SwimMark Club

Tavistock Swimming Club was founded almost 30 years ago, in June 199. It was set up thanks to the vision and determination of our first chairman and subsequent vice president, the late John Reed, just as Meadowlands pool opened in 1990. It has been based there ever since although it is also lucky enough to be able to hold training sessions at the Olympic legacy pool in Mount Kelly Swim Centre.

Sunday evening was established as club night, but very quickly eager coaches and enthusiastic swimmers engaged in additional training sessions during the week to prepare themselves for competition. Initially the club took part in local, competitive ‘friendly’ galas across the county and into Cornwall. In those early days the team of young swimmers was complemented by a small group of adults who also bravely competed for the club!

As numbers grew, weekly local galas provided competition for a diverse range of swimmers and the club regularly fielded two (or sometimes even three) teams to compete in pools across the region.

Head coaches Stephanie Worth and the late Grahame Cooper began to earn Tavistock a deserved reputation for producing swimmers for the Devon County squad. The club built a group of youngsters who competed in championships at county, regional and national level.  Friendships were cemented on these occasions and have endured to this day, with many of the club’s former members staying in touch and with some continuing to swim in the Masters category or returning to coach.

Throughout its short history Tavistock Swimming Club has encouraged all its swimmers to enjoy themselves whilst improving personal fitness. This has been the basis of future personal achievements with many members going on to attain lifeguarding and swim teaching qualifications. Swimmers have excelled in open water swimming, biathlon, aquathon and triathlon events in this country and abroad. There have been notable successes in and out of the water. Olympic pentathletes Kate Allenby (Sydney 2000) and Heather Fell (Bejing 2008) are both former club members.  However, success is not measured only in medals and qualifying times.  Improvements by the slowest swimmers matter as much to the coaching team as records set by the fastest.  Wider qualities are very important too and the club strives to help its swimmers develop confidence, self discipline and respect for one another.

The club has benefited from the enthusiasm and skills of its coaches, trustees and poolside volunteers. The management teams at both Meadowlands Pool and Mount Kelly have given continued support and opportunities to the swimmers.

Since summer 2012, the head coach has been James Lake, one of the founder members in 1990.  James has an enormous enthusiasm for coaching and teaching, which won him the "Devon Coach of the Year" award in 2019.  With the support of the current team of coaches and the help of many volunteers, he and the members continue down the exciting road of recreational and competitive swimming. There is also the added attraction of various social events.

Tavistock Swimming Club is an inclusive community swimming club, operating as a registered charity (Registered Charity Number: 1157854) with the aim of providing high quality, affordable, Swim England qualified coaching to as many people as possible.  It operates independently of Fusion & Meadowlands' management.