Amateur Swimming Association

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Amateur Swimming Association
Amateur Swimming Association Logo.jpg
Abbreviation ASA
Formation 1869
Type Sports governing body
Legal status Unincorporated Association
Purpose Swimming in England
Headquarters SportPark, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3QF
Region served
Swimming clubs
Edward Lord OBE (Group Board); Chris Bostock (Sport Governing Board)
Main organ
Affiliations British Swimming, Scottish Swimming, Swim Wales
£20.8 million (2013)
Website ASA

The ASA (formally the Amateur Swimming Association), was the first sport governing body of swimming to be established in the world and today remains the English national governing body for swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming, and synchronised swimming. It is closely linked with British Swimming, a federation of the national governing bodies of England, Scotland (Scottish Amateur Swimming Association), and Wales (Welsh Amateur Swimming Association). These three are collectively known as the Home Country National Governing Bodies.[1]


The association was established in 1869, with headquarters at Harold Fern House in Loughborough. It was registered as a company on 18 May 1982. It moved in April 2010, along with British Swimming, to SportPark at Loughborough University, close to the A512 and junction 23 of the M1.

The ASA underwent a rebranding exercise in 2008 including a new logo and name of the asa. After negative reaction the logo was retained but the organisation returned to using The ASA in text form.



The ASA supports over .,1,200 affiliated swimming clubs through a National/Regional/and sub-regional structure. It endeavours to ensure every athlete, regardless of age or experience, belongs to a club that provides the best possible support and environment. The ASA has introduced a Quality Mark for clubs.[2]


In October 2015, the ASA partnered with Water Babies and Splash About International to introduce new national guidelines for baby and toddler safety in swimming pools.[3] The guidelines were published by the British Standards Institution and aimed to set industry-wide standards for swimming lessons and underwater photography practices.


The ASA organises competitions throughout England, from grass-roots to elite level. The Age Group and Youth Championships are aimed at younger swimmers aged between 11 and 17 years and can attract more than 1,600 participants, while the ASA Nationals are aimed at the elite swimmers.

The ASA also organizes the English talent programme that puts in place performance opportunities for swimmers to develop their skills and potential.


The ASA operates a Learn to Swim award scheme based on the National Plan for Teaching Swimming, a programme the ASA has developed to take children through from their first splash to full competence in the water. In 2009, close to 2 million certificates and badges were issued to children all over the world.

The ASA is not a provider of swimming facilities, but aims to act as a catalyst and facilitator to ensure suitable facilities, with appropriate access and programmes, are provided to meet the needs of the community and aquatic clubs.

The ASA operates certification and education programmes for teachers, coaches and officials.[4] It has created the UK Coaching Framework and e-learning programmes, designed to ensure the ASA has an appropriately skilled workforce for the whole swimming industry. Its education is provided by its Institute of Swimming

Strategy 2009-2013[edit]

The ASA’s Strategy 2009-2013 [5] sets out the objectives of the ASA. In particular the ASA has identified four objectives:

  • Ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn to swim.
  • Offer everyone the opportunity to enjoy swimming or water-based fitness activities for health and fun throughout their lifetime.
  • Ensure everyone achieves their different personal health goals throughout their lifetime.
  • Ensure the nation achieves gold medal success on the world stage.


As well as being a governing body, the ASA also operates several subsidiary companies.[6] It is split into 8 regions:

The ASA's income for the year to 31 March 2009 was £11.4 million,[7] its largest sources of income being government grants (e.g. from Sport England) and revenue from its swimming award scheme.

Swimming championships[edit]

The ASA holds three different indoor national swimming championships: one for Age Group swimmers (11- to 14-year-old boys and 11- to 13-year-old girls); one for Youth swimmers (15- to 18-year-old boys and 14- to 18-year-old girls) and one for Masters (age 25 years old plus) usually in July/August. Often the championships are merged. They also hold open water nationals each year. The following table shows the 'Open' Championships.

Year Dates Venue Notes
1986 ?? May–?? June Coventry Commonwealth Games trials
1987 29 July–2 August Crystal Palace European Championships trials
1988 27–31 July International Pool, Leeds
1989 12–16 July Coventry
1990 26–29 July Crystal Palace
1991 1–4 August International Pool, Leeds
1993 10–13 June Ponds Forge, Sheffield European Championships trials
1994 28–31 July Crystal Palace
1995 ??–23 July Coventry
1996 ??–?? July International Pool, Leeds
1997 ??–?? July Crystal Palace
1998 ??–?? July Ponds Forge, Sheffield Commonwealth Games trials
1999 ??–?? July Ponds Forge, Sheffield European Championships trials
2000 ??–?? July Ponds Forge, Sheffield Olympic trials
2002 28–30 June Coventry
2003 18–20 March Aquatics Centre, Manchester
2004 16–18 July Aquatics Centre, Manchester
2005 4–9 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield Commonwealth Games Trials
2006 1–6 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield
2007 27 July–1 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield
2008 10–13 July Picton Pool, Liverpool
2009 28 July–1 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield
2010 18–21 August Sunderland Aquatic Centre, Sunderland Commonwealth Games selection meet
2011 14–17 June Ponds Forge, Sheffield Final World Championship qualification meet
2012 20–23 June Ponds Forge, Sheffield Final Olympic qualification meet
2013 30 July–4 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield
2014 5– 10 August Ponds Forge, Sheffield


In 2009 British Swimming announced a £15 million, 6 year sponsorship deal with British Gas, to cover the Home Country Associations too.[8][9]


  2. ^ [1] ASA’s 'Quality Mark' for clubs
  3. ^ [2] New baby swimming guidelines launched
  4. ^ [3] ASA Teaching and Coaching
  5. ^ [4] ASA Strategy Guide (pdf)
  6. ^ [5] ASA Subsidiary Companies/
  7. ^ [6] ASA Revenues 2009
  8. ^ Parsons, Russell (13 Mar 2009). "British Gas signs 15m swimming sponsorship". Marketing Week. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Campaign:Pools 4 Schools" (PDF). ESA website. ESA. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 

External links[edit]