Amateur Swimming Association
18. The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) is the
governing body for swimming in England, and with the Scottish
and Welsh bodies forms the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great
Britain. The ASA organises competition throughout England, establishes
the laws of the sport and supports the national teams for swimming,
diving, water polo, open water, and synchronized swimming. The
ASA offers education programmes and certification for teachers,
coaches and officials, and operates an awards scheme. The ASA
also supports the 1600 affiliated clubs through a National/Regional/County
structure. Duncan Goodhew said that the ASA was, however, "not
ready structurally to run a modernised sport"; and Sharron
Davies pointed to the failure of the current system to retain
and develop talent.
The Association's current aim is to encourage all local authorities
to produce a written swimming strategy, taking account of the
swimming needs of all the community, and to provide the facilities
necessary to meet these needs. To this end, together with Sport
England, the ASA has developed the following initiatives:
(a) Swim 21the Amateur
Swimming Association's national development plan which aims to
ensure high standards of teaching and coaching by providing a
network of development officers to work closely with local authorities
and to try and encourage clubs to work constructively with local
authorities and local education authorities.
(b) From Arm Bands to Gold MedalsASA's
national facility plan for swimming together with Sport England,
to encourage investment in pools, to develop a network to accommodate
all the swimming disciplines, water polo, diving, synchronised
swimming and swimming. This plan has yet to be published, and
Sport England urges the ASA to do so.
(c) Active Sports ProgrammeSport
England's development programme targeting 10 sports including
swimming, and encouraging young people to become more involved
in sport. The programme created 45 sports partnerships to assist
in training and coaching and to promote easier access to facilities.
19. As well as the modernisation of existing pools,
the ASA also sees a need for new 50 metre pools in England for
elite swimming. An objective is to have at least one eight lane,
25 metre pool with adequate spectator support in each county,
and to increase the number of 50 metre pools in line with provision
in other comparable countries.
It was, however, not readily apparent from the evidence given
by the ASA that it had a firm and practical strategy for delivering
this national programme.
20. In order to achieve the aims of ASA's and Sport
England's programmes, Sport England has awarded Lottery funding
to swimming, covering the period from 1997 to September 2001,
of £220 million.
Exchequer funding of £0.5 million is being provided to elite
swimming this year through UK Sport and Sport England.
However, following the poor medal tally of swimmers at the Sydney
2000 Olympics, swimming has dropped from a priority 1, to a priority
2 sport. Funding, from the World Class Performance, Potential
and Start Programmes, has been cut from £11.2 million (over
the period 1997 to September 2000) to £8.5 million (to cover
October 2000 to March 2005).
This policy, while rewarding success at international competitions,
ignores the possibility that low levels of achievement might be
best tackled by long-term investment rather than punitive cuts.
21. The responsibility for the maintenance of existing
pools and funding for the provision of new pools has been firmly
placed by the Government on Local Authorities.
19 Ev 69 Back
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QQ 80, 83 Back
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The number of indoor 50 metre pools in other countries: 92 in
Germany (population 100m), including 18 in Berlin; 20 in Greater
Paris (population 12m); 12 in Holland (population 15m); 6 in Barcelona
(population 3m); 2 in London (population 7m), 17 in the UK (population
56m). Figures provided by the Amateur Swimming Association. Back
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