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Please find below what to expect and how to apply for a trial at Hitchin Swimming Club and also a training guide.

This section is aimed at swimmers, and their parents/guardians, who have recently joined the club. It also provides useful information for swimmers considering joining the club.

It contains membership pack information and the associated documents. It gives a short introduction to the club and how we run. Note that training times and current squad fees are in the Squads tab. You can of course contact the club via .

Relevant documents can be downloaded from the Documents page.

Why Hitchin Swimming Club?

Hitchin Swimming Club offers you a friendly environment in which to develop as a swimmer. Our Head Coach is qualified and experienced to allow you to fulfil your potential - right up to national level swimming.

A survey of our members told us that the club was a friendly and supportive place with approachable coaching staff.

Who can I talk to about joining?

All our contact details are on the Contacts page. You are most likely to wish to contact the Membership Secretary or the general information point to start with.

How do I join the club?

You are welcome to come along to a trial session with the Club.  Please contact for details of when trials are running.   Trials usually take place on a Sunday evening and a coach will ask you to swim a few lengths to gauge how strong a swimmer you are. The coach will also ask you to swim various strokes - don't worry if you are not perfect in all of them, especially fly. The idea is to see which squad you will be in and to see how your training should be focused. Depending on the outcome of your trial, the coach will decide on whether to invite you to join the club. They will then tell you which squad you will be in, and when training times are.  Occasionally we have to run a waiting list as some of our squads, especially the development squads are full but we keep the position regularly under review to ensure that swimmers move up to the appropriate squads as soon as they are able and to provide places for new members.    Once you have joined the club you are ready to start training and are on your way to becoming very fit, having fun and developing as a swimmer.

How good a swimmer must I be?

During your trial the coaches will assess your swimming ability. In order to join the club, we ask that:
· You are able to swim at least 100m of front crawl
· You are able to swim at least 100m of breast stroke
· You are able to swim at least 100m of back stroke
You are able to dive in – at the deep end from standing at the side.
Any swimmer who has reached level 7 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming is likely to meet the above standard.

In exceptional circumstances, the Club may accept swimmers who have not reached the above standard. In particular, the criteria will be adjusted to take into account disabled swimmers.

How much training is involved?

This will depend on how old you are and what level of stamina you have. See the Swimmers Area for current training sessions. The coaches will advise on the level of training that is suitable to start with. We are used to swimmers coming from swimming lessons to the club and appreciate this is a big step up. For such swimmers, we would normally ask you to attend at most two 1-hour sessions per week. As your fitness builds up, the coaches will advise on any adjustment to your training schedule..
Will I be able to cope with the training?

We appreciate that joining the club is a big step up for swimmers from swimming lessons. During sessions the coaches will take this into account. A lot of our swimmers come from swimming lessons so we are very experienced at managing this move.

Will I get technical training?

Absolutely yes. The club follows Sport England’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) approach. This is about laying a strong technical foundation in swimmers from the outset and adding on top stamina and strength - some other clubs do it the other way around, which does not always work because swimmers peak too early in their swimming career.

The LTAD approach is also followed by most swimming lesson providers and there is a natural transition from swimming lessons to the swimming club.

The club will have personal development plans for each swimmer which will help them fulfil their swimming potential. In the early stages of their swimming this will focus on technique as well as building confidence. Later on more work will be undertaken on stamina and strength. The older swimmers also do land training working on core muscle control and strength. As the swimmers develop they will also be taught about sensible diets, recovery and other key aspects to developing as a strong sportsperson.  As a competitive swimming club our coaches will provide guidance on suitable galas to enter at the appropriate time.

Are the coaches qualified? - what is the coaching policy?

Hitchin Swimming Club’s policy with respect to coaching is:

· It is our intention to provide suitably qualified and experienced coaching staff at all times.

· This means that coaches are suitably qualified and experienced to undertake the level of coaching they are performing with the level of swimmers they are coaching.

· The Head Coach is responsible for the overall direction of the coaching within the club. This includes setting out the medium and long term objectives for the swimmers, and the coaching practices necessary to achieve this.

· All other coaches work under the direction and guidance of the Head Coach.

· The club recognises the ASA teaching and coaching qualifications as evidence of suitably qualified coaches.

· On occasion, and due to unforeseen events, the club may use non-qualified coaches. Parents will be made aware of this in advance of the session and may withdraw their children from that session.

· Currently only the Head Coach or a suitably qualified external resource may take Land Training.

We also run a development programme for members who wish to gain experience and qualify as coaches and at various times have assistant coaches working under the supervision of our Head Coach while they undergo formal training.

Following this policy ensures that Hitchin Swimming Club is covered by ASA Insurance whilst training takes place.

What is your approach to Child Protection?

We take child protection extremely seriously within the club and follow the Amateur Swimming Association’s (ASA) guidelines. We are also a Swim21 accredited swimming club which sets minimum standards for child protection.

If you have any child protection concerns then please contact, our child welfare officer whose email address is on the Contacts page. Or you can ring the ASA’s own child protection Swim Line on 0808 100 4001.

Our coaches are DBS checked as are any of our volunteers, chaperones and officials who are likely to work with the swimmers.

What equipment do I need?

All you need initially is: swimming costume (not Bermuda shorts style), goggles and swimming hat. You will probably want to bring a drink to training sessions as well. Water or squash is fine - you don’t need to buy expensive energy drinks.

You will soon also need a kickboard (float) and pull-buoy (a float which goes between the legs) and flippers/fins. Initially the club can lend these to you during sessions. You will also need a swimming bag to put all these items in. During galas you will need a “tea-bag” top. This is a t-shirt style top which keeps the swimmers warm after swimming.

What will it cost?

See Squad Tab for annual membership and monthly squad fees.