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Level x Racing

You will find links to information on our swimming competitions in the tabbed section below.

The County Swimming Competition Secretary is Kelly Podbury (view contact details).

The SW Regional Licensed Meet Co-ordinator is Lesley Leffers, 6 Crosstrees, Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire SN4 8FB (Tel: 01793 852287 Mob: 07707 470100 glleffers@btinternet.com).

The Festival of Swimming - South West (Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire 50m) 2021

will be held over 24 & 25 July 2021 at Millfield, Street and delivered and facilitated by Millfield and Team Bath AS. Licence number: 1SW210159. Please save the dates, and download and share within your Club and networks the promotional flyer which includes details of the event programme and consideration times.

Can you help us?

We rely on volunteers giving their time freely to enable us to run competitions which help your Club and swimmers to enjoy the experience and reach their goals. And you don't need to have helped out at a County competition before!

Kelly Podbury, will be delighted to receive any offers of support well in advance of our County competitions.

Just Swim

For lots of information on swimming and why it is so good for you, head to Just Swim on the Swim England website to discover the secrets of healthy eating, check out videos of light exercises you can do in the pool and how to warm up and stretch effectively. There are also tips to help you relax and destress, and swim and gym exercises for the more adventurous.

New starters, adult learners, parents and children should check out Swim England's Learn to Swim Companion. The world-renowned Swim England Learn to Swim award scheme is based on the Learn to Swim Pathway, a programme developed to take children through from their first splash to full competence in the water.

Swim England has also produced information for parents

Teaching And Coaching

Applications are open for Swim England's Pathway Coach Programme 2021-2022 until 12 Jul 2021.

The application stage of the Swim England Senior Swimming Coach programme opened on  11 June 2021 and they need to be submitted by 25 July 2021.

Swim England Foundation Coach Conference 2021 took place virtually on Sun 25 April between 9.30am and 4.15pm and covered all aquatic disciplines. View programme and how to book.

The 2020 Regional Coaches Conference in partnership with the Swim England Talent Team was postponed due to the current situation with Covid-19 and illness resulting in a large proportion of the delivery team unable to attend.

Swim England operates comprehensive certification and education programmes for teachers and coaches. Somerset ASA bursaries support Clubs wishing to develop their workforce.

Swim England has pioneered work on the UK Coaching Framework and is developing e-learning programmes, all of which are helping to drive up quality and ‘raise the bar’ to ensure Swim England has an appropriately skilled workforce for the whole swimming industry.

There are three levels of ASA swimming coaching qualifications. Follow the three Coaching links below to find out more on the Institute of Swimming (IoS) website.

View full specifications of all Swim England Qualifications.

Swim England launched a Coaching and Teaching Register in 2019 bringing benefits to clubs, coaches, teachers and participants. View details and action required.

Follow the menu link for coaching tips and advice from Swim England Talent coaching officers. Read articles and watch videos about the latest swimming coaching best advice.

Find out more about teaching swimming and coaching swimming on the Swim England website.

Officials And Volunteers

We thank our officials for supporting our 2020 County Swimming Championships which were held over 19/25/26 Jan & 1/2/8/9 Feb 2020 at Millfield.

Volunteers and officials are the lifeblood of swimming and we are grateful to all officials who volunteer to help at our annual Championships and Development Meet. We will always need offers of help for most sessions to meet the requirements of the meet licence. Unfortunately, if we do not have enough officials for a session, then any times achieved by the swimmers in that session cannot be submitted for the rankings.

Swim England South West Officials sent out a survey in Mar 2021 to gauge support needs and any potential training opportunities and also provide an insight into when its officials may look to return to officiating when competitions are able to restart. View a summary of responses.

Somerset candidates undergoing Referee, J2(S), J2 and J1 training receive mentoring support. Chris Metcalfe intends to hold a meeting of Referees on 5 May 2021 to discuss future mentoring / training activity.

Returning to Competition

Swim England is to begin issuing licenses for level four single club competitions in time for Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.Published guidance was followed up with a webinar on 21 April to answer questions on how to plan and stage a meet / gala. View news item.

Discover more about volunteering in Somerset or becoming an official.


Swim England supports 1,052 Swim England affiliated Clubs and 190,000 Swim England members through a national, regional and sub-regional structure.

