Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England monthly updates 2024

Welcome to the 2024 monthly updates from Swim England.

This will cover the month-by-month work of the national governing body between 1 January and 31 December 2024.

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, Andy Salmon, Barry Saunders, Bernard Simkins, Katie Walcott-Greenwood, Joan Wheeler.


Nick Parkes urged people considering a fitness drive as part of a new year resolution to get active in the water – as it can be a ‘lifesaver’.

The 62-year-old had to be resuscitated after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Swim England Open Water National Masters Championships but his remarkable recovery had been attributed, in part, to his active lifestyle.

Swim England launched a refreshed version of its safeguarding policy and procedures document, Wavepower.

The new digital edition contained a number of important changes which aim to ensure everyone is able to take part in aquatic sports and activities in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.

There were five key changes around adult safeguarding, safeguarding changing rooms, approved training, safer recruitment and the role of the welfare officer.

At the same time, the Swim England Handbook was also updated to reflect a number of updated regulations.

Two volunteers with Swim England’s Ripple Effect project were shortlisted for a national award.

Allyson Irvine and Ryan Carstairs are both Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreations Awards 2024 finalists in the Inspiration of the Year category.

Members of Swim England’s water polo talent centre took part in the Habawaba Spain International Tournament in Barcelona.

A total of 41 athletes and nine members of staff, coaches and team managers headed to the event which saw three Swim England teams take part. 

Meanwhile, the first Swim England Diving Team Z (Zone squad) camp of 2024 saw divers from seven clubs across England and Scotland come together for an ‘exciting weekend of learning’.

A total of 116 U16 athletes also took part in the inaugural Swim England Water Polo Talent Centre Festival at Liverpool’s Aquatics Centre.

Dorset became the first county to meet the standards of Swim England’s Governance Code for counties.

The code sets out the requirements counties must achieve in order to show they are demonstrating good governance and have necessary and up-to-date documentation in place.

Swim England’s volunteering team were hoping to recruit more people in 2024 in a bid to make aquatic sports grow and thrive.

Andrea Startin, the national governing body’s volunteering and development coordinator, said: “With so many interesting and varied volunteering opportunities, helping out in whatever capacity is a great way to participate in aquatics, have fun and potentially support your club or athlete to achieve their full potential.”

A number of the Swim England Performance Squad took part in the week-long training camp in Lanzarote.

The Barcelo Lanzarote Active Resort hosted the group as they focused on their preparation for April’s British Swimming Championships which play a key role in selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Aquatic Activity and Swimming for Health eLearning resource, which has been described as ‘exceptionally helpful and practical’, was made available to access for anyone in the UK.

Developed in partnership by Swim England, the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP), University of Nottingham and NHS England, the resource raises awareness of the benefits of aquatic activity on health and wellbeing.

Swim England launched a brand new financial forum, aimed at supporting the success and sustainability of aquatic clubs.

The forums come as a follow up to the success of Swim England’s Club Financial Toolkit and last year’s Financial Sustainability webinars.


The World Championships were held in Doha at the beginning of February with Swim England members enjoying considerable success representing Great Britain.

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe won Great Britain’s first-ever artistic swimming World Championships medal after finishing second in the technical duet final.

They followed that up with a bronze medal in the free duet final to book a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and Thorpe hoped their achievements would encourage youngsters to take up the sport.

She said: “I just hope it’s inspiring some young girls and boys back at home, we can lead the way for some of them and that there’s a bright future for artistic swimming in the UK.”

For the first time in more than a decade, Great Britain’s women’s water polo team competed in the World Championships and they finished a creditable 11th following victories over South Africa and Kazakhstan.

Britain’s swimmers won seven medals during the eight days of action, with both Laura Stephens and Freya Colbert topping the podium in the Women’s 200m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley respectively.

The diving team also secured a competition-best seven medals, beating their previous best of six from Budapest two years ago.

Tom Daley, Scarlett Mew Jensen, Daniel Goodfellow and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix claimed Britain’s only diving gold as they triumphed in the Mixed Team event.

Swim England confirmed it was to carry out a ‘thorough’ review of its SwimMark accreditation programme and would be seeking the views of affiliated clubs, regions and key stakeholders. 

