British Swimming Launch Innovative Tool For Coaches

British Swimming have recently launched a great tool to help coaches offer even more support to athletes. The innovative CharEQter survey is now live.


The charEQter survey has been developed as a tool for coaches to help quantify the status of their athlete’s characteristics and attributes in line with the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).


For more information please login to your ‘Off The Blocks’ account. If you are yet to register for this free platform as a swimmer, coach or parent, please head to


In order for a club to register for the survey, the head coach just needs to send an email and British Swimming will send them a form to complete.

Digital Development Camps A Huge Success!

We are pleased to share with you that our 2020 Regional Development Programme has been a huge success. Even with the challenges of the present situation, we wanted to offer a flexible programme that offered swimmers and parents support and guidance but in a format that allowed maximum access. Usually the programme caters for 36 athletes due to facility restrictions.

This year the programme was targeting 2008-born swimmers and was delivered in two pieces. Firstly, a collection of educational videos were sent out for swimmers and parents to watch at their convenience. The videos themes were nutrition, psychology, strength and conditioning, lessons from the parent journey and a brief introduction from the Regional Talent Officer and Regional Head Coach. At the time of publishing they had accumulated over 1,200 views, which is an outstanding reach and highlights the huge benefits of sharing content digitally.

The second part to the programme was a series of live Q&A sessions that were hosted by the respective practitioners as well as the Regional Talent Officer and Regional Head Coach. The combined questions across these calls ran into the 100s, which again is so good to see! The audio from these Q&A sessions was recorded and subsequently published on the Regional Podcast and Regional Youtube channel. Included in the notes for each recording is the links to the original practitioner educational video as well any resources that the practitioner felt were useful to share, so all the information for each topic is in one place – just click in the episode notes!

It is a completely new way of operating but it showed the potential for the region reaching a much wider audience in a flexible and time effective way. It will pave the way for future engagement as we continue to try and grow the numbers of swimmers and parents we support.

Head over and subscribe for free to our Youtube channel or our Podcast to catch up on the Q&A sessions and find out more information. Make sure also to follow our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages as we share future content.

Coaches ‘Introduction to’ Series Goes Live!

As part of our move to create more digital resources, we have launched the first of our ‘Introduction to’ series for coaches. Our first resource is an interview with Ben Negus, recent recipient of a Regional Silver Pin Award for services to regional coaches. In this resource, Ben shares his thoughts on Butterfly and offers some useful tips for coaches working with entry level through to performance level swimmers.

There is a video, podcast and notes version of this resource, all of which are free to access. Thank you to Ben for sharing his time with us and make sure you subscribe to our various platforms as we have three more resources covering the remaining three strokes dropping in the coming weeks.

New Digital Parent Resource Released!

As the digital age marches forwards, we are pleased to share a resource for our swimming parents. Behind every swimmer is a huge amount of commitment from parents and therefore we have produced a video to hopefully make the journey a bit easier. We have interviewed a parent of a rather well known swimmer. She shares some great insights from her journey in the local volunteer-run swimming club through to the top of the swimming equivalent to Mount Everest!  We hope you will find useful. Please share far and wide! You can find the video on our Youtube channel.

East Region Swimmers Selected for National Event Camps

The selections for Swim England’s national event camps were announced this week and the East Region was well represented. Congratulations to Olivier Vedrenne (City of Norwich) and Michael Klimaszewski (Hatfield) as well as three swimmers who were formerly based in the East Region but now attend schools in other areas of the country – Caitlin Loo (Hatfield), Erin Little (Chelmsford) and Sophie Freeman (Colchester). Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, all pathway camps (county, regional and national) in 2020 will be running in a digital format. Full details on the regional programme for 2008-born swimmers will sent to clubs in September.

Swim England Resources are LIVE!

A note from our National Talent Officer, Mike Parker regarding the brilliant new resources that are now online and the plans for the coming weeks:


Hi Team

Please see the links to the introduction to the support package Swim England are planning on providing going forward and the 1st workshop.

