How to join Bristol Penguins



Swim Academy

If you would like your child to try out for the Bristol Penguin Swim Academy, please contact Polly Mullen by email or by mobile –

kids re-sized header For those children aged 5-10 who are learning how to swim we have a Swim Academy for aspiring young swimmers! We teach swimmers from Stages 5 to 7 at Bristol University swimming pool (late Sundays afternoons) and Wednesday evenings at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School swimming pool. Swimmers need to be able to swim at least 15m front crawl with breathing to the sides, backstroke and breaststroke to enter our lessons. Being a swimming club, we have age based entry criteria which is assessed against the National Plan for Teaching Swimming. Our lessons are very popular and we have some availability in some groups although if our groups are full your child can be added to the waiting list and spaces come up as swimmers move up groups and graduate to the main squad. The aim is swimmers attend both lessons on a Sunday and Wednesday to ensure they make sufficient progress to enter the main squad by their 10th birthday. There are however, some once a week slots as well. We assess each child individually who comes to try out in a relaxed and informal way and then allow prospective members to stay for a free try out lesson.




Swim Squads

To organise a trial or find out further information please email Polly Mullen –


For junior school aged swimmers to learn advanced skills and techniques that will prepare swimmers at the beginning of their competitive swimming journey.  There are 4 squads within this cluster, Development 1, 2 and 3 and Junior Club. The Junior Club is for non-competitive swimmers graduating from the Swim Academy that want to maintain their swimming fitness and improve their technique.

If your child has completed Stage 7 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming then they will probably be best suited to attend a try out for the Development 1 squad. Completion of Stage 7 means your child is able to swim all four swimming strokes well and has a basic command of starts and turns. To enter the development squads, swimmers will need to attend and pass an informal trial.

Also, we have a link with the Everyone Active swimming lessons at Easton Leisure Centre. Those swimmers aged 8 and 9 who are performing especially well in Stage 6 and above are invited to attend a link session on Sundays at Easton Leisure Centre from 6 to 6.45pm. If your child attends lessons at Easton Leisure Centre and your child is interested in attending, please speak to your child’s swimming teacher about this link session. Once swimmers have completed a cycle of lessons, those that meet our entry criteria are invited to join our development 1 squad.


If your child has already developed the skills and techniques for competitive training and competition, we have Age Group and Youth Squads. The county squads are for those who are competing at county level and the ‘club’ squads are for those swimmers who have not yet achieved county qualifying times or for those who wish to focus on less competitive route. There are three squads in the Age Group cluster: Bronze Development for swimmers who have attained county qualification times, Bronze for swimmers with county qualification times that are aiming for regional level and Age Group Club who have yet to fulfill all the criteria for the Bronze Development squad. There are three squads in the Youth cluster: Youth 1 for swimmers who have attained county qualification times, Youth 2 for swimmers with county qualification times who are training at a high level and want to commit to more sessions and the Youth Club who have yet to fulfill all the criteria for the Youth 1 squad.





Please contact Ben Mullen on for more information about the Masters Squad.


For swimmers 18 years and over who are both competitive and non-competitive swimmers. Masters swimmers are encouraged to participate in the coaching of the squads so that they can pass on their experience and skills. Masters swimmers have access to five sessions a week with over four hours of swimming. Many of our masters swimmers also coach for Penguins and are therefore eligible to swim for a reduced fee.





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See the Training Times page for specific days and times.