swimmer’s commitment, attitude and work ethic during the coronavirus lockdown period
  • A discussion with the head home coach on the commitment and potential of swimmer/s
  • The use of long and short course recorded times on the Swim England database
  • Discussions with British Swimming’s Head of Elite Development

Grant said: “We have tried to be as inclusive as possible to provide some inspiration and motivation for the up-and-coming season.

“It is important for us to continue to engage with our future champions and for their love of the sport.

“We hope to get back in the pool as soon as we possibly can in a positive, cohesive and safe way.”