Category: Club News

New swimming programme makes a splash in Bristol

A new programme to help develop the swimming stars of the future has been launched in Bristol.

Five swimming clubs, representing 1,000 swimmers in the area, have joined forces to ensure their members receive the coaching and support necessary to compete at the highest level.

Those showing the most potential will join the United Bristol Swimming Club (UBSC), which has been formed to create a top level performance programme that will help swimmers reach their full potential.

The founding partners of UBSC are Bristol Penguins, Bristol Henleaze, Bristol North, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol, but other clubs are also being invited to join.

All members of the partner clubs will now follow a pathway for performance swimming, including bronze, silver and gold milestones, with those achieving the top times and showing most potential being entered into the performance programme.

Club coaches within the partnership will work with and be mentored by high-profile coach Jez Birds, the newly appointed Director of Performance Swimming, who has coached many nationally ranked swimmers.

Simon Hinks, Director of Sport at the University of Bristol, said: "The University of Bristol has an outstanding record in student water polo but has perhaps underachieved in swimming. We believe that this programme will enhance the opportunities for our student swimmers to reach both their sporting and academic potential. It also allows us to provide additional support and expertise to swimmers outside the University who have outstanding ability."

The new partnership means that facilities can be shared, with the majority of training sessions taking place in Bristol University's newly refurbished swimming pool.



Additional quotes:

Jackie Hilleard – Wesport

"This is really great news for local swimmers who will now be able to see clearly how they can progress through the various strands into the Performance Squad. It will allow parents of potential performance level swimmers to fully understand the support their child will receive and have confidence that the scheme is supported by the City's two Universities."

Martyn Neale - Bristol North & UBSC

"The Bristol area presents a huge potential thanks to a growing demand for swimming within each club following the Olympics. Given the size of population we see this programme as a sleeping giant ready to reawaken. We hope that the current and any future partners will see the real potential to help realise the dreams and ambitions of our young swimmers."

Alex Isaac – Director Sport, University of West of England & UBSC

"We fully support this development as it is a programme that will not only attract and benefit swimmers to and at UWE but they will also be swimming with some of the best swimmers from across the region. The University is delighted to offer additional support services to the programme."

Marco Maestri – Chairman, Bristol Henleaze Swimming Club & UBSC

"This scheme puts the swimmers at the heart of the programme and allows all swimmers within each club to develop to their full potential. It helps all our swimmers by being club based for part of the programme with the additional benefits of the performance element to those reaching the top."

Ben Mullen – Chairman, Bristol Penguins Swimming Club & UBSC

"Penguins are really excited by the prospect of seeing local swimmers on the national and international stage. Each club has made great strides to get this scheme in place and we hope other clubs will also see the benefits of coming together."

Alison Usher - Regional Director Amateur Swimming Association

"the key to developing swimming across the City is supporting the clubs to be the best they can be and to grow from within a programme that will result in the need for a performance programme. We will be working  with all clubs within Bristol, on supporting the restructuring of the swimmer environment and the coaching development pathway."


Further information can be received by contacting:-.

Simon Hinks on 0117 3311102