It can take years to produce a champion, so in most cases a youngster will be identified and nurtured within their club environment. The ASA has a development pathway to ensure that an individual’s talent is identified and developed to help them reach their full potential.
Clubs with swim21 accreditation (the ASA's quality mark) follow a Long Term Athlete Development plan to provide the template for every swimmer to achieve their full potential.
The ASA is developing Beacon Programmes to support the regional network of swim21 clubs. The North East has Performance clubs and performance hubs within its region to provide regular access for a regionally selected group of athletes to sports science support services and educational programmes as an enhancement to their club programmes. These programmes also offer coach mentoring and continued professional development opportunities.
Beacon programmes within the region currently are:
- City of Sheffield Swim Squad
- City of Leeds Swimming Squad
- City of Sheffield Diving Squad
- City of Leeds Synchro Squad
- City of Sheffield Water Polo Squad
- City of Sunderland Swimming Beacon Programme
There are also a number of Performance Swimming Hubs within the region that currently exist within:
- County Durham - Durham Swimming Performance Swimming Hub
- Tees Valley - Tees Valley Swimming Performance Hub
- Tyne and Wear - Tyne and Wear Swimming Performance Hub
- Northumberland - Northumberland Swimming Performance Hub
The ASA also has a specific Talent Development programme that takes youngsters who have already shown promise and gives them access to quality coaching, athlete educational schemes and physiotherapy screening within a training camp environment that will prepare them for future international competition. More details on the development programme can be found here: England Talent Development Programme.