Parents praise swim21 accreditation
Parents have given their almost universal backing to swim21 - the asa's club accreditation scheme - for maintaining ‘standards of excellence within swimming.'
In the first survey of its kind, 89% of parents said that it was important or very important for their child to be involved in a club with swim21 status. Two thirds of parents also said swim21 accreditation would influence which club they would send their child to.
swim21 is the asa's ‘quality mark' and its way of ensuring every athlete - whatever their age or level of experience - belongs to a club that provides the best possible support and environment.
Specifically it's about putting the swimmers first and ensuring young athletes are following the pathway the asa recognises for training and competition (via the principles of Long Term Athlete Development).
When asked why swim21 was so important one parent said it was because "I know staff are child protection aware, they are qualified, there is structure to the club for movement/development and I get what I pay for!" While another simply added it ‘maintains standards of excellence within swimming.'
Two in three parents also said they had seen improvements in their child's club since they had become accredited.
David Sparkes, the asa's Chief Executive, said: "the asa is keen to promote swim21 because we know it is a great development tool that allows athletes, teachers, coaches and administrators to continually improve and reach their full potential.
"It is great to see that the parents of swimmers also recognise how important the scheme is and for us to learn that it really does influence their choice of club.
"Clubs who currently do not have swim21 accreditation should take note of this because not only does it mean their current swimmers and non-swimming members are missing out, it could also mean they are not attracting the talent of tomorrow."
The asa gathered the information at two major swimming events for young people - the asa's National Age Group Championship and the UK School Games in Summer 2008.
The survey is part of a whole raft of work the asa has been carrying out to see how it can improve the already successful swim21 scheme.
All of the 103 parents who took part in the survey were entered into a free prize draw and Linda Cheston and her daughter Lauren from Southport were drawn randomly as the winner of British Swimming goodies, including a cap signed by double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington.