What is our vision
- To support every swimmer to "Become Their Best" We are fully inclusive across all sections of our local community. Para swimmers, able-bodies swimmers, competitive swimmers, participation swimmers and all age groups.
What is at the heart of our swimming club?
- Committed swimmers. 4.30am wake-up calls, 20+ hours a week in a pool, focused diaries and many sacrifices make swimmers very special human beings.
- Loving parents. Every wet towel, every packed meal, every weekend at poolside is worth the sacrifice when you listen to your child and hear what swimming means to them.
- Dedicated coaches. Running a coaching programme requires preparation, flexibility and interpersonal skills. A good club is a happy, focused club.
- Resourceful administrators. Managing a large operation like CoNSC as a volunteer requires some special skills. And sometimes a magic wand...
What we have delivered every year up to 2020:
- 61 coaching sessions a week for 275+ swimmers aged 6-70
- Elite, Development and Masters squads offering qualified coaching for every age group
- 42 hours of hired pool time every week
- 830+ children taught to swim annually by Norwich Penguins, the club's Learn-to-Swim subsidiary.
- Full Para swimmer integration across the club, including Para Learn-to-Swim
- 5-6 Galas hosted annually
- 44 elite swimmers attending CoNSC swim camps overseas
- CoNSC is a Swim England Performance Swim Mark Accredited Club
What resources are required to run the club?
- Pre-Covid annual pool costs alone were in excess of £150,000. These will inevitably rise with new health and safety requirements.
- The club has just 1 full time employee - the Head Coach, Alex Pinneger. 65 local volunteers run the club. There are 16 additional self-employed qualified coaches and a part time employee.
- There are around 100 hours per week of unpaid work from volunteers committed to run the club.
- Membership fees cover a large percentage of costs but galas and Learn-to-Swim fees are crucial to ensure financial stability.
- Money raised will be used to ensure maximum pool time, coaching and teaching at all levels and will replace funding previously achieved from other sources such as galas
- Paralympic Gold Medallist, Jessica-Jane Applegate has 4 medals from the past 2 Paralympic Games and is scheduled to compete in Tokyo this summer.
- 16 CoNSC swimmers competed at the 2019 British Summer Championships (the last), winning 9 podium places: 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze.
- 5 of our disabled swimmers have been selected to England Para Talent and 4 swimmers on to British Para Swimming World Class
- CoNSC was top overall club at the 2019 East Region Championships. This is the UK region with the largest number of competitive swimmers.
- 9-12 year old swimmers from CoNSC competed and came 5th overall at the 2019 Arena League Junior National Final.
The club is central to both Norwich and Norfolk community life:
- with schools offering fewer opportunities to swim, Penguins can deliver this crucial life skill to hundreds of local children every year.
- The club supports all ages and all abilities
- CoNSC teaches the only disability learn-to-swim classes in Norwich. We teach disabled participants to swim competently then integrate them into our club pathway.
- Links with smaller Norfolk clubs offer opportunities for ambitious swimmers to access additional resources and expertise.
- Based at the University of East Anglia, CoNSC, has a number of university students integrated within the squads.
- CoNSC mentors 30 young volunteers every year training and placing them into teaching, assisting, officiating and other volunteer roles.
- We support our swimmers to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
- Support and run community outreach programme in schools and disability organisations to encourage people to learn to swim
How we have adapted through the pandemic
- Delivery of daily sessions and webinars for all swimmers
- Physical, educational and social online activities to stay fit, motivated and connected.
- Part of Swim England pilot for level x galas
- Working with Norfolk Asa to support wider plans for returning to swimming
- Balanced reduced fees with the need to continue activities
- Offered bursaries to families affected by Covid-19 to remove barriers to participation
- During Covid, some local pools were closed even during the brief re-opening. CoNSC welcomed a number of swimmers from local clubs who joined our squads until their facilities re-opened.
Why we need the money?
- Losses of £50,000+ are not sustainable as large increases in membership fees will not be realistic. Swimmer numbers have fallen by 18% in squads and learn to swim. Families have been hit hard by Covid-19 and cannot cover increased costs.
- Social distancing in our sessions means reduced numbers and increased costs per swimmer.
- We need to get back quickly to retain and support our experienced coaching team for all swimmers.
- Without the ability to host competitions our existence is under threat, The prospect of galas to raise revenue remains highly uncertain.
A highly efficient and socially diverse community resource is at risk. Not only does the club deliver consistently outstanding national and international results at elite level; it also offers more than 1000 children crucial life skills, friendship and community support.
All this with 1 full time employee.
Please give generously. We can do so much good with whatever you can donate.
Quote from head coach Alex Pinniger
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on peoples lives and livelihoods. Within our sector, leisure centres and swimming pools in Norwich have been disrupted by enforced closures for nearly a year. City of Norwich Swimming Club and all of our swimmers have been severely impacted. I am especially concerned for teenagers dropping out of sport and large numbers of young children in Norwich who haven’t been able to learn-to-swim. Swimming pools are re-opening in April with restrictions on participant numbers, lower membership numbers and restrictions on activities which enable us to generate income to keep the club afloat. To make our return viable we are appealing for support from individuals, families and organisations. Please help us get up and swimming to provide quality swimming lessons and opportunities for generations to come.”
Quote from member
"Being a member of City of Norwich Swimming Club is hugely rewarding for swimmers and their families giving a strong sense of belonging and friendship as well as the huge physical and mental benefits of being involved in swimming. Through the pandemic communication and activities have continued the whole way through with huge effort from volunteers and coaching staff to keep swimmers connected and engaged. This appeal is vital to getting swimming back for existing and future members"