Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club

About Us

Bristol Penguins is a swimming club based primarily at Easton Leisure Centre, Badminton School Swimming Pool and Henbury Leisure Centre in Bristol. We are proud to have been voted Swim Club of the Year for 2019-2020.

Our ethos

Our ethos is to teach and coach our members, not just to swim but to become lifelong swimmers. We aim to provide a productive yet fun atmosphere where each swimmer can progress along their own individual swimming journey. We also aim to do our bit to help our young members develop as young people as well as swimmers, such as through our young volunteer programme. Our club is managed by a group of dedicated and well organised volunteer committee members and have achieved Swim Mark accreditation – the kite mark for swimming clubs to confirm they are run properly, including a check to ensure necessary safeguarding arrangements are in place.

Club structure

We are a friendly swimming club and aim to value each one of our members. We have over 650 members ranging from those learning to be swimmers, competitive and less competitive swimmers and a masters section for adults which has around 60 members. Our squad structure can be viewed here.

We have members from across the city of Bristol and beyond. We have a policy to support those in hardship so they can remain in the sport. We are a member of the City of Bristol Swimming Network to support swimmers access a full performance programme. We have a partnership with Badminton School and coach the school team. We also partner with Clifton College Swim Academy and SLM Ltd around learn to swim and pathways into club swimming. We are developing our Para Squad and aim to support swimmers with additional needs.

Club successes

Our recent team successes in the pool have included 4th place in the Southern Junior League for 2019, winning the Bristol North Open Meet and winning three of the Gloucester County relay events. In 2021, we achieved a club high of reaching the National Arena League Division One A final where we finished 3rd overall.

In terms of individual performances, we have around 80 county qualifiers, 25 regional level swimmers and four swimmers at national level. In the 2020 Gloucester County Championships, we obtained haul of 37 individual medals of which 12 were gold. We work hard to ensure there are appropriate competitive opportunities for all our swimmers ranging from local, county and regional level team and individual competitions.

Coaching team

Our coaching team is led by Head Coach Josh Jobbins who works closely with the core coaching team: David Cousins (Assistant Head Coach), Sarah Cozens, John Ferguson, John-Paul Holmes, Sophia Staddon and Jess Clements. In addition, there are around 5 support teachers and lane coaches who are professionally qualified and share a love for swimming.

Open water swimming

In recent times, we have developed a summer open water programme to widen swimmers’ aquatic experiences and to enjoy swimming outdoors. During the summer months Penguin swimmers can be found in weekly open water sessions at Cromhall Quarry, often followed by a sausage sizzle!

Social events

Social events are an important part of the Penguin calendar and help to build team spirit and our collective values for who we are as a club. The Christmas Party (at which Father Christmas often makes an appearance) and summer Portishead Lido swim and barbeque are popular events. 

Community based and award winning

In summary, we strongly believe our community-based club is a friendly and enjoyable place for children and adults to develop themselves as swimmers and also as individuals and we are proud to have been voted Swim England Club of the Year for 2019-2020. We are passionate about swimming and we look forward to continuing to strive to improve our provision to see existing and new members progress over time.

Ben Mullen

Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club Chairman