This Page: Introduction
Active Sports swimming aims to provide better coaching and competition for young people aged 8-12 so that all young swimmers receive a sufficient quantity and quality of coaching and competition to help them develop their personal potential.
The programme will provide equal opportunities for both boys and girls and will seek to encourage young people from black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities to become involved in swimming. It will also make the sport accessible to young people from low income families and will address opportunities for young people with a disability.
Improving the quality of coaching and competition and bringing new young people into the sport will benefit swimming by widening the potential pool of talented swimmers and by introducing more young people into membership of swimming clubs.
There are benefits not just to swimming as a sport, but also directly to young people through an enhanced lifestyle and indirectly to other sports that require water-based skills.
Sport England developed this overall approach working in consultation with all ten of the participating sports. But each sport has different development requirements, so each has produced its own specific framework to guide the local programmes.
The ASA has invested considerable thought and effort in planning how to make Active Sports work for our sport. We have produced a detailed framework that we believe will deliver the best results for swimming.
The framework consists of four distinct stages.
Stage One aims to attract eight to ten year olds who already enjoy swimming through school programmes, local learn to swim' courses and clubs. We will provide new local participation opportunities for them to develop their involvement. These will include local swimming festivals and local swimming camps during school holidays, led by one of our ASA-qualified coaches, to enthuse young people and prepare them for clubs.
At this stage we will be developing and providing resources to involve our local clubs. These clubs will already have or be working towards our Swim 21 Skills Development Club level. They will be responsible for providing those young people identified at Stage One with safe, all-year-round opportunities to access weekly coaching by one of our ASA-qualified coaches, to improve their skills, gain skills awards and enjoy the benefits of regular competition.
This third stage concentrates on the most effective way of assessing the abilities of those 10-12 year olds who are participating at local level in schools and clubs and want to take their involvement with swimming further. Our assessment programme consists of a twice-yearly review in January and March by one of our head coaches. They will assess each swimmer's background information, including individual competition results, using our swimmer profile guide.
Those 10-12 year olds identified at Stage Three as having ability and talent will have an opportunity to attend new Partnership Camps during February and April. Here they will get additional training and assessment at pre-ASA district levels. The camps will involve programmes for swimmers, their parents and coaches and will be led by one of our ASA-qualified coaches working as a head coach for the Sports Partnership.
We also feel very strongly as a sport that we could be doing even more to attract those sections of the community that have yet to enjoy swimming. That is why we are committed to using Active Sports as a way of targeting those groups that are under-represented in our sport, especially people with disabilities.Our programme is now in place and we have trained development teams on hand around the country to ensure that our Swimming Action Groups have everything they need to implement Active Sports at the local level.