Leyland Barracudas Swimming Club

Leyland, South Ribble

Your story

A well established, family orientated club that has been serving the communities of Leyland, Bamber Bridge and Penwortham for 44 years by providing swim development and competitive swimming opportunities to young people and adults.

Group introduction

As a club we aim to provide an environment and programme where swimmers can develop their potential and achieves the level that they wish to: whether this be working towards national and international competition or simply enjoying competing within the club. We want to be a club where this opportunity for a lifetime of competitive swimming and where all levels of competitive swimmer are welcomed and valued.
Established in 1974, our club is run by 40+ volunteers who take on a variety of roles from qualified poolside teachers/coaches/officials to back office administrators who keep the club running on a day-to-day basis. The club operates across 5 pools (2 x Leyland; Penwortham; Bamber Bridge and Tarleton) and offers 50 pool hours per week which requires 100 ‘people hours’ per week on the poolside. All but 19 of these hours are covered by volunteers but we do contract one paid coach to provide the 19 hours professional competitive coaching to the top end performers. We take swimmers from the age of 5 where we develop their swimming ability with a view to introducing them to the competitive swim environment. At this level we offer a swim programme which is built around Swim England’s Learn to Swim programme providing our swimmers with the ability to gain a wide range of swim awards whilst at the same time providing them with a life skill. From there our programme supports young people into a competitive programme providing them with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to participate as individual athletes and within teams in competitions in Lancashire, the North West and nationally. We have Age Group swimmers who represent the club regionally and nationally; an age group member who is also now competing with the National Down Syndrome team; a swimmer who is a member of the UK Talent Programme; and our club teams compete successfully in the NW Micro League, North Lancashire Swim League and National Arena League.
As our swimmers mature we also provide them with personal development opportunities as part of an accredited programme that develops them as sports volunteers and provides them with experience and qualifications that they can take through into adulthood.
Alongside our Age Group swim programme we also have a Masters programme (for over 20’s) which is designed to keep people in the sport or active in the pool. Members of our Masters team compete successfully regionally and nationally and we also have two transplant athletes who compete very successfully at European and World level. Some of the members on the programme are former competitive swimmers, others are either triathletes or adults who want to maintain a good level of fitness.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

1. To support young volunteers to gain Level 1 teaching qualification: Annually we fund attendance of some of our swimmers (aged 15+) onto the regionally accredited Young Aquatic Volunteer programme which provides them with an introduction to volunteering and event organisation. We are currently supporting 8 swimmers on the programme. In its early days the programme led on to a Level 1 teaching qualification but this is no longer funded. We are keen though to support these young people to gain a teaching qualification but at a cost of £390 per head it it putting pressure on an alr day tight budget. The qualification will not only benefit our club but will provide these young people with a life skill that they can use to gain employment during college/university education or provide them with the first step on a future career pathway. The total cost for the current cohort would be £3,120.
2. To replace ageing anti-wave lane ropes at our main pool in Leyland. The current lane ropes, co-funded by the club and leisure services, have been in place for approximately 15 years being used regularly bu the club and the wider swimming community (e.g public,schools and community organisations). With resources tight the replacement of these ropes is not on the top of the list of priorities for the service provider. For us, though, it is very important that the ropes meet competitive standards and are safe for our swimmers. Consisting of a metal cable threaded through plastic floatation discs, they mark out the lanes so that the swimmers can swim safely without danger of collision. The cable can be tightened to gain th correct tnsin so that the ropes reduce the water turbulence across the pool, particularly important during competition. The coloured discs provide high visibility points of reference along the 25m distance which are used by swimmers and officials. Swimmers use the, so that they can prepare for their turns. Officials use them to identify whether swimmers are complying with competitive laws. The existing ropes can no longer be tightened to reduce turbulence and a number of the coloured marker discs have broken and been removed. For the purpose of recreational swimming the leisure service provider is content that the ropes are adequate to separate portions of the pool, which is their primary requirement. The ropes though don’t meet competitive standards and certainly don’t fulfill the functions of reducing turbulence and accurately marking various points along the distance. It it therefore important that we replace the ropes so that our members and visiting competitive swimmers can compete safely and effectively.
With no funding available from the service provider at this time the financial burden is on the club. the total cost including VAT for a five lane pool is £3,916.

"In the current conomic climate it is increasingly challenging to retain a swimming programme this size and keep membership fees to a manageable level, particularly when such a large amount of the monies has to go on ever increasing pool hire fees. So funds for items like lane ropes or supporting young volunteers to gain qualifications depend heavily on monies raised through fund raising events and grant applications. Any funding we secure will help to ensure that the Club can continue to provide swimming services across South Ribble and help to maintain a pool which meets competitive standards so the young people can flourish as athletes - Elaine Fitchie , President Leyland Barracudas Swimming Club."

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