Spotlight on North West Athlete Development

Did you know that the Swim England North West operates its own elite artistic swimming training programme?

Run by the Athlete Development arm of Swim England North West, this programme is aimed at artistic swimming athletes with the skill and determination to reach the highest levels of artistic swimming competition at regional, national and international levels.  The Athlete Development programme is a huge success and since its inception in March 2016 has already honed the skills of North West artistic athletes who have been selected for England teams and even won medals at international competitions such as the recent Primorje Synchro Cup in Croatia.  If you are a North West artistic swimmer with aspirations to compete at the Olympics, the Athlete Development squads are the place to be. 


Lead coach Fiona Haworth had the following to say about the Athlete Development programme:

“Athlete Development is about extra training and coaching for swimmers of equal ability from across the North West and bringing them on to provide a focus on education, technical ability and choreography so that they have the opportunity to train together, push each other on and learn new skills that they can take back to their clubs.”


Athlete Development comprises two squads of swimmers (Elite and Development) and selection trials take place annually around January.  There are no minimum skill/grade requirements but athletes are selected based on their performance and scores in a set of stringent tests, details of which may change each year and are published on this web site in advance of the selection date.  Swimmers must be a minimum of 9 years of age and the top 20 athletes (overall, across all ages) form the Elite squad whilst the next 25 athletes are eligible for the Development Squad.


Training for Athlete Development takes the form of a training session approximately once every 2 months for each squad ranging from 4-6 hours and usually having a minimum of 3 hours in the pool working on stamina, flexibility, figure skills and routine skills, with further time spent on land training which focuses on flexibility, ‘walk-through’ routine skills, choreography and presentation.  The region also arranges a 3 day training camp which includes visits by guest coaches to provide the benefit of their experience, as well as expert speakers on topics such as nutrition, injury prevention, choreography etc.


North West and England artistic swimmer Aimee Lawrence from City of Salford SSC spoke of her experience in the NW Athlete Development Elite Squad:

“Athlete Development training is challenging but fun and you get to meet loads of new people from throughout the region and work with different coaches from other clubs.”


Do you think you have what it takes?

If you are an ambitious and committed artistic swimmer from the North West Region, the Athlete Development squads beckon you!  Look out for details of events, news, details and trial dates announced on this web site and calendar, or for more information contact us here 

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