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Swim England to Elevate aquatic activity at national trade show

Swim England is to exhibit at the country’s largest fitness, sport and physical activity trade show – which has its own dedicated aquatics section.

More than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend Elevate, which takes place at London’s ExCeL on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June.

Swim England has its own stand at the exhibition, while the recognised national governing body has also teamed up with the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) and the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) to sponsor an aquatic theatre.

Members of Swim England’s business engagement, health and wellbeing and facilities teams will all be on hand at Elevate 2024 to discuss operational challenges and how to tackle them, workforce solutions and the learn to swim programme.

In addition, there will be an in-person session of the Swim England Pool Owner and Operator Network.

Perfect opportunity

Swim England staff will also be part of six key discussions being held in the aquatic theatre across the exhibition’s two days.

Alex Hains, Swim England’s head of business engagement, said: “We’re really looking forward to being part of the dedicated aquatics corner at Elevate 2024.

“The exhibition is the perfect opportunity to speak to our partners and visitors to Elevate and share their goals in a bid to increase aquatic activity.

“There are some excellent discussions lined up in the aquatic theatre or people can just pop along to our stand and talk about what new innovations are available and what solutions we can find for any operational challenges.

“It promises to be a fantastic two days of networking and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to stand F46.”

Admission to Elevate is free to all decision makers within the physical activity sector and people can register by clicking here.

Elevate 2024 programme

Swim England will be involved in the following seminars in the aquatic theatre.

Wednesday 12 June

The Swim Alliance – A voice for the Aquatics industry (11am-11:45am)

The Swim Alliance, supported by Sport England, brings together leading voices from across the swimming world, from governing bodies to pool operators and organisations specifically focused on serving under-represented groups, to work together on a number of shared aims and ambitions. Hear from key alliance members working across the areas of insight, lobbying, diversity/inclusion and workforce to learn more about the Alliance itself, plans for the future and the ultimate aims of the coalition. Swim England’s director of business engagement, Rebecca Cox, and head of insight, Kerry Watkiss, will be joined by Danielle Obe, the co-founder and chair of the Black Swimming Association, Ian Thwaites, founder and chief executive of the Level Water Charity, and Andrew Clark, head of sport and aquatics and GLL.

Swimming pools aren’t just for swimming: creating innovative income streams in the water (11:10am-11:50am)

Operating swimming pools costs money – often a significant proportion of a fitness or leisure centre’s running costs. Most of us know what to expect from a leisure centre time-table: the early morning lane-swimmers/walkers, a mid-morning toddler swim class, the after-school family-free-for all and the early evening aqua-aerobics. But what if we redefined pool programming? What if we could entice more people to take the plunge? And what would investing just as much into marketing and imaginative programming as in running costs and maintenance mean for businesses with a pool? In this session, Swim England’s head of business engagement, Alex Hains, John Wills, from Airspace Solutions, Natalie Mcguire, director of business development at Brimhams Active, and Suzanne Gabb, chief operating officer at Good Boost, look at what measures operators can take to turn their pools into innovative income streams and spaces that attract new demographics – and how seeing the space as more than just a place to swim could open up new economic avenues and welcome different communities.

Swim England Pool Owner and Operator Network LIVE! (1:15pm-2:30pm)

Following the model established at their bi-weekly Pool Owner and Operator virtual network, Swim England discuss the latest in pool operations with a panel of guests. Led by Swim England head of business engagement, Alex Hains, the panel, representing three different operating models, alongside Swim England staff, will discuss the latest in pool programming and respective strategies for growing participation in pools. With many discussions at Elevate focused on the future of public provision, this discussion will very much focus on the here and now with a view to inspire some practical take home ideas and concepts. The guests include Natalie Mcguire, director of business development at Brimhams Active, Kieran Charles, sport and leisure operations manager at Tendring District Council, and Ian Cotton, group aquatic and activity manager at Everyone Active. 

Thursday 13 June

Temporary pools – The essentials explored (10am-10:45am)

At this session, Swim England’s head of facilities, Richard Lamburn, and Jo Talbot, a Royal Life Saving Society UK director, will look at the requirements for temporary pools, highlighting the need for effective treatment of the water and to determine if these facilities can deliver safe swimming sessions.

Exploring effective recruitment and sustainability of an Aquatics workforce fit for growth (12noon-12:45pm)

A panel discussion around the perennial challenges with recruitment and retention. The session aims to share insight, best practice and solutions for the sector, mindful of the current financial pressures. Revisit existing solutions, access insights and hear more about CIMSPAs skills hub work. Speakers include Rebecca Cox, Institute of Swimming managing director, David Monkhouse, from Active Insight, Jo Talbot, a director at the Royal Life Saving Society UK, Tara Dillion, the CEO at CIMSPA, and David Kreyling, the CEO at the CSL Group.

What does a sustainable network of swimming pools look like? (2pm-2:45pm)

With well documented pressures on local authority finances, ageing facilities and high profile pool closures, Swim England will host a panel discussion with leading representatives from local government to consider what a sustainable network of public pools looks like for the future. The session will focus on issues such as the sector’s transition to wellbeing and carbon reduction efforts. Speakers include Philip Brownlie, Swim England’s head of public affairs, Richard Lamburn, Swim England’s head of facilities, Councillor Paul Gittings, the chair of the Association for Public Service Excellence Sports and Leisure Management Group, and Councillor Joanne Laban, deputy chair of the Local Government Association Culture, Tourism and Sport Board.

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