A message from the National and Regional Talent Teams

Message from the National Talent Team:


Dear Coaches and Committee Members,


In light of the current situation that our country finds itself in, specifically with the recent closure of leisure facilities and club programmes, the Club Development team are working extremely hard to produce an FAQ document to support our clubs in this unprecedented and challenging time.


The Swim England Talent team have also started to look at how we can provide support and guidance around coaching athletes remotely for the foreseeable future. We want to ensure that every swimmer has the chance to continue to stay fit and healthy and we encourage you to use this time to perhaps address some of the areas of the Optimal Athlete Development framework that can be developed away from the water.


Our online support package will be rolled out daily from Monday 23rd March and we will be using all of our social media platforms, the Swim England website and don’t forget British Swimming already have a fantastic online learning platform, OfftheBlocks that everyone can sign up to by visiting www.offtheblocks.info.


It has been fantastic to see so many clubs and coaches already starting to look at ways to support their athletes and parents remotely and we would particularly like to thank those who have shared these resources for the rest of the swimming community to use!


However, in order for this support to continue we need to be doing everything we can to ensure that our coaches stay in their roles and are tasked to implement different support mechanisms.

Now more than ever, our clubs need to be making effective use of their club databases/ management systems (Team Unify/ Team App/ Swim Club Manager) and their social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram/ Twitter) to be able to communicate effectively. We can also continue to hold meetings and webinars through online systems such as Skype and Zoom. For example, with Zoom free Basic service, you can get access to unlimited meetings, with unlimited minutes for one-to-one meetings and you can have a group of between 3 and 100 video participants that can last up to 40 minutes!


The coaching of our swimmers and support to the wider team does not need to stop, it will just look different! This situation will be a real challenge to our resilience as a swimming community but with togetherness, collaboration, inventiveness and support for each other we can make sure that this adversity becomes an opportunity for improvement.


Our team is here to support you and here are our key contacts:


Sophie Bucknall – Swim England Talent Administrator

[email protected]


Grant Robins – Head of Talent

[email protected]


Lindsay Trimmings – Coach Development Manager

[email protected]


Diane Elliot – Sport Science and Medicine Manager

[email protected]


Mike Parker – National Talent Officer (South East, South West, London and East regions)

[email protected]


Richard Blackshaw – National Talent Officer (North East, North West, East Midlands and West Midlands regions)

[email protected]





Message from the East Region Talent Officer:


Hello all,


Just to echo the messages above. The situation is something complete beyond anything we’ve had to deal with before. We are an extremely strong community but there are some extremely difficult times ahead. The work going on behind the scenes is huge and the national clubs team are doing an unbelievable job pulling together all the information needed to support our clubs. This cannot be rushed as the information sent out has to be correct.


The national talent team and their network of practitioners, performance centres and club networks will as mentioned be putting out resources commencing next week. This will be brilliant to have a central point of information which we can all share. I would ask that coaches that are having some successes or ‘positive’ stories in please can you contact me via the email below so we can record some of these stories to feed into the national picture.


As a region we are working closely with the national staff as there are questions that are way beyond our capacity relating to operators, finances, insurance etc. Please see our social media feeds for useful links. If you are not a social media user, please keep an eye on our website and we will endeavour to post updates. Also keep an eye on www.offtheblocks.info and the British Swimming and Swim England websites.


We have a few resources that we have put together to share some positive stories and have released these via a podcast. Head to www.anchor.fm or Spotify and search for ‘Swim England East Region’. As a region we of course have limited resources so can I ask that as much as possible everyone bears with us. We have the East Region Swimming Coaches network on Facebook and Twitter specifically to connect with and support our coaches. Please make sure if you have concerns you reach out there as we can all help each other. Whether you are from swimming or another discipline, we are a huge aquatics family and everyone needs to pull together here.


Best wishes to all and stay healthy.


Kevin Pickard

East Region Swimming Talent Officer

[email protected]