On 19th March, experts from the world of open water swimming joined together at the Charlton Lido and Lifestyle Club in London to officially launch STA’s unique new Open Water Swimming Coaching qualification, which has also been endorsed by CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).
Safety Training Awards consulted with the leading associations involved in open water swimming and the best in the industry to create an all-encompassing specialist coaching qualification
It is well documented that outdoor swimming has exploded in popularity over recent years. Alongside this, with the growth in public open water events and new clubs opening up all over the country, the modern role of an open water swimming coach has changed and diversified too — coaching is no longer just for the elite, there is a new customer and new coaching opportunities.
Recreational participants are socially invested in open water swimming and they want to push and challenge themselves, and learn from coaches on how they can improve their technique. The difference however with coaching open water swimming is there are so many elements; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Swimming in a lake is very different to braving the waves and currents in the sea or the extremes of ice swimming. They all require a level of specialist skillset and understanding.
In recognition of this Safety Training Awards (STA’s awarding organisation) consulted with the leading associations involved in open water swimming and the best in the industry to create an all-encompassing specialist coaching qualification; one that matches the demands and growth this incredible and diverse sport offers to people of all ages and abilities.
Open water swimming is constantly evolving and swimmers all around the world are looking to take on bigger challenges but need qualified coaches to be able to help them
Thanks to these contributors, who are all specialists and leaders in their respective fields, the syllabus uniquely covers all aspects of coaching – from recreational swimming to distance and event swimming. The experts and associations involved in the creation of qualification include:
- Keri-anne Payne – founder of Triscape and Double World Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist in Open Water Swimming
- Colin Hill – director of Chillswim, owner of Swim Secure and recognised in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
- Rick Kiddle – founder of NOWCA and multi British Triathlon champion
- Len Hatcher – expert swimming coach who coached four young women to swim relay across the English Channel
- Leon Fryer – co-founder of SwimYourSwim and an exclusive member of International Ice Swimming after completing an Ice Mile
- Simon Griffiths – publisher of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine and a highly experienced open water swimmer and commentator
- Jason Tait – founder of South West Swim and a highly experienced Swim Smooth Certified Coach
- British Long Distance Swimming Association
- Channel Swimming Association
- International Ice Swimming Association
- Swim Secure
Kaylë Burgham, Head of Aquatics at STA, said:
STA fully understands that with the rise in popularity of open water swimming you can’t take a one-size-fits-all coaching approach. By consulting and bringing together the best in the industry, we’ve created a compelling open water coaching qualification that uniquely covers all aspects of coaching the fantastic world of open water swimming — and one that is endorsed by the chartered institute, CIMSPA.
It is a professional qualification for people who love open water and who want to promote and share their passion by coaching swimmers in open water with novice, intermediate and experienced swimmers, added Kaylë.
Keri-anne Payne said she is incredibly proud to be launching the new Open Water Swimming Coaching qualification with STA.
The sport of open water swimming is constantly evolving and swimmers all around the world are looking to take on bigger challenges but need qualified coaches to be able to help them. I jumped at the chance to be part of this qualification along with some of the best the industry has to offer to bring the UK a coaching qualification, not only to help coaches become more knowledgeable about open water swimming but for these coaches to be able to really help swimmers achieve whatever challenges they have set for themselves. That doesn’t matter if it’s someone learning how to swim in the open water for the first time all the way up to the advice and guidelines for taking on an ice mile. I can’t wait to get coaching!
Colin Hill said he has been hugely impressed with how STA has looked to include the many different faces of open water swimming.
There has been an incredible growth in open water swimming and at last we have an open water swimming qualification that will not only help with the transition from indoor pool to open water, but will also guide those already involved in the sport looking to develop their skills, from a wild swim, completing a first event to a long distance channel swim.
Simon Griffiths commented:
As outdoor swimming becomes ever more popular, STA should be commended on launching a new coaching qualification that caters for both recreational and competitive swimmers. Outdoor Swimmer Magazine is proud to have been part of the expert working group that helped develop the course.
Len Hatcher said he too is delighted that CIMSPA has recognised the STA Open Water Swimming Coaching qualification thanks to the hard work and commitment of all the contributors.
It is good to see STA taking steps to expand and embrace the available expertise in new areas of water based activity whilst raising standards and awareness. STA presents a forward-thinking force for change in the swimming world.
Leon Fryer added:
SwimYourSwim are extremely proud to be working in association with STA and other leading open water organisations to create this new open water coaching manual. The content draws on years of experience from all areas of open water swimming, including Olympic and World Champion swimmer Keri-anne Payne, long distance training and channel crossing experts, right through to swimmers with extreme ice mile and winter swimming experience. This makes it the most comprehensive open water coaching manual ever released. We can’t wait to start delivering this exciting new course.
STA with NOWCA led the way in 2013, with Safety Training Awards becoming the first awarding organisation to create a nationally-accredited Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coaching qualification. This was seen as the first positive step towards professionally the industry and improving teaching standards.