Swim 21 is Swim England's Club Development model - a planning tool, based on the principles of Long Term Athlete Development, enabling clubs to help athletes, teachers, coaches and administrators to achieve their full potential. It focuses particularly on the needs of athletes - striving to provide them with the best possible support and environment. It is about creating the best possible swimming experience for all and raising the quality of swimming provision across all areas.
Swim 21 Accreditation is a 'Quality mark'. It recognises nationally and regionally the clubs that are committed to providing safe, effective and quality services for the benefit of their members.
Clubs work steadily towards the attainment of a series of outcomes all of which are seen as essential if the right level of support is to be provided at each stage of an athlete's development.
In May 2013, swim21 changed to a three-module system for recognising quality in aquatic clubs.
swim21 club Essential is a key module which will support clubs to grow membership, develop volunteers and ensure the sustainability of activity in line with the objective of the club.
swim21 club Network is the second of three modules to be launched. The aim of swim21 club Network is to quality assure clubs who work collaboratively to deliver the athlete pathway in their area. It will assist in identifying gaps in provision and opportunities available for clubs to increase and sustain membership.
swim21 club Network supports movement through the pathway to ensure that athletes meet their potential and are retained in the sport. Each club in the network will be valued for their role.
It is agreed between accredited clubs to work towards the following objectives:
- To retain and increase Swim England club members
- To retain and increase volunteers, teachers, coaches and officials
- To raise the standards of performance across appropriate aquatic disciplines
To access swim21 club Network, your club will need to:
- Identify other clubs to form a network with
- Ensure all clubs in the network are Swim England affiliated
- Have access to the swim21 online portal
- Be swim21 Club Essential accredited
- Stronger links in the athlete pathway will aid retention in clubs and increase membership where required
- Swim England Club Officers will support the development and growth of the swim21 Network whilst assisting all clubs to achieve accreditation
- Local funding opportunities will be directed to networks with swim21 accreditation
- Good practice examples will be shared across networks to support
The final module is swim21 Performance Environment awarded to those clubs who can demonstrate that the pathways, physical environment, coaching practices and support services are all in place for athletes to reach the pinnacle of their aquatic sport.
Why the changes?
The fundamental changes to swim21 club Essential ensure that it is pan discipline and relevant for all Swim England affiliated clubs. Swim England has a commitment to achieving its equity targets throughout the sport. swim21 is no different and Swim England is keen to support clubs in the shared objective of widening the participation base and in turn the performance of the sport as a whole.
British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes said: “The swim21 club Essential module begins any club’s journey towards establishing a strong footing with a suitable offer to its club members; it places the club in a position to grow in depth across its members and workforce.
“Swim21 club Essential is designed to be accessible to all clubs across all disciplines and sizes, to be seen as a valued club development tool and one that is recognised as a quality mark across the industry. I challenge every club to work through swim21 and see the benefits it creates your club and the wider community.”