Leander is growing! Here’s a quick overview of why and what it means in practice

How is Leander performing at the moment?

See our current stats for the impressive list of achievements by our swimmers – well done to everyone for all their hard work – Go Leander!

Why are we expanding our squad provision?

The expansion of our our squads is in line with Leander’s vision to become one of the best clubs in London. It fulfils three purposes:

  1. For efficiency, maximising the use of pool space as well as coach-to-swimmer ratios. Pool space in particular is at an incredible premium in south west London, and previous use has been inefficient with some congested sessions and others under-using the pool. The new timetable reduces overcrowding in peak sessions and maximises the pool space across the times currently secured by Leander.
  2. To improve training conditions and to raise the club’s standards – with increased performance growth season on season. We believe the additional squads will enable the most committed swimmers to excel, and Leander’s wide pool of talented swimmers to feel a vital and connected part of our community able to step up and compete as and when they are ready.
  3. To increase flexibility in squad structure. We are committed to creating a club which enhances swimmers’ long-term potential and well being – in line with British Swimming’s goals which aims for swimmers to reach their peak at 18. While we hope swimming will always remain our athletes’ first priority, we recognise we need to support everyone in Leander as they navigate their way through the many demands placed on them in their academic, sporting and personal lives. The two pathways enable swimmers to reduce their competitive focus for periods without compromising their swimming career. This system is used by top clubs in the country.

How will the new system work?

We are splitting a number of squads into two pathway routes – blue and yellow.

  • Blue pathway is less pressured for a swimmer. It has the same training goals (and requires the same fitness) but reduced competitive expectations.
  • Yellow pathway is for swimmers who want to fully commit to their athletic development through swimming with Leander.

How are the pathways connected?

A swimmer can move vertically up the system or zig zag, depending on their training style, aptitude and commitment. Each pathway is open to the other. This much more flexible structure gives swimmers the opportunity to move sideways at stages in their swimming lives without compromising their overall swimming career.

What practical differences will it make?

In the past Leander has over-allocated coach time and pool space to each squad, with swimmers able to pick and choose sessions to attend. This has proven to be inefficient in its use of resources. In future, every session will be specifically allocated. We understand this may take some adjustment for those with busy diaries and we’d like to thank swimmers and parents for their patience in managing this.

The key differences are that swimmers will enjoy a more productive training environment with better coach-to-swimmer ratios and that they will have more options for their progression through the club.

What if I am not in the squad I hoped?

Success in swimming is a long term goal. At Leander we want swimmers to flourish and improve over the next year rather than few weeks. If you have not been allocated the squad you hoped for, talk to your coach. Understand why the decision was made. We hope you will plan to make changes in your swimming in order to reverse the decision!

How often can I be assessed for a move?

Squad allocation will be according to the same published criteria as before – commitment, effort and monthly attendance. The three-month probation period remains in place. Coaches will have monthly reviews to consider moves. More popular squads will no longer expand to take additional swimmers, so a competitive element will be introduced for entry to these squads.

Fees

The new squad structure will also trigger a small rise in squad fees, the first in two years. We are sure you will appreciate that we work hard to keep fees as low as possible and that swimming with Leander represents an extremely cost-effective per-swim rate. While these changes streamline resources, the rise reflects small increases in coaching costs and pool hire charges. Please see the Squads fees page and adjust your standing order accordingly.

When will this change take place?

These changes will be effective from September – your coach will tell you, and there will be formal notification by email.

Things that will not change

The focus on teamwork and a shared Leander team spirit. Our aim to create a community of swimmers who are hard working and enjoy the rewards of their efforts.