Our ethos is to teach and coach our members, not just to swim but to become lifelong swimmers. We aim to provide a productive yet fun atmosphere where each swimmer can progress along their own individual swimming journey. We also aim to do our bit to help our young members develop as young people as well as swimmers, such as through our young volunteer programme. Our club is managed by a group of dedicated and well organised volunteer committee members and have achieved Swim Mark accreditation – the kite mark for swimming club to ensure clubs are run properly including a check to ensure necessary safeguarding arrangements are in place.
We are a friendly swimming club and aim to value each one of our members. We have about 450 members ranging from those learning to be swimmers, competitive squads, less competitive squads and a masters section for adults which has around 25 members. Our squad structure can be viewed here.
We have members from across the city of Bristol and beyond and those from varied backgrounds and we have a policy to support those in hardship. We are a member of the City of Bristol Swimming Network to support swimmers access a full performance programme. We have a partnership with Badminton School and coach the school team. We also partner with Clifton College Swim Academy and SLM Ltd around learn to swim and pathways into club swimming. We aim to support swimmers with additional needs and include such swimmers into our squads.
Our recent team successes in the pool have included 4th place in the Southern Junior League for 2019, winning the Bristol North Open Meet, winning three of the Gloucester County relay events and reaching the National Arena League Division One A final where we finished 7th overall.
In terms of individual performances, we have around 80 county qualifiers, 25 regional level swimmers and two swimmers at national level. In the 2020 Gloucester County Championships, we obtained haul of 37 individual medals of which 12 were gold. We work hard to ensure there are appropriate competitive opportunities for all our swimmers ranging from local, county and regional level team and individual competitions
Open water swimming
In recent times, we have developed a summer open water programme to widen swimmers’ aquatic experiences and to enjoy swimming outdoors. Social events are an important part of the Penguin calendar and help to build team spirit and our collective values for who we are as a club.
Our coaching team is led by Head Coach Josh Jobbins who works closely with the core coaching team: David Cousins (Assistant Head Coach), John Ferguson, John-Paul Holmes, Jason Silcox, Scott Tanner, Kirsty Height and Joel Howard. In addition, there are around 15 support teachers and lane coaches who are professionally qualified and share a love for swimming.
Community based and award winning
In summary, we strongly believe our community-based club is a friendly and enjoyable place for children and adults to develop themselves as swimmers and also as individuals and we are proud to have been voted Swim England Club of the Year for 2019-2020. We are passionate about swimming and we look forward to continuing to strive to improve our provision to see existing and new members progress over time.
Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club Chairman