Swimming clubs

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Swimming clubs

Postby atbattersea » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:03 am

I meant to attached this to another thread, but… well it's probably better on its own anyway.

The local clubs, for ongoing swimming/training, rather than one-off sessions, are:

Wandsworth Swimming Club
Leander Swimming Club and
Battersea Jaculators (aka Battersea Jacs)

Wandsworth swim at Putney Leisure Centre.

Leander swim at a number of sites including Enrest Bevin College, Tooting Leisure Centre, Balham Leisure Centre, Clapham Leisure Centre… depending on which level/squad you are assigned to.

Battersea Jacs swim at Tooting Leisure Centre.

If you want to go a little further afield:

Chelsea and Westminster (various sites north of the river)

Merton Swordfish (Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Morden swimming pool)

Wimbledon and Merton (?)

Wimbledon Dolphins (Morden pool, Wimbledon Leisure Centre, Wimbledon Leisure Centre, Wimbledon High School)

Merton Pisces (Morden pool, Wimbledon College)

Streatham Swimming Club (Streatham Leisure Centre)

Cheam Maracuda (Morden pool, Cheam Leisure Centre, Westcroft Leisure Centre…)

Kingston Royals (various sites Kingston/New Maldon)

Dulwich Dolphins (various sites around Dulwich)

Other clubs further afield… (Staines, Guildford, Woking, Enfield, Southwark…)


Several of these clubs are very competitive, and run on a regimented basis (as is probably necessary), others are more relaxed and less competitive (several you will not see at open galas, for example).

To get an impression of a club take a look at its structure and what it expects of members once they move on from "lessons" to "training". If you want a more relaxed atmosphere, then the club looking for 3-4 sessions a week for eight to nine year olds probably isn't the one for you.

If you are looking to enter competitions, in most cases you cannot enter unless a Swim England member, and AFAIK you cannot achieve that without being a club member.

If you just want lessons to get confident and competent in the water, I'm sure all of these clubs can help you out – you don't have to move on to the competitive squads, most kids don't.
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Re: Swimming clubs

Postby KayceeBee » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:26 am

Leander is holding competitive squad trials on 5th May. Info is here....

http://www.leanderswimmingclub.org.uk/c ... 6972656250

If your child is already a good swimmer, looking to do more and is interested in competing it's worth taking a look at this. Leander is a great competitive swimming club. It's well organised, has a strong parent committee and very supportive coaches. It's training sessions are held at various pools in the local area.

Leander also has an academy (swim lessons). So children can start there at a young age and work their way up to squads if they want to. There's a bit of a waiting list for this put it's worth holding tight.

Wandsworth Swimming Club's main pool is Putney Leisure Centre. It doesn't have an academy but does start them in squad sessions at a young age.

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Re: Swimming clubs

Postby atbattersea » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:46 pm

As previously, there is a scale for clubs that runs from "family friendly" through to "regimented" – Leander strikes me a being at the latter end of that scale (7-9 year olds in lowest squads expected to be swimming three times a week or more, at several different sites some distance from each other).

While management by volunteers is the norm in these clubs, the problem this often presents is that such volunteers become stressed by the volume of work and are unable to deal with problems quickly, or even appropriately. Particularly a problem where the club is evidently at, or close to, capacity (ie it has a long waiting list, or no real process for dealing with those wanting to join).

Take the time to watch a session: how many coaches/teachers present, in what ratio to swimmers? Good practise would probably suggest something like five second spaces between swimmers in lanes, which essentially means that you are maxing out at eight swimmers per lane in a 25m pool. Even at that level you are going to start seeing bunching and swimmers bumping into each other. If you're seeing higher levels of swimmers per lane then you are probably also seeing "training" rather than "coaching" (the distinction being that the former improves stamina rather than perfecting technique).

Personally the "just come along any Tuesday for a trial" method seems more family friendly and relaxed than the alternatives.