The former Amateur Swimming Association, the national governing body for swimming in England, has re-branded itself as Swim England.
Earlier this month, the group rolled out a massive update to its website that included a new name. The organization was established in 1869 as the London Swimming Association, which at the time made it the only formal governing body of swimming in the world. As clubs from across England joined, they became the Amateur Swimming Association.
Queen Elizabeth II was named the patron of the ASA on March 6, 1953, and in January of this year, the Duke of Cambridge Prince William took over that patronage. William is a former water polo player who himself played on the Scottish universities’ water polo squad that took on teams from Wales and Ireland in a Celtic challenge in 2004. He was once the team captain of the University of St. Andrews’ varsity team.
With the new patronage came a new name, a new CEO Jane Nickerson, and a renewed focus on the organization’s goals to get the country swimming.
“Our vision is a nation swimming and our strategy sets out how we will bring together organisations from across the swimming, health and physical activity sectors to work towards this,” Nickerson said. “Leadership and supporting our partners is a key part of our strategy and as such, we have changed from a local delivery organisation to one that is more strategically-focused.
“As well as supporting our members and all those who swim regularly, our role is to share our research and insight and bring new partners together to help make swimming a popular activity in every community.”
“We are incredibly proud of our history, which spans almost 150 years,” Nickerson said specifically of the change. “Swim England is clear and simple. It says who we are and what we do and is the perfect name to take us forward as we raise the profile of swimming and get a nation swimming.”
The organization is responsible for swimming at all levels in England, from recreational lap swimmers through Masters swimmers and Olympians. The group maintains club memberships, organizes championships, tracks English records, selects the team for the Commonwealth Games where British Swimming is sub-divided, and responsible for growing participation in the sport as well. The new name also clarifies that not all members of the group are, in fact, amateurs as they were when the organization was first named.