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City of Sheffield Swim squad reveal benefits of using Club Health Tracker

City of Sheffield Swim squad chair and managing director, John Hewitt, has discussed the benefits that Swim England’s Club Health Tracker can bring.

The tracker is available for all aquatics clubs and supports them with continuous improvements within six core areas of club development – coaching and teaching, financial management, pool operator relationships, governance and standards, growth, and volunteering.

Developed alongside Sporting Insights, the tracker launched back in December 2022 and is used as a tool to annually benchmark and quantify club development.

And after closing the tracker for Year 1, we asked clubs to share their stories of using the platform.

John found that the tracker emphasised the positive impact that the club had been making in building strong relationships with their partners.

After taking on the role in February 2020 – just before the pandemic hit – the club, like many others across the country, was forced to review their financial position.

“All of a sudden, the pools were closed, major events were off and fundraising opportunities lost” John remembers.

“We realised for survival we needed to treat the club more like a business and work hard on developing working relationships to drive up memberships and get the pool time we needed.”

A more proactive partnership

And following the results shown by the tracker, the club have decided to develop a more proactive partnership with both the management of Sheffield City Trust – who operate their base at Ponds Forge – and Sheffield Hallam University.

Their work has seen squad membership numbers increase by 30% since 2019 and because of this they’ve been able to employ more staff to support the club too.

It’s allowed them to create a pathway from Junior Club Swimming to Senior University swimming as well as an education programme to fit alongside it. Their relationship with the university has even expanded to include Sports Science Support and an internship programme that benefits both parties.

And their cooperation with the operator has allowed them to add 28 hours of extra pool time per month that benefits both the swimmers and Ponds Forge.

John and everyone at the club highly values the impact that better working relationships has had on club growth and plans to continue prioritising it going forward.

If you have any questions about the Club Health Tracker or want to share your story of using the platform, please email [email protected].

Sporting Insights are working with other sports to offer the Club Health Tracker to more grassroots sports clubs. If you would like to find out more please contact [email protected].