Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club (HHSC) ranks as one of Hertfordshire’s premier clubs. The Club currently has around 250 members from age 5 to Masters Level who compete regularly in a wide range of competitions. We are Swim 21 Accredited as a Skill Development Club.
How can swimmers maximise their performance at galas? Following a request from parents, Head Coach Justin Langford offers the following advice: Eating and drinking
Do not eat or drink sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks or chocolate prior to or during a gala. They could give you a ‘sugar high’ but in the dip which inevitably follows, your performance will also dip. Justin is willing to confiscate snacks like these in order to help you achieve your best performance on the night! The best snacks to eat and drink are salted popcorn, a healthy lunch, isotonic sports drinks, water and breakfast bars.
Great pre-race breakfasts are:
Scrambled eggs on toast
Porridge with fruit
And for lunch or early evening meal:
A healthy sandwich
Rice with meat and veg.
Please do not bring game consoles or kindles to galas. You can listen to music but you are expected to support your team mates as much as you can – and you can’t do this if you’re playing games on your console.
Do report to your coach straight after a race to receive feedback about your performance. The coaches won’t come looking for you and if you don’t seek them out immediately, they could already be watching another swimmer in the next race.
Race Warm ups Regional and County Squads should do the following:
400m - mix of strokes
400m swim and drill on strokes you are swimming (limit the amount of fly to no more than 3 strokes a length)
200m fly kick on back (to warm up abs)
A couple of dives
Other swimmers can follow this pattern but reduce the number of lengths.
Note: swimmers must stay in the pool for the duration of the warm up and cannot exit before.
If you have any questions, please ask Justin or Lauren (Wilding, Development Coach) for advice before the meet.
Following an annual swim21 review over the summer, Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club has been swim21 accredited at Essential level for another year. Joan Keevill, Club Chair, led the review process on behalf of the club and would like to thank everyone who helped gather together all the necessary evidence to demonstrate the Club's compliance with this ASA kitemark accreditation. This includes:
Our annual club development plan with four-year objectives
Training plans and squad information relating to long-term athlete development
A copy of our annual budget with four-year forecast
Marketing, communication and workforce development plans
Evidence of our compliance with ASA policies and codes, such as the Code of Ethics, WavePower and risk assessment procedures
Membership packs for new joiners
Copies of qualifications and certificates, such as Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Coaching certificates
Detailed information about our volunteers, such as who is DBS checked, who has completed which qualifications when, etc.
HHSC was one of the first clubs in the area to gain the updated swim21 accreditation. The national judging panel recognises the work done by our volunteers to enable us to achieve this status. Benefits of having the accreditation include £100 towards Institute of Swimming qualifications, 5% off ASA Awards, and £340 towards a place on a UKCC Level 2 Coaching course. The Head Coach will be liaising with our Treasurer, Andy Hingston, to identify how best to take up these discounts. In addition, the commmittee will be defining how to take our development plan forward and ensure we identify all the actions needed to deliver our strategy.
If you think you can help us implement the Club's strategy, get in touch! Speak to any of the coaches or committee members or email Joan at
On the 13th September one of our Masters Keith Mulholland undertook a long distance swim in the River Arun from Littlehampton to Pullborough which is a an amazing distance of 34Km, we believe that this is the first time this swim has been undertaken. To put it into context 34Km would be 1360 lengths of the 25m pool at Hemel Hempstead. Well done Keith on a great achievement.
The Club's Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 14th July 2014 in the Meeting Room at Sportspace. The meeting was well attended this year compared to last year, with 39 present, though this is still a small proportion of our overall membership. The minutes plus reports from the Chair and Head Coach, Alan Doyle, are available to download here. The Treasurer's report is confidential so will not be published on the website but copies can be obtained by contacting the Treasurer, Andy Hingston, directly (email