Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England monthly updates 2023

Welcome to the 2023 monthly updates from Swim England.

This will cover the month-by-month work of the national governing body between 1 January and 31 December 2023.

Swim England Board

The Swim England Board meets around six times a year and is made up of representatives from across the sport and physical activity sector. Members have background in legal, human resources and finance. The Swim England Board members are:

Richard Hookway (chairperson), Caroline Green (senior independent non-executive board member/deputy chairperson), Neil Booth, Alison Breadon, Brian Havill, Aysha Kidwai, Raj Kumar, Jane Nickerson, Barry Saunders, Bernard Simkins, Katie Walcott-Greenwood, Joan Wheeler.


It promised to be an exciting year ahead for Swim England’s Water Wellbeing programme, 12 months after the first facility received its accreditation.

Swim England’s Water Wellbeing specialist, Andrew Power, said: “The Water Wellbeing programme is continuing to expand and grow across the nation.”

The Water Wellbeing accreditation scheme is open to any pool and offers a range of resources, training and support to help staff better understand the customer experience, as well as personalise the aquatic offer to suit the needs of those with long-term health conditions.

Water polo stalwart Norman Leighton confirmed he was retiring from his role at Swim England.

Norman had spent more than 16 years with Swim England as the sport’s talent development officer.

He said: “I might be retiring from my role but not the sport I love.”

Swimming pools and leisure centres were dealt a hammer blow after not being designated as ‘energy intensive industries’ by the Government.

After announcing a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme, it was confirmed that swimming pools were not on the list of industries which will received additional financial support.

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson urged the Government to ‘review this decision immediately’.

New visual resources to support swimming teachers in England and abroad were launched by the national governing body.

The Learn to Swim team had developed free flash cards for learners – and these were now available in Ukranian and Arabic.

Swim England have joined forces with a number of partners to set up the new Para-swimming London project to help get more young disabled people into the pool.

Working with Level Water, London Swimming, Evalina Children’s Hospital and London Sport, Swim England hoped the project would find the para-swimmers of the future.

Martin Lees, Swim England para-swimming development manager, said: “This is a really exciting project where partners are working together to improve local opportunities for young disabled people to access and benefit from swimming.”

Swim England appointed Amy Bryant on to its Sport Operations Committee (SOC).

A host of new features were added to the Swim England Learn to Swim app. 

The latest update included even more unlocked icons in the photobooth for everyone to access, more Learn to Swim Awards added and a select your local pool or swim school function to receive an extra unlock!

A failure to offer bespoke support to the leisure sector as part of the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme will be the ‘final straw’ for swimming provision and other services.

That was the warning from a coalition of organisations, including Swim England, who had made an urgent plea to the Government. 

A number of free diving judge courses were being staged by Swim England to support new officials coming into the sport.

Swim England’s School Swimming and Water Safety Charter resources were available to access via the interactive physical education platform, Complete P.E.

The sharing of these resources via the Complete P.E platform will support more than 1,000 schools across the nation.

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson announced she would be retiring from the role at the end of 2023.

She joined the organisation in 1997 and was appointed chief executive in 2017.

Jane said: “I will always support the organisation and our great sports with immense pride.” 

Euan Dale and Kevin Brooks were appointed to Swim England’s Swimming Leadership Group to support the delivery of coaching within the sport.

Swim England’s Water Wellbeing accreditation scheme was hailed as an opportunity for public pool operators to take a consistent approach around health and wellbeing.

Clubs and members were being encouraged by Swim England to get behind a nationwide day to celebrate ‘much-loved’ pools.

Community Leisure U’s Big Swim Day aimed to demonstrate to the Government how important facilities are to millions of people up and down the country.

A group of 75 Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) swimmers from clubs up and down the country took part in a week of training and competition in an offshore camp in Dubai.

They returned from the Middle East Open and Junior Championships with a total of 56 medals and were named top visiting club at the event.

Swim England were among a coalition of more than 200 bodies and individuals from health, sport, recreation and leisure who had written to the Prime Minister with an urgent plea for greater support for grassroots facilities and clubs amid the ongoing energy crisis.

Past and present champions of the pool including Luke Greenbank, Anna Hopkin, Alice Tai, Ellie Robinson, Becky Adlington, Duncan Goodhew, Steve Parry, Mark Foster, Adrian Moorhouse, Sharron Davies, Matty Lee, Leon Taylor, Andrea Spendolini Sirieix, Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe were among the aquatic athletes to have put their names to the letter sent to Rishi Sunak.

Swim England members, clubs, swim schools and everyone involved in the aquatics community then visited their local pools to celebrate their facilities on Big Swim Day.

Guidance to support swimmers who are observing the holy month of Ramadan was published by Swim England.

Three documents had been developed to provide coaches and members with a resource to support both themselves and their swimmers to fuel appropriately whilst fasting.