Memorandum submitted by British Swimming
THE SPORT OF SWIMMING
There are many and varied systems of operations
at play in Great Britain in terms of competition swimming clubs
conducting and offering swimming instruction, tuition and coaching
to the general community.
However, the most common practise for competition
swimming clubs to operate is to do so through the Local Authority.
It is apparent that competitive swimming clubs are operating with
limited pool space and at inappropriate times to avoid conflict
with other paying customers.
These are some of the problems that exist under
this type of operation.
1. Extremely limited space (both at time
of day offered and length of time) to competitive swimming.
2. Where the Local Authority do not employ
the coach the pool space is often extremely expensive. Examples
3. Where the coach is employed by the Local
Authority the coach is evaluated on performance of numbers attending
en-masse classes with very questionable quality control.
4. Clubs are sometimes having to accept times
to practise at 7pm-8pm and later at night. This is quite unacceptable
to have young children practising at these times but clubs fear
to complain due to losing these times.
5. Lanes are often crowded and clubs/coaches
forced to utilise several facilities (ie Ealing Swim Club, Ferndown).
6. Some clubs, coaches, parents and swimmers
are required to travel extremely long distances to gain 50m competition
and training at weekends or late hours weekly.
Whilst it is difficult to evaluate it would
be a conservative estimate that competitive swimming (parents
etc) in Great Britain would contribute annually an amount in excess
of £5 million to the operation and use of pools in Great
Britain in return for crowded lanes, poor quality controlled instruction
and inappropriate times of operation.
Coaches and clubs must be evaluated on results
rather than poor quality controlled en-masse numbers in facilities
that are too small (25m), outdated and over regulated. We must
have performance/result dependant coaches along with result recognised
coaches and programmes.
I believe competition swimming clubs in Great
Britain are disadvantaged as they do not have the opportunity
to conduct learn to swim both from a quality controlled feeder
system and a financially beneficial approach and clubs are then
being charged excessive pool hire by Local Authorities. This deprives
these clubs of independence, avoids performance based evaluations
and is destructive in clubs not being able to offer systematic
and improved service to the swimming and general community.
The competitive swimmer and parent is greatly
disadvantaged by the Local Authority controlled programme with
its quality controlled/limited space operation and the alternative
independent club programme which pays massively high prices for
the privilege of conducting a full range competitive programme.
Local Authorities in Great Britain generally
offer expensive opportunities in antiquated short course facilities
in either of the two systems outlined above.
Coaches, swimmers, parents, clubs, officials
and British Swimming have done an outstanding job in operating
and developing swimming in a situation where they have been greatly
disadvantaged as compared to the rest of the world.
Local Authorities/Universities building pools
utilising lottery money see it as their right to then expect British
Swimming to afford them excessive amounts in pool hire to conduct
run and operate the facility.
Swim pools in Great Britain should:
1. Be updated with more all weather better
designed 50m facilities.
2. Programmes, coaches and clubs should be
result dependant (not judged by numbers achieving national qualifying
times) as well as offering wide/full range development.
3. Where new lottery-assisted facilities
are built British Swimming recognised Performance/Potential programmes
should be offered free pre-nominated appropriate accessible training/practise
4. Recognised swim clubs should be offered
appropriate space at a maximum of £5 per hour per lane.
5. Local Authorities, facilities and coaches/clubs
must accept a new level of licensing and coaching accreditation
based on performance results and recognition by both British Swimming
and British Swim Coaches and Teachers Association.
6. Accept from British Swimming a blue print
for future clubs or clubs of the future which will offer mutual
benefits to Local Authorities, communities in general, competitive
swimmers/parents and British Swimming at all levels. Stockport,
Barnett and Ipswich whilst not ideal have the core ingredients
to develop competition swimming.
British Swimming cannot and will not be successful
at the very top level without these changes. Facilities that are
affordable, accessible, appropriate and available is the major
limiting factor for British Swimming to move on with opportunity.
Less than 10 per cent of Australia's.
GB 10 per cent cost more to hire
than Australia's 100 per cent.
Must have long course competitions
Only country in the world which cannot
conduct a full team camp due to lack of accessible facilities
(regardless if we could not afford).
28 November 2001