All will be posted on social media, in Particular the Swim England You tube channel.

Please see the Swim England YouTube channel link and the link to the introduction by Grant and the 1st workshop.

Please can you share with your contacts and also on your regional social media.




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


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.

Read more

Swimming Coaches Conference 2020 – Event Report

On Wednesday 4th March, 95 coaches descended on the Fielder Centre in Hatfield for a day of learning, sharing and developing. With more than 75% of the regional championships qualifying clubs in attendance, it was a great showing and a wonderful opportunity for our coaches to develop. To see so many club coaches both full time and part time (paid and volunteer) coaches in attendance was testament to the engagement that exists in the region. The move to a weekday conference to ease crowding of weekends was very well recieved and even supported by schools who allowed their teaching staff who also coach to attend – so a huge thank you to everyone who came along!

The day opened with a short presentation from the regional talent officer on how working with athletes as people can open many doors in the future, both in their swimming careers and in wider life. He also spoke about how the combined knowledge of 95 coaches was over a 1000 years worth of invaluable resources and the various ways both during the conference and post-event, that would help share that knowledge.

The first guest speaker was Richard Cheetham MBE (Twitter @twowheelprof). UK Coaching in 2018 recognised Richard as their coach developer of the year and he certainly delivered a great experience for our coaches. Talking through the range of ways in which coaches and athletes learned, which involved some really engaging and interactive activities, with one of our coaches winning the coveted £1 prize for their observation skills.

Following Richard was Sport England’s Stuart Armstrong (@stu_arm). He gave a fascinating oversight into the changing way in which coaches are being supporting in this country and how the landscape of training and ongoing coach development is evolving too. For all coaches involved in the sport it is a very exciting time and great to see some long overdue professionalization coming to fruition.

Our final speaker before the lunchbreak really brought the effect of OADF and the principles behind it. Richard Allen, currently the head of football at Loughborough university who was also formerly the head of talent ID for the FA shared some of his experiences from a different perspective in football. Giving some great case studies, most notably Harry Kane, he brought to life the key attributes that enabled Harry’s success in his senior years that were evident early on in his sporting career.

During the lunchbreak the coaches networked, shared ideas and thoughts on the morning’s presentations and contributed to our ‘post-it challenge’, which pulled some key messages from our coaches to help shape future resources. Moving into the afternoon the focus was shifted solely to swimming with two speakers who gave frank and honest accounts of their experiences.

Kevin Brooks (@kevbrookscoach) the head coach at Wycombe District Swimming Club (@wycombe_swim), gave a really insightful account of his journey as a coach and the programme at Wycombe as it’s evolved over the last decade. Kevin demonstrated the various structures that have been put in place to enable the sustainable long term success the club enjoys, including implementation of club awards, the use of OADF across the club and his philosophies on supporting the entire club, not just the performance section.

Following that we had back to back talks from Loughborough National Centre (@NTCLoughborough) Coach Dave Hemmings (@DaveHemmingsGBR). Dave’s first talk was illuminating as to the challenges that working with senior athletes entails, and really brought home not just from an OADF perspective, but to all our age/youth coaches the importance of laying good foundations in the early years when working with a young athlete. His second talk shared lots of stories from ‘the arena’, specifically around managing as a coach and an athlete in pressured environments. Again this is something that coaches could really relate to, whatever level they are working at. We all have an ‘Olympics’ in our club seasons and it is vital for coaches to be mindful of both their own behaviours in pressured environments, but also to develop athletes to be more robust to environmental pressures – it was a very interesting insight.

Finally to round off the event, the regional talent officer hosted open floor questions to both Dave Hemmings and Kevin Brooks. 50 minutes later and the floor were still throwing ideas out there, which really showed how the day had brought out so many thoughts from the attending coaches. It was a brilliant day and a huge thank you is needed, both to the facility for hosting a great event and to the regional board for supporting this great development opportunity. We look ahead to our conference in 2021 – save the date for Wednesday 3rd March.

