Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England publishes findings of independent listening research

Swim England has published in full the findings of the independent listening research commissioned as part of its pledge to create a better future for everyone involved in aquatic sports.

Award-winning company The Behavioural Architects conducted the comprehensive independent research, which was first announced last March in Swim England’s safeguarding, welfare and culture plan, Heart of Aquatics.

More than 1,000 individuals from across the aquatics community contributed to a mix of qualitative research methods.

This included an anonymous mass listening space open to all to share views and experiences, along with a moderated online platform and interviews.

Observation sessions also took place at clubs and events, whilst workshops focused on current and former Swim England members, coaches, parents, club committee members and welfare officers.

In addition, all current Swim England members were invited to take part in an online survey which captured more than 3,500 responses.

Swim England chairperson Richard Hookway said: “We are sorry that the culture within aquatics has fallen short of what we strive for and that this has resulted in negative experiences within our community.

Fully accept

“As part of this, we take the views expressed about Swim England within the report extremely seriously. We are committed to change.

“We have been working on our Heart of Aquatics plan for 12 months, which aims to improve safeguarding, welfare and the underpinning culture across our sports.

“As part of that plan, we made a firm commitment to commission an independent report to capture an honest and thorough reflection of the prevailing culture.

“I want to reassure everyone that we welcome the recommendations and we will act on the findings, which we fully accept.

“We will now take the appropriate time to develop our next steps, building on the Heart of Aquatics commitments and consulting with stakeholders as we do so. We will also continue to listen and to provide feedback on progress.

“Our overarching aim is simple – to ensure everyone feels safe, included and welcome in our sports.”

To read the findings of the research in full, please click here.