Parents Handbook


We would like to extend a very warm welcome to you and your family. We hope you and your children enjoy swimming with the Club and are able to achieve your goals in the fantastic and beneficial world of swimming. You may have aims to become a strong and confident swimmer, to swim for your school or have the goal of swimming for Wiltshire, or even your country. Either way, you have made a good decision to come to Swindon ASC.
Over the years, we have taught thousands of children to swim and to enjoy swimming.

This web page has been designed to answer some of the many questions you may have. However, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to either approach or email any of the club’s volunteers.

Swindon ASC is known as a friendly, family orientated club and works hard to operate on a purely voluntary basis with a team of dedicated coaches, teachers and enthusiastic helpers all with one goal:

to promote swimming for all ages and abilities in a safe and friendly environment, allowing swimmers to gain confidence in the water, have fun, enter competitions and achieve their potential

Thus carrying on the tradition of over 140 years.

About the Club

Swindon ASC is run by a committee elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The committee administers and runs the Club’s affairs on behalf of the Membership. All decisions made by the committee are made with the benefit and progression of the Club and its swimmers in mind.

We are affiliated to the Amateur Swimming Association (asa) and have achieved Swim 21 Teaching level accreditation. We have also adopted the asa’s National Plan for Teaching Swimming for all of our ‘learn to swim’ lessons, and all of our swimming teachers are asa trained, qualified and registered.


In 1878, Swindon ASC was formed making it the oldest club in Swindon and the second oldest in Wiltshire. It was founded just eight months after Chippenham who were formed in the previous August and also lays claim to being the 3rd oldest in England.

What can you do as a parent?

Firstly and most importantly, always find a way to encourage your child rather than criticise. Try to ensure they judge their own performance against only themselves and their previous personal best performances. We call these PB’s. This is because all children mature and develop at different rates and the swimmers who finish at a high level do not necessarily shine early!
Secondly, if you have any queries please ask we can’t promise the answer you may expect but hopefully we should be able to explain why and what we do.
Please remember that all the officials, coaches and helpers within the club are volunteers. They are there to do their best for ALL the children in the club. They are quite happy to answer any question or advise you who is best placed to answer. We’re not saying that they are always right but please respect their commitment.
First Day – On your child’s first attendance at the club we will ask them to swim a few lengths in each stroke. They will then be assigned to a lane for the rest of the session and we will gauge their current levels of fitness. At the end of the session the coach will advise you of the squad and lane your child should attend.


Club communication is mostly via email. The club uses a web based management system called Swim Club Manager (SCM) that holds all the registration information and the officers of the club use the email functionality to send all official club communications. There is a web-site which is used for news and general notices about the club. We have a twitter feed TWITTER and a facebook page FACEBOOK. There is also a WhatsApp group for Parents (ask around, the parents manage this) which is used as a chat room discussing what’s on and who left what behind.

Would you like to help?

The Club is run by volunteers both on the coaching side and the committee. At all events run by the Club, additional help is always required so if you are interested in helping out please speak with any of the club officials.

If you are interested in becoming involved as a poolside helper you will be required to complete the necessary DBS checks after which you can come on the poolside to assist our qualified teachers and coaches, The club also provides financial support for those wishing to become further involved through taking teaching and coaching qualifications. For further information please ask any of the existing helpers.

If you are interested in becoming involved in helping at galas you will be required to complete the necessary DBS checks after which you can come on the poolside to assist. Again, if you choose, there are examinations to qualify for timekeeping, judging and starting. For further information please ask any of the existing helpers.

Please consider joining the committee when a post becomes vacant or at the AGM. Each year, parents have to leave the committee because their child may no longer be swimming regularly. For the Club to continue, new parents have to come forward and take over the running of it.
The committee is elected each year at the AGM, watch out for the notices. The AGM is normally held in May. Offers of help however are welcome at any time of year and we will always be pleased to find you a job. We would especially be pleased to receive any help with fund raising or the arrangement of social events. Please speak to Andrea Christmas.

When and where we swim

See: swimming sessions
These are the times the session starts, so swimmers must arrive about 10 minutes earlier to allow time to get changed and be on poolside ready to swim.
It is important that swimmers attend regularly, as this is the only way that they will improve both their fitness and technique. If unable to attend a session, please let the coach know in advance.
Members will be informed about pool closures, and you are encouraged to look at the website and the notice boards, at all venues, for any changes to sessions and other general information.

Swimming Equipment

Boys should wear tight fitting trunks (e.g. Speedo), as baggy trunks give a lot of resistance in the water. Girls should wear one-piece costumes and wear a swimming cap.

Swimmers should bring a plastic bottle containing water or very weak diluting juice. Please do not bring supermarket bottles with loose lids as these can be lost in the water and can be a danger to other pool users.

Swim Shop

The Club operates a swim shop on a Tuesday evenings at Milton Road. There is a range of swim clothing and equipment available and further items can be ordered via the Club. The essential items for training can be purchased at competitive prices, such as goggles, Club swim hats, flippers, kick boards, Club bags and Club Poolside (T-Bag) Shirts. A small range of drinks and sweets is also available.
The shop is always reviewing its product range. New ideas are welcomed. Personalised equipment is available to order, plus a good range of racing goggles and other training equipment.

Learn to Swim

The club operates a learn to swim program, swimmers will progress through the levels as an when the coach or coaches are satisfied that the swimmer is capable of moving up to the next level.
The club recognises achievements through the ASA awards scheme, commencing at the Learn to Swim stage 1-7 and progressing to 8-10. At our annual Easter Course, attendees have the opportunity to obtain the Rainbow Distance AwardsWater Safety and Survival Awards and Swimming Challenge Awards.

The details of swimmers times are recorded and kept by the club. The information is updated for every time recorded and swimmers progress can be seen over the recent months of activity. These times are available in SCM.
We encourage every swimmer to be aware of their best times.

Team swimming

The club competes regularly in league competitions. As a swimmer improves they may be asked to represent the club in a gala. Swimmers and parents will be notified of selection 2-3 weeks prior to the event.
It is important that if you say you will attend a gala that you do so. In the case of illness or injury it is unavoidable, but please let the coach know. It reflects badly on the Club if swimmers don’t turn up, and can affect other swimmers as the Club may not be able to enter a relay team due to lack of swimmers.
Further information on Gals can be found here.


If there is anything that you would like to know about the club that is not on here, please do not hesitate to ask any of our volunteers and ask that this page be updated.

With 143 years experience in swimming coaching at Swindon Amateur Swimming Club (ASC), you’re in safe and experienced hands!