How long does it take to get accredited?
Kimberley Swimming Club is an East Midlands teaching swimming club with a competitive squad. The club was formed in 1977 by a few adults wanting to learn how to swim. It has now progressed to a club with the largest membership in Nottinghamshire. In 2004 it achieved Clubmark/swim21 accreditation.
As with many other local sports clubs, the main challenge Kimberley faced was "apathy" and a "we're doing all right why do we need to change" mentality. It also needed to motivate its volunteers to take on more responsibility for their club.
To overcome this, it actively involved the club's volunteers in the process, visited other clubs to see what was involved in getting accreditation, and showed club members the benefits that could be received from accreditation.
The team set themselves a target of a year and achieved accreditation in 6 months and has now realised a range of benefits, including much needed additional pool time. The club's professional approach has been recognised, it has more qualified staff, more "older" swimmers tend to stay with the club in a teaching/volunteer capacity, membership has grown and to top it off, one of Kimberley's swimmers has appeared in the Nationals.
Having three down syndrome members as well as other swimmers with a disability but no qualified disabled teachers, the Club decided to establish a new disability section as part of its efforts to achieve accreditation. It encouraged coaches to take their Disability Level One qualification; two of these teachers have now left the club, but one, Dawn Lane remains a club member and still teaches.
Another coach, Lee Reddish, actively took on the role of the Club's Disability Officer and a dedicated disability session was set up with the aim of integrating these swimmers into mainstream swimming sessions.
Two of these swimmers, Jake Bostock and Emily Anthony are now part of the Nottingham Nova County disability squad. Another new teacher, Sean Manchester, who works for Mencap has also encouraged some of those he works with to join the club. Sean has recently taken his Disability Level One and has taken over from Lee as the Club's Disability Officer - all three, Sean, Lee and Dawn, continue to drive the club forward with its approach to disabled swimming.
Alan Pink, Chairman, is proud of Kimberley's achievements and would like to re-assure other clubs that they could achieve the same. He said,
"Although the initial process of gaining Clubmark/swim21 status involved a lot of hard work, the positives have outweighed the negatives. I feel the club goes from strength to strength. Clubmark gives people the knowledge that the club is well run, safe and child friendly which I think shows in our large membership and a large waiting list to join the club."
Tue, 01/12/2009 - 3:46pm