It endeavours to ensure every athlete – whatever their age or level of experience – belongs to a club that provides the best possible support and environment through schemes such as SwimMark, Swim England’s 'Quality Mark' for clubs.

We publicised Membership Growth Projects, a Swim England funded programme designed to increase the number of club members. Any SwimMark accredited club section was eligible to apply for funding before applications closed on 18 Oct 2019. 

Find out more about clubs and membership on the Swim England website and in our Club Directory.


Somerset ASA Championships 2020 Swim HatSomerset organise the Somerset ASA Age Groups & Championships 2020 (19/25/26 Jan & 1/2/8/9 Feb 2020) at Millfield, Street but announced on 1 Jun that it will not be holding its two day Development Meet in 2020 orginally scheduled for 3/4 Oct. Also please see Swim England announcement on 23 Apr 2020 about meet licensing).

Dates for future events will appear in our Calendar and entries are made via affiliated Clubs. 

Swim England organises competition throughout England, from grassroots to elite level, including the highly successful National Age Group and Youth Championships that attract more than 1,600 young swimmers aged 11-17 every year.

Returning to Competition

Swim England is issuing licenses for level four single club competitions. Swim England published guidance which was followed up with a webinar for event organisers (download pdf) on 21 April to answer questions on how to plan and stage a meet / gala. A set of Frequently Asked Questions has now been developed which will continue to be updated on an ongoing basis where necessary. Download a Covid Lead role description, which also incorporates the expectations of the role around club competition. View update on Level 4 licensed single club meets.

Swim England had announced that the normal window for County Competitions in 2021 will be suspended and an alternative window now run from late May until 18 July 2021, with a further racing opportunity opening up for counties later in the year so older swimmers sitting exams will be given the chance to participate at an appropriate time. View announcement.

Swim England Sport Operations Committee recognises the importance of a strong and consistent education to the young people involved in our sports. Unless agreed by SOC, Swim England Leadership Groups should avoid booking competitions for school time during the academic year and should, under no circumstances, book competitions during school time across the national exam season in the Summer. Affiliated associations are requested to adopt the same policy.

Without any racing since the start of the coronavirus lockdown as events were cancelled, Swim England launched a new virtual concept - Level X racing - which allows swimmers to pit themselves against others from across the country without leaving their home pool. A second series of Level X Racing for Cat 2 members launched for under 18 members on 12 April when indoor pools reopened, with the over 18’s / Masters edition opening on 17 May as per Government guidance following the roadmap out of lockdown. View announcement. Visit Level X racing archives for more information and FAQs.

Swim England's five-stage roadmap for a Return to Competition

Before the lockdown, clubs were functioning at Stage 3 (15 Oct-31 Dec or later) with training and Level X Racing the only permitted activity. Dates for the start of Stage 4 are yet to be confirmed and social distancing will still be in place, but criteria are that the national situation will allow for competition in some areas (if not all of the country) and swimmers will have achieved race fitness. Stages 4a-c must be delivered successfully before progressing on to Stage 5, and progression through Stage 4 is as follows:

  • Stage 4a – L4 competitions held within club training sessions only, with L4 licensing available one month prior to start.
  • Stage 4b – Normal L4 single club competitions to take place, with L4 licensing available one month prior to start.
  • Stage 4c – Trial multi-club activity of pilot L4 competitions with a limited number of clubs participating. Swim England will identify a small number of meet promoters who will be invited to apply for a licence.
  • Stage 5 again anticipates social distancing still be in place, but Government guidelines will enable competition on a larger scale although permitted numbers remain smaller than normal. It is at this point that licensed L1-3 competitions will be introduced by Swim England, and include County / Regional Champs with National Championships, if possible, at season end.

Each stage of the Return to Competition roadmap can only take place when the national situation permits and not before Swim England’s proposals have been signed off by the Government’s Digital, Media & Sport Committee.

On 26 Jan 2021, George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director answered some of the most commonly asked questions from members on plans for a Return to Competition.

Following the announcement of outline plans for summer 'Festival of Swimming' along route back to competition unveiled by Swim England and British Swimming on 7 April 2021, Swim England South West has announced:

The Festival of Swimming - South West (Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire 50m) 2021

which will be held over 24 & 25 July 2021 at Millfield, Street and delivered and facilitated by Millfield and Team Bath AS. Licence number: 1SW210159.

Please save the dates, and download and share within your Club and networks the promotional flyer which includes details of the event programme and consideration times.

Ahead of a regional Zoom meeting, we had asked Somerset Clubs / members to share their views on a regional pool event in late July 2021 and regional open water event in Sepember 2021. Thank you for your feedback. 

Find out how to get started in competitive swimming in England.


Talent Pathway

The English Talent programme is a world-leading, seamless pathway that puts in place performance opportunities for swimmers to develop their skills and potential and progress on to competing for British Swimming at major international competitions.

Free Virtual Pathway Camp Opportunity
We publicised the event on Sat 5 June 2021 (9:30am to 2:45pm) which is part of the Regional Pathway Programme and was open to any CAT 2 registered 12 yr old athlete (age at 31.12.21). View details which included how to sign up.

County Pathway
Following the success of the pilot scheme of the County Pathway Programme in 2017, Somerset ASA had planned to deliver the Programme again in 2020 with the support of the Swim England Talent Team as it did in 2018 and 2019. View 2020 announcement.

James Clarke (Millfield) was again our Lead Coach with Fiona Bowen Programme Lead. The parents meeting was held during our County Championships at Millfield on 8 February 2020.

The first two camps due to be held on 16 May and 4 July unfortunately had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 and we held just one camp online on 20 September 2020 (view report). Topics included lifestyle, nutrition and land training using a timetable and content produced by Swim England. Camp sessions have traditionally provided an opportunity for any coaches and team managers not on the team to observe FREE OF CHARGE.

Further to our request for 6 Skills Coaches and an Assistant Team Manager we are pleased to announce the swimmers and coaching team who were selected for the 20 Sep online event..

The 2019 camps provided development opportunities for the top 36 swimmers who were aged 11 years as at 31 Dec, skills coaches and an assistant team manager.  The team and swimmers selected for our 2019 camps (27 April, 20 July and 26 October) were led by James Clarke with Fiona Bowen, Programme Lead. James was supported by 6 x Skills Coaches and 2 Team Managers.

The camps are designed to be great learning environments for our coaches and to ensure that the current best practices are passed onto as many of our clubs as possible. We always strongly encourage your coaches and team managers to attend future camps if they possibly can. Keep an eye out for and share future Coach invitations within your Club and network.

View details of the 2019 parents' workshop held on 10 February and news of the first 2019 camp.

Read more on the Swim England English Talent pathway in the Teaching and Coaching section of the Swim England website.

View 2019 Regional presentations

View 2018 Regional presentations

The objective of British Swimming’s Performance Pathway is to develop athletes that have the skills, characteristics and behaviours to thrive in the highest competitive arenas, specifically at the World Championships and Olympic Games. Login to your Off the Blocks account or if you're new to Off the Blocks, sign up to discover more!

Applications are open for the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) - Swimming until 12 July 2021.

Licensed Meets

Please note Swim England announcement on 23 Apr 2020 that it is temporarily stopping issuing licences for swimming competitions.

The latest available information from Region is that each county will be restricted to:
- Counties only run in the allocated County block of weeks and to criteria
- Regional Competitions are run in the allocated Regional block of weeks and to criteria
- Each month all counties run no more than 2 x L1 or L2 & 2 x L3 or LL4 (excl. L4) meets
- While the Region cannot impose restrictions of the number of meets a club could run in a year, the aim is a fair and equal share of meets allocated to any club wishing to run meets.
- There will be no restrictions on the number of L4 meets providing they aren’t in the blacked out dates already published by the Region.

Swim England South West hope that not allowing any Licensed meets on the same weekends that Regional Competitions are being run will alleviate the pressure on the SW Officials Co-ordinator to be able to staff all Regional Competitions effectively. In 2019 Sprints did not apply to the black out. The black out dates cover ALL levels of meets from L4 -L1. If you are thinking of using weekends which clash please re-plan your date.

Confirm that your date does not clash with other events in the County. Please send completed form to Regional Licencing Officer: Lesley Leffers (All Payments paid by BACS . Please do not send cheques. Your Levy fees and post meet fee’s can be paid by BACS to the following account:- Lloyds TSB ASA South West Region Sort Code: 30-90-54 Acc. Number: 04630209. Please name payment as – L1,2,3 or 4 Club Name). Please take a screen shot of the payment and email to Lesley the Licence application form, Referee Report form, Promoter Report form.

Useful documents: