Warrender Baths Club is a not for profit organisation which is run by a voluntary Management Committee which includes the Club’s Head Coach and Swimming Convenor.
How can I join the club?
The Club has three entry level squads and holds group assessments at key stages of the season for admission. Swimmers should be reasonably proficient on all 4 strokes and turns & dives will also be assessed.
A typical training session at entry level will last for an hour and fifteen minutes during which swimmers will work on consolidating their technique whilst learning basic skills on how to swim in a squad (e.g using the pace clock, circle swimming in the lane, tumble turns & starts).
Swimmers at this level take part in internal Development Meets once every six weeks, allowing them a safe and controlled environment to practice what they have been learning in training.
The Club also accepts swimmers above entry level and from other programmes/Clubs on application to the Head Coach.
How many development squads are there?
There are currently six systematic and progressive squad stages to the Development section of the club, named after some of our most successful swimmers:
- Benson Red, Benson White and Benson Blue
- Smith Red & Smith White
- Wilkie Red & Wilkie White
We also have two retention squads, Club Squad and Youth Squad, which are designed for swimmers who have worked through our programme but have decided not to pursue the competitive side of the Club's activities, yet still want to continue some swim training for fitness or social purposes or even just for personal satisfaction.
What days of the week does training take place?
The days on which swimmers train depends on which squad they are in.
Our entry level squads train three times a week and all of the development squads train on a Sunday evening.
As swimmers progress through the Club the number of sessions builds up gradually, with the top Performance squad training every day except Sunday at 9 weekly sessions..
Where are training sessions held?
Although Warrender took its name from its original home at Warrender Baths on Thirlestane Road, as a large club operating over 70 training sessions per week it is necessary for us to use a range of pools throughout the city in order to offer the necessary pool time that swimmers need to develop effectively.
Which pool a swimmer uses will depend on which training squad they are in and will vary according to the day and time of the week. We recognise that good swimmers need good quality pool time and we try to ensure this is the case wherever possible.
All of the Club’s lets are subject to coaches, swimmers and parents complying with any conditions imposed by each pool operator and your co-operation in complying with any centre requests or restrictions is essential.
If you have younger children attending sessions with you they should remain with you at all times during the session, particularly where we have use of school buildings.
At all of the pools which the Club uses, if lockers are not available then belongings and valuables should be taken on poolside and kept within sight of the coach. Shoes should be removed in changing rooms and the swimmers should shower before entering the pool.
The pools at which we train are:
- Royal Commonwealth Pool
- Leith Academy High School
- Merchiston Castle School
- Forrester High School
- Leith Victoria Swim Centre
- Ainslie Park Leisure Centre
- Glenogle Swim Centre
- Warrender Swim Centre
- Craigroyston Community High school
- James Gillespie’s
Do I need to come to all the training sessions?
Attendance is very important and ideally should be both regular and frequent. Each squad has a minimum attendance criteria and we understand that the younger swimmers have other commitments.
If for any reason it is necessary for a swimmer to miss a session which they normally attend, just let the coach know the reason beforehand by dropping them an email.
Remember that the best improvement comes with consistent attendance.
How long is a training session?
This ranges from 60 minutes at the lower end of the club up to 2.5 hours in the club's top squad.
What do i need to bring for training?
For each traning session, remember to bring:
- your swimsuit
- water bottle
- swim cap
As a welcome to the club, each swimmer receives a Warrender Swim Cap.
How long before a session do I need to arrive?
Please arrive early enough to be on the pool deck at least 5-10 mintues before the actual session start time.
We do keep a careful note of both attendance and punctuality.
Will my child have the chance to swim in competitions?
As a competitive club, we will introduce the swimmers to swimming competitions.
We first do this through the comfortable settings of our own Development Meets and the Club Championships where swimmers only race against other Warrender members. Competitions against swimmers from other clubs are added afterwards, when we judge they are ready for it.
Our Development events take place about every 5-6 weeks throughout the season (Sept to June). The Warrender Club Championships which take place in late September. You will be notified of these in advance through your squad administrator.
Details of all the competitions that take place across the club can be found in the 'Meets' section of the website.
Are the coaches qualified?
All of our coaches are qualified to UKCC level or equivalent and hold a lifeguarding qualification.
From time to time new coaches will start by assisting lead coaches, gaining experience of the Club and swimmers before they take on the responsibility of coaching a squad themselves.
Our Head Coach, Laurel Bailey, works closely with all of our coaches, mentoring and developing them both during training sessions and at specific individual workshops throughout the year.
All of our coaches are given the opportunity to take part in ongoing CPD within Scotland and Great Britain, ensuring we are doing our best to deliver the highest levels of coaching possible.
Tips for watching training sessions
The Warrender coaching staff encourage parents to watch training sessions from time to time.
It’s probably not best to watch practice everyday, nor is it healthy to never come to the pool. The reality of transporting young athletes and carpools is that many parents are present everyday, however you don’t necessarily need to watch every minute of practice.
Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind when observing a practice:
- Firstly, young swimmers want their parents’ approval more than anything. If they know you are watching practice, it's only natural for some of their attention to be directed at you. However, for the swimmers to learn as much as possible, it is imperative that the coaches have your child’s undivided attention during practice. We therefore kindly request ask that you try not to communicate with your child during practice and compete with the coach for his/her attention.
- Secondly, we insist that parents do not interrupt the coaches on deck while they are coaching. If you need to communicate with a coach, please do so before or after practice (if they are not coaching another group) or during their office hours.
- Third, our coaches spend a considerable amount of time planning weekly training sessions for each of their groups. Each training set or instructional drill has a purpose and one practice and/or practice set often builds on another throughout the week. If you have not attended all training sessions, you may not understand the purpose of what the swimmers are doing on any given day.
- Finally, please do not try to coach your child based on what you see (or think you don’t see) him/her do. Many times when teaching stroke skills, the coaches ask our swimmers to do things that might not look correct or might actually be illegal according to the rules, but does have an important purpose in teaching skills (ie. swimming one-arm fly or breaststroke with a flutter kick).
With these various reasons in mind, we ask parents to stay off the pool deck during practices and not attempt to coach your child based on what you observe at practice. Your cooperation and support in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Please contact your child’s coach if you have any questions.
How will I be told if a training session is cancelled?
From time to time Squad Adminstrators might receive emails telling them that it may be necessary to cancel a training session. It is not unusual for a pool to close for some technical reason. On most occasions, there is sufficient time to deal with this by forwarding on an email. Your Squad Adminstrator will let you know well in advance.
On rare occasions, however, a closure may occur at short notice (due to an unforeseen pool closure, or illness etc.). In these cases, your Squad Administrator will do his or her upmost to notify you of this cancellation. It is essential that you make sure that the Club Administrator and your squad administrator has your up-to-date contact details.
What does the Squad Administrator do?
Every Squad has an administrator (a volunteer parent) whose job it is to help facilitate communication between the Club and the parents.
Upon joining the Club you will begin to receive messages from your particular Squad administrator. Please make sure that you notify your squad administrator of any changes in your contact details, as this is particularly important so that we can notify you of any last minute changes/cancellations due to problems with a pool.
Your role as a parent
Operating on a not-for-profit basis, the Club cannot function without parent volunteers to take on the many tasks and responsibilities to enable us to operate at our best.
There are lots of things you can help out with, many of which allow you to have hands-on experience with the swimmers at the poolside by, for example, time-keeping, marshalling at meets or helping out with the computer (a much more fun way to spend a few hours than just sitting watching!). These jobs are easy and fun and we will provide training.
We are always keen to hear from parents who can help out, perhaps with fundraising or by using their experience in other ways. Please think about ways in which you can help us, however small, and respond to emails making pleas for assistance.
The Club issues an annual Code of Conduct for parents and swimmers which serves as a set of accepted good standards which we strive to achieve across the Club. This also incorporates Scottish Swimming’s policy on acceptable use of mobile phones and sits alongside the Club’s disciplinary policy.
You will receive the Code of Conduct from your Administrator after your child has started in their new squad so please take time to read through it with them so that they are aware of what is expected and sign and return it.
It is important that swimmers and parents recognise that children do not progress in any physical activity at the same rate as each other. A great many factors all contribute to each child progressing through their chosen sport at their own rate.
Our programme is specially designed to cater for this by ensuring that every swimmer has the opportunity to reach their full potential while at the same time having fun and enjoying the sport. We encourage you to read the tips and guidance for parents at Sport Scotland.
We are always keen to foster partnerships between business and the Club and welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the benefits which that might bring to your organisation (for example, links to your business on our website, branding opportunities on kit, corporate social responsibility). If you would like further information then please contact our Vice President, Jeremy Chittleburgh.
What is the aim of the development squads?
The purpose of the Development Squads programme is to introduce young swimmers, already fairly competent in the four competitive strokes and other related aquatic skills to the basics of competitive swimming training and competition and in so doing, lay a sound all-round foundation for those wishing to pursue a continuing involvement in the sport.
This will include further technical work on the four strokes, starts and turns.
Swimmers will learn how to train effectively in a group situation and over the course of time will be gradually introduced to more advanced methods of training to improve the physical capacities of stamina and speed in the water.
Our aim is to provide an environment of purposeful enjoyment within a steadily progressive programme which will generate as much as possible personal satisfaction for every squad member through improving their individual technical competence and their swimming performance.