Academy Squad Criteria

Squad coach – Vicki Wade

Other coaches for the squad – Emma Harris, Dave Grayson


Squad representative

If you have any questions that are admin, general club related you should use Steph Holland, Jenny Goodman and Becky Grayson, who are all regularly poolside,  as your first point of contact to help.  If it is specifically coaching related you should ask Vicki at the end of a session or via email.  There is a squad representative for each squad who is the first point of contact for parents for any questions. They also send out any relevant information for the squad. You will be given the details of your representative when entering the squad.


‘’Academy’’ is the second of the beginner squads (the next squad up from ‘’Development’’)

Entry is normally from Development Squad although occasionally swimmers can enter the club directly into Academy if they have prior experience, after assessment by the squad coach.

Squad aims

Academy will acquire improved stroke skills, starts and turns.

Stamina will also be developed by attending more sessions and an increase in training volume but the emphasis is still mainly on technique skill development.

Progress and other important information is monitored by the Squad Coach and Head Coach.


Entry into Academy

Movement between squads (squad changes) are decided upon at coaches meetings primarily by the Development and Academy coaches. If in doubt i.e. the coaches disagree, the normal course of action is for a swimmer not to be moved. In reality this just means that the move is delayed to a subsequent meeting and this is preferable (for coach and swimmer) to having to put a swimmer down again because they cannot cope.


Progression through Academy

As with Development, Academy sessions are graded in lanes where possible. As swimmers progress it is expected that they will acquire further proficiency in all four strokes so that they will eventually be capable of executing a legal 200 IM. The Preliminary Competitive Start Award is usually achieved at this stage which enables swimmers to execute a legal racing start in shallow water. Swimmers should also become more aware of their personal best times (PBs) as these will eventually be used to individualise training sets.


Training attendance

The main training night is a Thursday night at Northcroft. It is suggested that Academy train for 3 sessions a week.

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 their improvement and can give times they can use to enter competitions (where the competition conditions allow).


Competition attendance

This is a competitive swimming club. When moving into Academy children are expected to begin competing.

At a minimum Academy should be entering all internal galas, the Newbury ‘Wilkie’ Open Meet and one or two of the external galas offered during the year.

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.



The club is run by volunteers, and we expect as swimmers progress through the squads that parents will start to volunteer in some form to ensure the continued operation of the club.  This includes roles such as joining the committee, training as an official to help at meets and run internal galas and offering to fill jobs at our internal meets.




Kit Required

Club Kit Policy