Announcing this Year’s Conference Speakers…

“Shaping Lives Through Aquatics – and Beyond”

Swim schools, swimming teachers, open water coaches, pool operators, and tutors, we are delighted to announce the first of our Aquatic / Open Water Swimming, Lifesaving / First Aid, Pool Plant, ATC and Business / Marketing speakers for the 2023 national conference, which this year will be taking place over two days on Friday 13th, and Saturday the 14th of October at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester.

Central to STA’s conference theme this year, in line with the launch of STARLIGHT, is disability and inclusion, with experts from the world of sport, leisure, and education coming together to discuss and share their knowledge and experiences of how we can help shape lives through aquatics – and beyond.

Leading the line-up on the Friday, as keynote, is Marc Woods* – a record-breaking 4x Paralympic gold medallist swimmer. This will be followed by a day of seminars covering a choice of subjects from each of the conference strands, including Pool Plant, with lunch, networking and exhibitor time scheduled in between.

On the Friday evening, for those joining us for the two-days (or those attending on the Friday or Saturday and are available to attend), we will be hosting STA’s first aquatics awards ceremony. It will be an informal, fun event and will include a buffet and a complimentary drink from our sponsors Mor Solutions. Konfidence, as the headline sponsors of the awards, will also be inviting guests to join in with their 25th anniversary celebrations.

For early risers on Saturday 14th October, you can take part in a ‘Wake Up, Shake Up’ with Haylley Pittam, Co-owner of AREA, in the pool before the conference re-starts at 9.15am with another full day of seminars from our amazing speakers. Saturday also includes a strand dedicated to Approved Training Centres. As per day one, lunch is included and in response to feedback from last year’s conference delegates, we have allocated extra time for networking and visiting the trade exhibitors.

For the first time this year, we also have pool activities going on throughout the two-days, which you can join in with or watch.

All one and two-day delegates will also receive a goody bag, and there will be opportunities to win prizes throughout the weekend.

Tickets for STA’s 2023 National Conference are on sale now, and there are a couple of options for members and non-members to consider:


Ticket Package
Full 2-Day Conference (The full 2-day weekend package includes lunch on both days and entertainment on the Friday evening)
1-Day Conference (This includes lunch on either the Friday or Saturday dates chosen and a goodie bag – PLUS attendance at the Awards Presentation on the Friday evening)

Please note:

  • For those solely interested in Pool Plant, these sessions will be held on Friday only and those only interested in the ATC strand, these sessions will be held on the Saturday only.
  • A separate email will be sent nearer to the conference date, where you will have the opportunity to share any dietary or special requirements.
  • The Marriott Hotel is also offering a limited amount of special delegate accommodation rates – please go to STA Delegate Bedrooms to take advantage of this offer.

As always, the STA team are planning to deliver another fun-filled conference this year. One that will give swim schools, swimming teachers, open water coaches, pool operators and tutors, the opportunity to further expand their knowledge and learn about new and informative subjects from an array of leading experts. From TikTok sessions to ATC Q&As, we hope you agree we have an amazing line-up of speakers already confirmed for conference.

*About Marc Woods, our 2023 Conference Keynote Speaker

Despite a cancer diagnosis at the age of 17, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg, Marc was determined to pursue his swimming dreams and prove that disability is relative to the task. The day after his stitches were removed, Marc dived into the pool and within a year he was swimming faster than ever.

Through hard work and determination, Marc was selected to represent Great Britain at international competitions just 18 months after he finished chemotherapy. Since then, during his 17-year career Marc has won numerous medals, 12 from 5 Paralympic Games (including four golds) and a further 21 from both World and European Championships.

Marc has also held world records in 200m, 400m, 1500m Freestyle, and he was part of the team that held the world record for the 4 x 100m Freestyle.

At this year’s conference, Marc will be sharing the challenges he faced on his road to success, and how issues arising in life / business can be treated with the same focus and determination that won him a Paralympic Gold Medal.

Other accolades include being the founding member of the British Athletes Council, a former Member of the European Athletes Council, an ambassador for London 2012, a member of the British Paralympic Advisory Panel for London 2012 and the Chair for CIMSPA. Marc also supports charities and has been a Director of the Youth Sport Trust and a Trustee of the Teenage Cancer Trust, and is a regular sports commentator on CH4 and the BBC.

Marc has a contagious passion and we know that his keynote will be inspiring for our 2023 conference delegates, as he shares his journey from cancer patient to gold medal winning swimmer.

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