Before going with TeamUnify, the Norwich Swan Swimming club website was based on Joomla CMS. They had customised it to fit their needs as a swimming club — building their own database of swimmer times, and using attendance registers coded by a volunteer parent.
That solution worked but was cumbersome and took loads of time to maintain. In addition, their registration system was unable to handle the increased number of swimmers signing up. They were looking for a way to handle online entry to galas, like all clubs desperate to find a better way of handling paper entries, but that was beyond their skillset.
Freeing up time to coach
First impressions of TeamUnify were cautiously optimistic, notes head coach, John Digby. “I could see we would have a lot less control configuring the system, but knew that we would be saving time maintaining our current system. From a coaching perspective I was most excited about MainSet,” he says.
I was spending a lot of time uploading videos to a private YouTube channel that we would share with swimmers,” he notes. By the time I'd spent the time uploading and tagging the videos I'd run out of time to do any analysis of the videos.”
The sign-up process with TeamUnify went really quick. Having the technical knowledge from the previous site, the club were able to get their membership list into TeamUnify easily. “It took us a while to configure menus, etc, but most of that was us reviewing what we needed online and where to put specific menu items,” notes Digby.
An all-new way to handle entries
The online entry system is championed as a favourite tool. The club has swimmers training at a variety of different pools, and collecting entry forms was a major job. “Our first internal club gala took place just before Christmas and we had 130 swimmers sign up. We are repeating this gala at the end of March and had 160 swimmers sign up this time,” says Digby.
The club notes that being able to restrict entries based on account balances has been very useful in ensuring their annual membership has been paid.
Getting help and training
When asked about the support he’s received from TeamUnify, Digby beams.”Right from the initial phone support getting set-up I felt the Support Team really wanted to help,” he says. “This includes replies within a few hours on a Sunday, and phone calls following up any issues we've had. The team understands swimming and that's very significant.”
Looking toward the future
The club can’t wait for the implementation of credit/debit card payments in the UK. They have around 500 swimmers across 9 squads, and keeping on top of the monthly payments is currently a never-ending job.
“We are currently investigating bringing our learn-to-swim programme into TeamUnify,” he notes. “With about 900 swimmers in our learn-to-swim, managing our classes/swimmers, etc in TeamUnify streamlines our operations considerably. This gives us more time to focus on the people that really matter—the swimmers themselves!”
About the club
Norwich Swan Swimming Club provides a full range of swimming opportunities for swimmers of all abilities, from affordable learn-to-swim sessions at various locations in and around Norwich, right through to competitive swimming at a County, Regional and National level. Norwich Swan Swimming is a friendly, competitive swimming club, working with swimmers and parents to help children reach their potential.
Norwich Swan Swimming has been powering their swimming club with TeamUnify since July of 2016.