Development Squad Criteria 

Squad coach – Vicki Wade

Other squad coaches – Emma Harris


Squad representative

Jenny Goodman, your trial contact is the first point of contact for parents for any questions. She will give you any relevant information for the squad.   Central emails also come from the main TeamUnify system about meets and any session changes.

We also have a closed FaceBook page where we post any late notices such as pool cancellations so, please find us and ask to join. 


Development Squad is the first of the ‘beginner squads’ and as such it is the normal club entry squad for young swimmers coming up from the NDSC, or any other, teaching programme.

‘’Development’’ are normally at least eight years old, although exceptionally we accept younger swimmers if they can demonstrate that they have the required skills and that they can cope with the training.

Entry into ‘’Development’’ is usually by means of a swimming assessment at Northcroft Pool on a pre-arranged Thursday Evening. Swimmers who have achieved Swim England Stage 8 would usually be accepted into the Club. ‘’Development’’ currently has three main sessions per week. ‘’Development’’ Squad may attend the Friday morning Northcroft session after consultation with the Squad Coach. Please refer to pool schedule for times.

Squad aims

The coaching emphasis is very much on acquiring the basic skills in the four strokes, namely butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl.

Progression through Development

Training sessions are generally organised into graded lanes so that progress can be easily monitored. The number of lanes will depend on the session (space available).

Swimmers will be considered for progression to the ‘’Academy’’ squad once they are able to perform the four strokes and their associated starts and turns as specified by Swim England Technical Rules. Consistent performance of the more technical aspects is not required because these will be emphasised in ‘’Academy’’. Knowledge and understanding of the requirements is expected before progression.


Training attendance

The main training night is a Thursday night at Northcroft. It is suggested that ‘’Development’’ train for at least 2 sessions a week. Inability to attend due to other commitments will not prevent progression to the next squad but it should be understood that consistent attendance will lead to much faster improvement and progression.

Monthly timings take place on the first Thursday of each month, with the stroke rotating each month (freestyle/back/breast/fly). This enables both swimmers and coaches to track improvement and can give times they can use to enter competitions (where the competition conditions allow).


Competition attendance

‘’Development’’ Squad should be entering all internal galas.

Children in this squad may be called upon to swim in the Arena or Thames Valley leagues that the club enters.

There is a gala guide on the website which informs you about competing in open meets, leagues and progression from Counties to Regional to Nationals


Kit Required

Club Kit Policy