Swimming is arguably the only sport that provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate, at all levels, whether it be recreational, acquiring a life skill, swimming regularly to maintain health and fitness, enjoying a variety of water-based activities safely, achieving personal goals or winning medals on the world stage.
Swimming is the nation’s most popular sporting activity with 22% of adults and 50% of children swimming regularly. A survey included in a 2002 Department of Culture, Media and Sport report stated that over 12million people swim regularly in this country.
The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) and the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association (WASA) are the national governing bodies responsible for governing swimming in England, Scotland and Wales respectively. These three Associations are the constituent members of British Swimming which is responsible for managing the elite aspects of the sport within Great Britain. British Swimming also represents Great Britain on the European and world governing bodies (LEN and FINA) and as such deals with all international issues and doping.
British Swimming focuses purely on the elite aspects of the sport, events such as the Olympics and performance. The Home Countries are involved in the promotion and development of the sport at all levels from learning to swim to elite performance including a clear focus on the Commonwealth Games.
There are approximately 200,000 members registered to the ASA and approximately 1,500 swimming clubs are registered to the governing body in England.
Swimming is all encompassing in the fact that it is a sport that can be enjoyed by everybody. No one is exempt. Age is no barrier and neither are disabilities.
There are many different levels of swimmer from the very youngest to the oldest who simply swim for fun and a healthier lifestyle. There are also those that compete whether on the local circuit or at the next Olympic Games. There are competitions for all ages for Masters swimmers, the current British Disability squad is ranked number one in the world and the able-bodied squad includes world record holders, commonwealth gold medallists and world champions.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the British Swimming website: www.britishswimming.org
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