Club Spotlight - Heanor Swimming Club
1st October 2011
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This month’s Club Spotlight falls on the amazing Heanor Swimming Club.

A part of Heanor since 1975, the club teaches children from the age of 5 to swim, be safe in and around water, and how to save the lives of others - all vital life skills.

Heanor Swimming Club is unlike many other swimming clubs, where children plough up and down the lanes.  Starting from the age of 5, the club teaches children how to swim but combines this with a host of other activities designed to teach them how to save themselves and other swimmers if they get into difficulty.  From rope throwing and manikin towing to first aid and CPR skills, the youngsters get a fantastic rounded swimming education in a fun and safe environment.

This is a vibrant and active club, with a real buzz around it. A visit to William Gregg VC Leisure Centre on club night tells the whole story – the pool area is awash with a sea of yellow hats; little groups engaged in all sorts of activities in and around the water; children’s faces intent as they listen to their coaches and the older swimmers showing them what to do. The parents are also joining in, discussing progress with the coaches and staff, and generally supporting their children as they have fun.

Club nights run on Monday and Friday evenings, with swimming lessons on both days from 6.10 – 7.10pm, followed on Mondays by Rookie Lifesaving (8yrs+) from 7.10 – 8pm and Speed/Lifesaving for the older children from 8pm – 9pm, and on Fridays by Speed/Lifesaving from 7.10-8.20pm and Life Saving training from 8.30 – 9.30pm.

The club is affiliated to the RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society), the SLS GB (Surf Life Saving GB) and swimmers can work towards a number of nationally recognised badges as rewards and acknowledgement of their progress. They are also given lots of opportunities to compete in fun but challenging competitions, including a home competition held in Heanor each year.  Competitions are a mix of both swimming skills and the ability to think in pressure situations and save lives, incorporating both a wet ‘incident’ and a dry ‘incident’, which could include a cave collapse, a plane crash or a problem in a restaurant; literally anything at all.  It’s a real test of their mental ability as well as the physical.

Recent events and notable results include:

  • RLSS National Speed Competition (42 medals and a UK record)
  • GB Surf Still Water Competition (10 swimmers achieved 11 Gold, 11 Silver and 3 Bronze medals but also broke four UK records in the process. They also managed to be placed 7th overall in the competition despite being one of the smallest squads at the event.)
  • Blythe Pool and Beach Competition (4th Place)
  • Leeds Rookie Challenge (U11 Bronze, U13 Silver, U15 Silver)
  • BULSCA Universities Competition (4th place)
  • Surf Wales
  • Derbyshire Junior Branch
  • Crawley Open

Swimmers from the club have represented Derbyshire, the East Midlands and even Great Britain.  Worthy of a special mention is the fact that two teams went along to the Lifesaving World Championships in Egypt after posting qualifying times, and swimmers have also qualified this year to compete in Australia, with two swimmers also swimming in the RLSS UK trails in December.

But it’s not all about the swimming – Heanor Swimming Club also recognises the importance of the social side of developing young people, and regularly holds events and fundraisers to help the club, such as the recent Fashion Show, held on 15th September, and the club’s Christmas Party. It also holds community events, recently having hosted and helped with the Heanor Gate Science College Swimming competition, in conjunction with the Schools Sports Partnership.  This was a great event for all the Heanor Gate feeder junior schools, and lots of club members helped out on the day.

The focus for the next period for the Club is both a change of name, to reflect the focus on Lifesaving, and a drive to train up more coaches to become qualified.

Whilst the club does train its own swimmers to become coaches as they get older, they are always looking for new people to join and become qualified.  Courses are running over the next period the RLSS Rookie Instructors Course and the STA Teach and Surf, with the latter being held over the first two weekends in October.

If you are interested in your child joining the club, or in becoming a coach yourself, please contact Ian at or pop down to William Gregg VC Leisure Centre on Monday or Friday evenings and talk to any of the coaches.

Contact details for the club can be found in our Local Guide

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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