​April 2019

VERULAM Amateur Swimming Club

Affiliated to Swim England (formerly the ASA) East Region

New Member Handbook

Welcome to Verulam Swimming Club!

Who are we?

Verulam ASC is a Swim21 accredited swimming club affiliated to Swim England (formerly the ASA) offering learn-to-swim lessons and competitive training at Westminster Lodge and Marlborough School pools. We have a strong team of qualified coaches and teachers led by our head coach, Zofia Kozien. The management and administration of Verulam Swimming Club is carried out by parent volunteers.

Now you have passed the trial and are ready to start. What next?

Based on the trial, swimmers will join one of our swimming groups - Pre-competitive, Juniors, Intermediates or Seniors. As stamina and technique improves, progress can be made through the groups. We also have competitive squads for each of the groups with an extra dedicated training session.

What will I need for training?

  • Swimsuit or trunks (not swim shorts)
  • Towel
  • Goggles
  • Swimming hat
  • Water bottle
  • Short training fins*
  • Pull buoy*
  • Kick board*
  • Mesh bag* (useful for storing the above).

Training kit marked with * can be bought through HT Sports via the club website, as well as at numerous swimming shops online. Verulam club bags, poolside tops, polo shirts, shorts and long pants can also be bought from HT Sports. Verulam swim hats can be bought via our parent volunteer via the club website.

When can I train?

Verulam offers training sessions up to 5 times a week throughout the year. Swimmers can attend any of the sessions for their group. Please see the timetable on our website. During school holidays we run a reduced timetable and during the summer we are closed for 2 weeks. Please see emails and our website for holiday timetable arrangements. Parents are very welcome to come and watch or help out. Parents are asked to check a coach is present before dropping swimmers off and to pick-up swimmers from the pool rather than the car park.

What sort of training will I get?

The club follows Sport England’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) programme. This is about laying a strong technical foundation for swimmers from the beginning and adding on stamina and strength. This helps build confidence and prevents swimmers peaking too early in their swimming career. We also offer guidance on appropriate nutrition, hydration, recovery and other key aspects to developing as a strong sportsperson.

What sort of competitive swimming is available?

We believe that to get the best out of swimming, competitive events such as those listed below are essential.

Club Time Trials are held throughout the year within training sessions and are not licensed by Swim England (i.e. can’t be used for County Level qualification).

Club Championship Galas are held throughout the year and are licensed events. All swimmers are encouraged to enter as many events as they are eligible. Cups, medals and certificates are awarded at the annual Verulam Presentation Disco in December.

Swimming League Galas Swimmers may be lucky enough to be selected to represent Verulam in external leagues. We currently take part in the Arena (U11yrs to Open age groups), Herts Major (U12 to Open age groups) and Peanuts (9yr to U13 age groups) Leagues

Open Meets Those open meets supported by the club are chosen by the coaching team throughout the year. There will be qualifying times depending on the level of the meet (Level 4 up to Level 1). These are licensed events and swimmers will need to pay a fee to enter.

County and Regional Level Meets. Finally, stronger swimmers may qualify to enter County and Regional Championships. There are qualifying times for these which need to be gained at licensed meets during the current swimming season.

Galas and meets are listed on the Verulam club calendar on our website. Team selection will be via club email. Please bear in mind that spectators pay to watch at all galas. Results are entered into our database and used as a guide for team selection, however, swimmers are encouraged to keep a record of their personal best times (pbs), as these will be needed to enter Open Meets and to gain ASA Competitive Performance Badge Awards.

If I’m ready for competition, what will I need for galas?

  • Swimsuit or trunks plus a spare pair
  • Towel(s)
  • Goggles plus a spare pair
  • Verulam club hat
  • Verulam club poolside shirt
  • Warm clothing such as sweatshirt and jogging trousers to wear on poolside between events
  • Clean flip-flops or other suitable foot wear to keep your feet warm between events
  • Water bottle with plenty of water and energy drinks

How much will joining cost?

There are 3 fees to be paid:

1. Verulam Swimming Fee.

£200 for 6 months (pro-rated when you first join) and payable in February and August each year. We allow a 3-week grace period when your child first joins during which you can decide whether or not to continue with the club. If you decide not to continue we will refund the Verulam Swimming Fee (i.e. not the joining or the Swim England fee). After this 3 week period, please note fees are not refundable for any reason.

2. Swim England Fee

£35.25 for 1 year. All our swimmers need to be registered with and pay this fee on joining and then each calendar. Swim England is our governing body and provides among other things our insurance cover.

3. Joining Fee: We have a one-off £15 joining fee.

How are renewal fees paid?

Since Team Unify was introduced in 2018, fees are automatically renewed from Parents accounts in February and August, so please make sure that your card details are kept up to date. Renewal notices are sent out and so if you are not renewing please let us know in advance.

Can parents come and help out?

Verulam Swimming Club could not function without parental help. We would love to hear from any parents who would like to contribute to the running of the club. Volunteers can help with our coaches on poolside, at galas, with club administration, or follow training courses and become an ASA official timekeeper or judge. To find out more please contact a committee member either poolside or through our website.  

How do we communicate with parents?

Most of our communication is via email. Emails are backed up by messages on our website – so please check these regularly. 

Finally, the club’s AGM is held in March. This is when fees are set for the next year, committee members are voted in and parents can discuss any club issues. All parents and older swimmers are encouraged to attend to learn more about Verulam Swimming Club.

If you have any further queries, please contact us via the website or ask a committee member on poolside.