Newcastle Staffs Swimming Club

The home of Performance Swimming In Staffordshire

SwimMark Club

Academy Squad

The Academy Squad is our entry level into the club. It will introduce the fundamentals of competitive swimming and will prepare swimmers to move into the Club’s junior squads.The aim of the Academy is to bridge the gap between lessons and competitive swimming.

Target swimmers:

Typically, swimmers will be aged 6 to 10 years old and will have completed stage 7 in lessons before entry into the Academy. However, we sometimes accept swimmers into the Academy below the required level who show promise. Here, they will go on to develop excellent technical skills in all strokes, whilst building fitness and learning how to race, all under the expert guidance of the Club’s professional and experienced coaches.

Squad Criteria:

Follow the links to:

Academy Squad Criteria

General Squad Criteria (applicable to all squads)

Lead Coach: James Ibbs

Training Sessions:

Training takes place in the school pool 3 times a week on Monday and Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Our coaches are also fully qualified lifeguards. Each session will run for an hour and similar abilities will be grouped to provide a more tailored approach. 

Mondays Tuesdays Sundays


Newcastle Under Lyme School (NULS) Pool


NULS pool


J2 pool

Training attendance:

It is expected that swimmers train at least two sessions a week. Inability to attend due to other commitments will not prevent progression to Junior squad but it should be understood that consistent attendance will lead to much faster improvement and progression.

Attendance at Competitions:

Whilst Academy is a non-competitive squad, swimmers are encouraged to enter the club's time trials which offer a first taste of competing in a safe and closed environment (just open to Newcastle swimmers). Similarly, club champs are only open to Newcastle swimmers and take place annually. This is when all the club's swimmers compete against each other for medals and club trophies. Time trials and club champs are also a great opportunity for Academy members to meet swimmers from other squads - a chance for both swimmers and parents to meet new people and to see how they might progress as they move through the squads. Finally, certain individuals may be invited to take part in an open meet if the coach considers they are ready to compete against swimmers from other clubs.

Register for a Trial:

The Club is offering a free no-obligation trial to anyone interested in joining the Academy. Trials will take place by arrangement. If you are interested in registering your child for a trial, please complete the Trial Registration Form. The trial is a chance to see if you might enjoy club swimming, as well as providing the coaches with a chance to check if you are at the appropriate level to join the Academy. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Kit and Equipment Required:

Swimmers in the Academy will be provided with equipment but they may wish to buy their own - a pullbuoy and kickboard - which must be brought to every training session. It's helpful to carry these in a mesh bag. Academy swimmers are not expected to buy a full club branded kit but are expected to wear a club swim cap when competing. You are more than welcome to purchase other items from our club shop, which is open several times throughout the year and opening times will be notified by email and via our Facebook page.