If you’re a coach and you’re not already signed up to our various coach communication platforms, our newsletter signup is on the top right of the regional home page and we are on both Twitter and Facebook – just search for “East Region Swimming Coaches Network”. Thank you finally to Blythe Neighbour, our University of Hertfordshire student, who took photographs across the day for us (Insta

Swimming camps galore this February half term!

Half term was a very busy week for our development team with three swimming camps all taking place in the same week! We had two camps on the Monday and Tuesday in Peterborough for a group of athletes who just missed qualifying for the summer national championships in the 18-19 season. The Performance Foundations Camps gave two great groups of athletes the chances to learn and develop both in the water and on land.


Some great nutrition workshops led by Swim England nutritionist, Jasmine Campbell helped the athletes focus in on their nutrition requirements across the national qualifying window this year. Strength and conditioning coaches from Performance Hertfordshire led the pre and post pool sessions, helping the athletes not just to complete exercises but understand the reasoning behind these and how they aid performance in training and on race day. Our pool sessions re-enforced world class basics and how executing the details well every single day is vital to be successful at the higher eschelons of the sport.



Later that week, a small group of our youth/senior athletes travelled to Loughborough for a three day Olympic Trials camp. This year’s British Championships (Olympic Trials) are taking place in London in April and with three finals in each event (junior, transition and open), the three day camp was intended to offer a focused group some support in a range of areas leading into the biggest domestic event every four years. To see what they got up to on this camp, check out the camp video on our Youtube channel.


Swim England East Region Long Course Championships and Summer Meet – Further Information

Swim England East Region has conducted an analysis of performances in the qualification window, including those at County Championships, and is today publishing revised qualifying times for our Long Course Championships and Summer Meet.  Please be assured that no times have been made faster than those originally published.

Entries for the Long Course Championships will open very soon. There will be no entry files. In order to reduce pressure on club volunteers, an online entry system will be used – the same one used for our November Short Course Championships. Full details of how to enter will be published shortly.

Entries for the Summer Meet in July will open once entries for the Long Course Championships have closed. Please note that there have been no changes to the closing dates of these competitions.

As the 1500m session has a separate closing date to the rest of the Championships, there will be a separate online entry system. This will be clearly signposted on our website.

As these Championships are a new format, the Region will be communicating arrangements regularly via the website and social media in the lead-up to the Championships.

We look forward to welcoming you to our events this season.


Swimming Coaching Courses Open For Booking (Pool and Open Water)

Are you looking to start your coaching journey with an assistant coach qualification, or are you on the coaching ladder and looking to become a full swimming coach? With the huge growth in open water in recent years we also have a full open swimming coach qualification for swimming coaches looking to expand their qualifications. For 2020-21 we have the following courses planned:


Open Water

1 course available with spaces


Level 2 Coaching Open Water – £325

Online learning starts 12th June (Blended course).

Face to face dates are 14th June in Chelmsford and 8th August in Welwyn Garden City.

Prerequisites (any of the following):

  • Level 2 coaching swimming
  • Level 2 teaching swimming with experience coaching or open water
  • Level 2 coaching triathlon


Booking: Course currently closed to public bookings, priority for East Region clubs but only until the end of February, then the course will open to other regions. Please contact to book.


Pool Swimming

3 assistant coaching courses and 1 full coaching course available with spaces


Assistant Swimming Coach (formerly level 1) – £235

3-5th April Sudbury – Blended learning (pre course work online)

3-5th April Luton – Blended learning (pre course work online)

4-6th September Luton – Blended learning (pre course work online)

1 more course to be added January/February 2021


Swimming Coach (formerly level 2) – £500

12th/13th/19th/20th December Luton – Blended learning (pre course work online)

TBC – somewhere east of the region in summer 2020.


Please contact to book.