Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Chirk is a little Welsh town with a limited number of after school activities for local children. We are an entirely amateur club run by volunteers dedicated to the health, fitness and swimming development of our membership. Swimming is not just a sport that develops high levels of fitness, it can also help to develop lifelong exercise/ healthy eating habits, confidence, a sense of belonging and an incredible work ethic.

The Chirk Dragon’s Swimming Club offers training sessions 6 times per week. Water Dragons are typically aged 9-12 years and are instructed by swim teachers on their technique in all strokes, culminating in the achievement of stage 8, 9 and 10 of the national NPTS standards. Water Dragons graduate to become Full Dragons, typically aged 11-18 years which is where their competitive swimming begins. Catering for the whole community Chirk Dragons also have a Masters squad for our adult swimmers and have recently extended our reach to disabled young swimmers too. The competitive squad compete at galas across the country including Holywell, Wolverhampton, Rotherham, Llandudno, Cardiff, Swansea, Aberdeen and internationally. Beyond pure pool swimming, there are a number of members who swim at British Open Water events, and we also have a dedicated Triathlon section to develop members who compete on the national and international stage.

Since the introduction of some high-quality coaching staff, including the award-winning Head Coach, Steve Park, and former Olympic Coach, Trevor White, as well as 5 other paid coaches and dedicated qualified volunteers, the membership has grown to 65! In order to accommodate the increasing membership and further extend our reach in the community, the club has created additional training sessions at another pool in the nearby village of Weston Rhyn, however training at the second site is hampered because there are no starting blocks and the pool does not have a level edge, which needs to be specially adapted and would be expensive.

Chirk Dragon’s competitive results mean we are punching significantly above our weight for our club size with considerably higher percentages of swimmers achieving regional and national event finals than Swim Wales suggest a well performing club could expect. Our Masters swimmers blew our socks off at this years’ British Championships, coming home to Chirk with 1 British Champion, 1 Welsh Record, 1 Gold Medal, 3 Silver Medals, and 1 Bronze Medal. In addition to this, between them 4 of our younger swimmers also reached 7 of the Welsh National Finals over the summer, not bad for a small town in North Wales!

We are committed to helping every swimmer achieve their full potential and are ready to invest in the next level of development and help Chirk Dragons take the next performance step up. With the talent we have within the club and community, we can do more and we have a plan:
• Buy starting blocks for Weston Rhyn pool
• Hold a technical and motivational Masterclass session for each stroke with a sporting legend
• Introduce monthly land training sessions to develop fitness and core strength and prevent injury
• Create a partnership with a local company offering sports physiotherapy for injury prevention and treatment
• Invest in a team building session for the squad to build team cohesion and morale
• Buddy up experienced swimmers with new members

It is all incredibly exciting but it comes at a cost.
A donation from the Aviva community fund of £10,000 added to the funding we have already secured, would enable Chirk Dragons take this group of children and adults to the next level, ensuring the Club is around for the next generation of swimmers in this little welsh community too.
Who knows what nurturing this talent might produce in the future!

Project Video

Chirk Dragons Swimming Club

Moment of Pride

This small Welsh club has been unexpectedly successful, thanks to a motivational ethos where ALL swimmers are encouraged to achieve their personal best. Incredibly dedicated coaches, committed parents, strong support from the community and sheer hard work from the children could burst your heart!

Location: Wrexham