Swim 21

Swim 21 is the Amateur Swimming Association’s Swimmer Development Programme for the 21st Century.  The aims of the programme are:


To provide a nationally recognised club development programme
To establish a network of clubs
To provide clear pathways for individuals through the club structure
To guide clubs through the action planning process
To incorporate a partnership approach to the delivery of swimming locally


Accreditation by the ASA to the Swim 21 quality standard recognises swimming clubs that offer high standards and excellence within four different levels of organisation, namely:


Teaching Skill Development Competitive Development



To achieve Swim 21 accreditation, a club first has to decide in which of the four levels it wishes to operate.  It then has to carry out an audit to identify the current situation within the club and formulate an action plan to bring the club up to the level of Swim 21.  Working closely with the ASA Regional Development officer is vital at all stages.


In our case, as we take swimmers from ‘Learn to Swim’ up to National competitive level – and in a few cases to international level – it was decided that Competitive Development level was to be our aim.  For this we needed to assess four key areas of club activity: swimmer development, coach development, club management and partnerships.


Only when a club has reached a high level of quality in all of these key four areas and can give evidence of these achievements can it be put forward for full accreditation to Swim 21.

An intensive training programme was required in Child Protection, Disability Awareness and Equity.  The Club also embraces the ASA code of ethics.


We are proud that Stourbridge SC is one of the first three clubs in the country to have been fully accredited to Swim 21 as a Competitive Development Club – proving that after 100 years of development, Stourbridge SC is still leading the way.


It does not end there as Swim 21 is an ongoing process.  We have an action plan now to improve all areas of the Club progressively each year to achieve the Gold Standard in all four areas.


Part of our commitment to partnerships is our involvement in the Active Sports initiative.


Active Sports

The aim of Active Sports is to help young people with the ability and desire to improve their sporting skills by means of a co-ordinated programme across England that will provide wider access to organised sport.


Partnership at local level is the key to Active Sports.  Local authorities, governing bodies of sport, schools and equity organisations are working together to improve the way sport is provided for young people.  Forty-five Sports Partnerships covering the whole of England have now been established.  These Partnerships will work through local centres, coaches and clubs to enable young people to participate in sport more frequently, improve their skills and compete at various levels.


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.


(Active Sports article reprinted from Sport England Web site)


Stourbridge Swimming Club is represented on the Black Country Active Sports group.  During the coming year we will be taking an active part in festival administration and helping to bringing swimming opportunities to new swimmers.  We will be working closely with the local authority and the Active Sports Swimming Development Officer.