Swim England

A nation swimming

Listening Report is foundation for a new approach to everything we do

Swim England chief executive Andy Salmon gives an update on the organisation’s work to meet the recommendations in the Listening Report – and offers a sincere thank you.

The publication of the Listening Report was a pivotal moment for everybody associated with Swim England.

It made for tough reading but it’s given us clarity and a clear focus on how we must – and can – improve as an organisation.

Our goal right now is a simple one – to listen and engage with our entire aquatics community.

Whether you’re a Swim England member, teacher, coach, volunteer, club official, learn to swim provider, tutor or just love being active in the water, we have a duty to ensure the highest standards are met to make your experiences safe, enjoyable and fulfilling.

The Listening Report is the foundation for a new approach to everything we do.

We fully accepted all the recommendations contained within the report and work has already begun on a number of those.

We are continuing to listen and that includes our Values and Vision Roadshows, which have been taking place up and down the country, and the launch of the Swim England Online Community.

When I joined Swim England as chief executive at the end of February, I made a commitment to engage with all of you.

Your views are vital if we want to address the issues of the past and ensure they don’t happen in the future.

I have attended every one of the Values and Vision Roadshows and they have all been incredibly rewarding, insightful and worthwhile.

It’s fantastic to see how passionate you all are about our sports and activities – and the honest feedback and ideas you’ve been sharing has exceeded our expectations. The input will be key as we refresh our strategy later this year.

There are a number of roadshows still to take place and I would encourage each and every one of you to join us, if you haven’t done so already, and help shape our purpose, values and vision for the future.

Please note, a booking form is required for each person attending and the form will close at 2pm, seven calendar days prior to each event. If the event is fully booked, the form may close earlier. If your roadshow has closed, please email us at [email protected].

If you can’t make a roadshow, please join our Online Community and be at the heart of our decision-making process.

This safe listening space will be a valuable tool as we aim to get your thoughts to help shape future opportunities and experiences. You can find out more, and sign up, by clicking here.

Work to meet all the recommendations contained in the Listening Report is ongoing but it won’t happen overnight.

It’s crucial we don’t have a knee-jerk reaction and rush through this process. Instead, we will make considered, informed decisions for the benefit of everyone involved in aquatics.

Some things will happen quicker than others and already we have made great strides on this long journey.

We’re doing a lot of work for clubs, including:

  • Carrying out a full review, including a consultation, of our SwimMark accreditation, looking into its purpose, structure and delivery. All SwimMark clubs are being encouraged to share thoughts on the scheme.
  • Putting together a wide-ranging toolkit that coaches and committees may use, which will be published later this year, on how to create a club’s vision and values alongside a positive culture. This will also support coaches and committees with positively engaging with parents.
  • Creation of a welcome pack which clubs may like to use, which includes a welfare feedback survey. Clubs will be able to use this to gather the views of its members and form an action plan from the responses.
  • Being more proactive in offering bespoke support, alongside the regions, to engage with clubs who have been in contact via the Club Heath Tracker.
  • Working to form a Swim England Masters Leadership Group in a bid to help grow Masters participation and enhance their experience.
  • Developing our digital ecosystem, including a new website, to improve the experience of everyone within our sports.

This gives an insight on what we are trying to achieve – although there is much more for us to do in the coming months.

We take our responsibility as a national governing body extremely seriously and we will continue to keep you updated – as well as involve you – in our progress

For now, I would like to say a sincere thank you.

The Listening Report is a huge opportunity to change for the better – and by you engaging with us so positively, we can realise our goal of creating a bright future for everyone involved in our sports.