Derventio Excel Swim Squad is the performance pathway for Derbyshire swimmers. The level of swimmer at DX gives the opportunity for the best swimmers to train and compete together as a team. The professional coaches have the experience and governing body support to enable a high success rate for a swimmer reaching their potential in the sport. Our squad has produced multiple National and International swimmers, most recently Jacob Whittle, who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics aged 16, reaching the men’s 100m freestyle semi-final, and is the fastest English swimmer of all time in this event. Other alumni include Molly Renshaw, Abbie Wood, Imogen Clark and Sarah Vasey.
We are based at Queens Leisure Centre in the middle of Derby, and also train at some other pools in the region. In Spring 2022, we will move all our training to the brand new £42 million Moorways Sports Village, which will give us regular access to a superb new pool, with short course and long course (50m) training as well as state-of-the-art gym/land based facilities.
We have 3 squads – Elite, National and Regional.
Elite squad (14-23 yrs) – Head coach Jamie Main
• up to 19 hours swim
• 2-4 hours land + pre pool
• British Summer Champs —> International/Olympic level
National (13-19 yrs) – lead coach Jack Chambers
• up to 14.25 hours swim
• 1.5 hours land + pre pool
• Swim England National qualifiers —> British Champs/trials qualifiers
Regional (11-13 yrs) – lead coach Glenn Fisher
• up to 10 hours swim
• 1.25 hours land + pre pool
• high ranking regional —> Swim England National qualifiers
Typically, swimmers will join Derventio Excel at around 11 years old (based on year of birth). Swimmers coming into Regional Squad are progressed from the weekly hours they currently train at their home club. This transition into Regional squad is important in order to lay the foundations in preparation for National and Elite.
Swimmers joining our training group at 11 years old will enable them to transition at a stage where performance behaviours, training habits and programme integration will have a more positive effect on their sporting progression and self development during adolescence. This allows the integration at a less stressful time in their academics and they have time to build their training to a level where they can combine school and swimming during GCSE’s/A-levels. This is over a 4-5 year period. This time also enables the swimmer to build relationships with a vital support network of likeminded young athletes/teammates and coaching staff.
There are a small minority of swimmers who transition to National squad from the home clubs however these are infrequent. This equates to approx. 95% joining the programme full time within 8 months after they have competed as an 11 year old at the Derbyshire County Champs.
How do swimmers join our programme?
Talented swimmers with potential in our sport are identified in a number of ways. We work closely with the coaches of home clubs in the region, who will recommend swimmers to us. We also talent id from other sources such as the Derbyshire Junior Grand Prix series, the Derbyshire County Championships (short course event in February, long course in December), and from county rankings. We also hold Development Clinics twice a year, and support the Swim England Development Camps. Both these are helpful to identify talented young swimmers.
We will invite swimmer to come for a trial with us, and if both parties are supportive, swimmers will join us for an initial transition period before joining the relevant squad (usually the Regional squad) full time.
Does the swimmer leave their home club?
No, they will have joint membership with their home club and Derventio Excel. This means they continue to be part of, and support, their home club while they train with us.
They will be available to swim for their home club at events such as Arena League, and will swim under their home club at County events, and all Open meets held within Derbyshire. They are also therefore role models to other swimmers at their home clubs.