It would be the first in-depth evaluation of the programme since 2017 and was being carried out in light of feedback from the sport.

Stone and District Swimming Club have shared their positive experiences of completing Swim England’s Club Health Tracker.

The tracker, developed alongside Sporting Insights, is available for all aquatics clubs and supports them with six areas of club development.

Ian Hall, Stone and District Swimming Club chair, said: “After completion of the tracker, Swim England got in touch and their approach was extremely helpful, with them offering a series of potential options.”

The English School Swimming Association’s Duke of Cambridge Cup has been hailed as a ‘real triumph’ after Swim England’s Talent Centre athletes were invited to join the competition for 2024.

The event – which took place at the Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry – welcomed 60 athletes from the Swim England Talent Centre programme alongside another 60 which were nominated from schools across the country.

Leeds Beckett University was seeing the ‘life-changing’ effects for some participants after being the first university pool to achieve Swim England’s Water Wellbeing accreditation.

The pool joins a cohort of around 180 sites to now be Water Wellbeing accredited.

Swimming and Health Commission member Professor Scarlett McNally has used the pages of the BMJ to send a clear message to the medical community about the importance of swimming for the body, mind and communities.

Swimming and other aquatic activities have immense benefits for health and wellbeing,” said Professor McNally.

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson

Jane Nickerson paid tribute to Swim England’s bank of ‘passionate and positive’ volunteers as she retired after a ‘memorable’ 25 years with for the national governing body.

She said working in an environment ‘which truly impacts on the lives of others and provides so much enjoyment to participants means so much.’

Jane was replaced as chief executive by Andy Salmon, who joined Swim England from a similar role at British Triathlon.


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

The listening report captured responses from past and present Swim England members and was written by award-winning company The Behavioural Architects

Chairman 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.

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

Swim England joined a ‘powerful’ coalition of more than 40 leading national governing bodies and environmental organisations to urge politicians to allow greater access to ‘nature rich spaces’.

The national governing body supported the Outdoors for All manifesto, which was presented to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Stephen Barclay.

Swim England inducted Mercedes Gleitze – the first British woman to swim the English Channel – into its Hall of Fame on International Women’s Day.

Mercedes was only the sixth person to conquer the channel and her induction was confirmed on the day a film, Vindication Swim, which celebrated her life and remarkable achievement was released nationwide.  

The first Swim England event of 2024 was held in Crawley with 170 athletes from 21 clubs taking part in the GoCardless Swim England Artistic Swimming National Age Group Championships.

Six different events were held over the two-day competition, which were judged on the new artistic swimming rules for the first time.

At the event, artistic swimming stalwart Hannah Secher was ‘grateful’ to join the prestigious list of Mary Black Award winners.

Some of the nation’s current and future stars enjoyed a three-day pathway camp at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre which will provide them with a ‘great experience’ ahead of their upcoming events.

Members of Team Z then took part in a camp at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre to support their preparation for the upcoming British Elite Junior Diving Championships and Swim England National Age Group Championships.

A new course to help swimming coaches play a key role in boosting the number of blind and partially-sighted people participating in aquatics was launched.

Swim England worked alongside leading sight loss charity British Blind Sport and UK Coaching to help create the bespoke online training package.

Andy Salmon gave his first interview since becoming Swim England chief executive.

He urged the aquatics community to get behind the national governing body’s ‘commitment to change’ – and issued a sincere apology to anyone who had endured poor experiences or inappropriate behaviour.

It was announced more than 300 facilities were to receive a share of a £60 million fund to help swimming pools become more energy efficient.

However, while Swim England welcomed the investment from the second phase of the Swimming Pool Support Fund, it said the fact local authorities applied for four times the amount available showed the ‘scale of the problems facilities still face’ and called for a ‘long-term plan to help deliver the network of sustainable facilities we need for the future’.

A number of athletes from Swim England’s Team Y and Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme took part in the 8 Nations Youth Diving Meet in Turin, Italy.

Swim England has welcomed new guidance which offers ideas to ensure youngsters receive high-quality and inclusive PE, sport and physical activity at school.