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Hillingdon Swimming Club 'proud' of their 'strong inclusive ethos'

A ‘strong inclusive ethos’ at Hillingdon Swimming Club has enabled the club to retain members, engage with their local community, and create a positive culture for their swimmers.

Throughout the past 18 months, the club has been extremely active in engaging with their local community and potential new members, as well as existing members.

When speaking about this, a representative from the club said: “We maintained our waiting lists for new members and as soon as the pools reopened, we invited swimmers to attend a trial session ranging from Learn to swim, training squads and Masters.

“Our website provides lots of information on the club for people searching for opportunities to swim. Our swimmer retention numbers remained extremely high and we have also accommodated members from another local club that has closed by offering them places in our club.

“The reputation of the Club in the local community is strong and we had over 100 children waiting for places in our lessons during lockdown as they are aware that we operate a pathway into our competitive squads.

“We cater for a wide range of members and welcome enquiries across our local community. We have previously had support from the Council to broaden participation for Masters age swimmers and we have grown the numbers in the section.”

‘The diversity of our club is a strength’

As a club, they endeavour to engage greater diversity and remove barriers that exist which prevent higher levels of participation in aquatic sports. They have been able to better do this with some support, saying:

“The London Borough of Hillingdon is very diverse and we offer sessions across the Borough which makes it very accessible.

“Our status as a Community Amateur Sports Club enables us to ensure that cost is not a determining factor to access our offer.

Hillingdon views its diverse membership base as a strength:

“The ethnically diverse make-up of our club is a strength and the club has a strong inclusive ethos which hopefully encourages others to join.

“We have good role models amongst our swimmers from all ethnic backgrounds, of which we are very proud, and will continue to promote the opportunities available for all swimmers.”

Foundations of Inclusion

One of Swim England’s key aims is to increase ethnic diversity throughout all aquatic sports and as the national governing body, we are endeavouring to tackle some of the boundaries that prevent individuals from participating in our sports.

As a result, Swim England is currently creating a ‘Foundations of Inclusivity’ CPD which will be used to upskill members across the aquatic community including club members, volunteers and officials.

The CPD will primarily focus on the three areas of disability, ethnicity and LGBTQ+ and will look at the correct approach to inclusion along with terminology and sources of further information.

All aspects of the CPD are being co-produced either directly with partner organisations such as Pride in Water and International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) or utilising insight produced by organisations such as Sporting Equals.

The CPD is currently being developed ready for launch in October 2021. If you would like to register your interest, please fill out this form.