W&DSC - Athlete Pathway

Swimmers progress through the club primarily according to ability, but also taking into account age/stage of development and commitment to training/competition.  W&DSC's Athlete Pathway can be found here and details our Squad Structures, giving an indication of the age-range and training commitment expected in each squad.     

Squad general info click here

Squad breakdown of total hours info click here

Athlete Pathway 2023/24

W&DSC welcomes children from 6 years of age through to Master’s swimmers.  Our current squads are organised to ensure they reflect more readily the ASA Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). Swimmers progress through the club primarily according to ability, but also taking into account age/stage of development and commitment to training/competition.  The athlete pathway diagram gives an indication of the age-range and the training commitment expected in each squad.  Under the direction of the Head Coach, the coaching team meet regularly to discuss swimmer progress, achievement and movement between squads, which normally takes place in January, April and September.  In relation to squad allocations and changes, the Head Coach decision is final and the following aspects, amongst many others, are taken into consideration:

  • Ability and meeting criteria for squad

  • Age and stage of biological development

  • Commitment training

  • Commitment to galas and club activities

New swimmers aged 8 and over are assessed at a swimming trial, the dates of which are advertised on the website and W&DSC Notice Board; swimmers with suitable ability and potential may be offered a place in an appropriate squad subject to places being available.

When a swimmer joins their squad they will be given a letter which details:  the aims and goals of that squad, the times, hours and locations for training sessions, requirements to move into that squad and the name of their lead coach and assistant coach. 

SwimMark Essential Club Accreditation

SwimMark (formerly known as swim21) accreditation is Swim England’s quality standard for clubs.  It recognises high standards of governance, sustainability and effectiveness. SwimMark  is about creating the best possible swimming experience for all and raising the quality of aquatic provision across all areas.  It is also recognised by Sport England i.e. all clubs gaining Swim England accreditation will automatically receive Clubmark status. Clubmark is widely recognised by potential funders, schools and other partners that can assist with club growth and development.


W&DSC has held its accreditation since 2012 and most recently retained its SwimMark Essential Club status in January 2023 - a key module which will support clubs to grow membership, develop volunteers and ensure the sustainability of activity in line with the objective of the club.


Clubs who want to secure SwimMark Accreditation work steadily towards gaining a series of outcomes, all of which are seen as essential if the right level of support is to be provided at each stage of an athlete’s development.


W&DSC has gained the SwimMark accreditation for teaching and development of swimmers and was successfully reaccredited as a SwimMark Essential Club in January 2023.  We provide a detailed submission to SwimMark each October to retain our accreditation; this submission is vetted by County and Regional Panels before notification of the award is received in December.   


More information can be found about SwimMark here