125 years of Exeter City Swimming Club!
2020 marks a momentous year for Exeter City Swimming Club. The club, established in 1895, is 125 years old this year!
The club has been through many ups and downs over the years, but with a huge amount of success, with 1000's of County, Regional and National qualifiers coming through the ranks. We are perhaps in our most successful period in terms of the numbers of swimmers at the club now being over 700, with a hugely successful Swim School nurturing the latest young swimmers from our brilliant City and surrounding towns and villages, but also due to the excellent number of swimmers from our competitive squads qualifying and challenging for titles on a National level.
Perhaps Exeter's biggest success story, is that of "local lad done good", Liam Tancock, who learned to swim with the club, flourished through our competitive squads, before making it in the big time. Liam qualified for numerous European, World and Olympic Championships, breaking the World Record on no less than 3 occasions (once in 2008 and twice in 2009) in his specialist event of the 50m Backstroke. He competed at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
The club's recent success is in no small part thanks to the current committee and coaching team, headed up by renowned Head Coach Jo John. Jo is local to Devon and was a swimmer herself, before moving into a coaching career. Jo has coached at numerous clubs over the years, before working with Swim England and British Swimming, before returning to Devon to become our Head Coach in 2014.
Recent years have proved to have thrown up some difficulties with lack of quality training facilities in Exeter, meaning the swimmers have to travel to Tavistock, Plymouth and Tiverton in order to get the sufficient training time required to be a successful competitive swimmer. There is simply a lack of available training time in Exeter's swimming pools, compounded even further in 2017 by the closure of Riverside pool. In 2019 the club lost its main training base and home of its Swim School at Middlemoor Police HQ pool, which has closed due to a safety issue with the roof. The club are hopeful that these situations may be resolved by repair or rebuild, but for the time being many swimmers and parents are having to travel huge distances to get the training hours in. Our parents and swimmers are certainly committed! The club also has to host all of its 'home' meets elsewhere in the region, such as Plymouth's Life Centre and Millfield School, as none of the Exeter pools are appropriate for hosting Swim England licensed meets. A bit of a travesty for a successful club in a large city, but that is the situation we are in and definitely shows how the club have done so well, to be as successful as it has been and perhaps could be considered to be punching above its weight.
We don't want to focus on what could be seen as a negative, but to celebrate our successes over the years. The main success being the life skills our swimmers have gained, the life experience of dealing with both success and failure, the lifelong friendships and the positive memories!
Please keep visiting our website for further news items about our history, where we will feature more photos from our past, as well as monthly features on a current or past swimmer or member of our great club and what our club means to them.
Thank you for your support.