Introduction to Sharks
Download members induction document - here

About Sharks


South Axholme Sharks Amateur Swimming Club formed in 1998 and was initially set up to accommodate swimmers who had “outgrown” swimming lessons but wanted to continue to improve their swimming techniques and thereafter, swim competitively. Sharks has now become a well-established swimming club with members regularly competing in and around the Yorkshire region.

We are affiliated to the Yorkshire Amateur Swimming Association, North Eastern Counties Amateur Swimming Association and Doncaster Metropolitan Amateur Swimming Association. Sharks is also a feeder club for Doncaster Dartes, an elite level swimming club. At Dartes, with the required qualifying times, swimmers can go for extra training and coaching.


Every October the club hosts our Sharks Halloween Open Meet at Beverley where our members and those of other swimming clubs are invited to enter this 25m Short Course, ‘Sprints’ meet. In previous years our Halloween Open Meet has been run as a B/C grade meet but in 2016 we are extending the meet to all three grades of A, B and C swimmers (except 9 year olds who will continue to swim ungraded). Our Halloween Open Meet attracts visiting clubs and spectators from throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond!


Small Club, Big Heart


Sharks provides a sporting opportunity but also a health and well-being service in the local community.

We are proud our small club’ has members who regularly achieve county and north east regional qualification and to have produced swimmers who have competed at national level. Sharks also welcomes swimmers who do not wish to swim competitively but simply want to keep fit. Fitness swimmers must still abide by club rules; follow the set training programme for that session, and not disrupt training of other members in their lane. We are not a club where swimmers can come to “have a fun swim”. Being a Shark means commitment to serious training and is not for the half-hearted!

We train in a 20m community-built and operated swimming pool in Epworth, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Our club ethos follows that of community, where our big heart’ values each member whatever their age, interest, or ability. Our current membership numbers 100+ and ages range from 7 to 50+. Some of our Sharks families have grand-parent, parent and child sibling members.


Training with Sharks


Indoor Swimming Section


At Sharks indoor or speed swimming training sessions are split into 4 squads. Our Reef Squad is for those who have just progressed from lessons from where swimmers move to the Mako Squad when they have mastered more technique, progressing to the Great White Squad as they become more experienced and competitive. The swimmers are split into 4 lanes with a training programme set for each lane, and with each lane having a different degree of difficulty. We also have a Masters or Basking Squad for the over 25’s. Training programmes are set by the Head Coach and should be strictly adhered to by our swimmers. Usually assistant coaches, or poolside helpers support the Head Coach. The coaching team will read out programmes to the swimmers and help them in any way necessary. More details on our Squads can be found here.


Basic Code of Conduct: -


  • The authority of the both the Head Coach, and his assistants, should be respected by club members at all times.
  • Instructions given by the Head Coach, or any of his assistants, should be carried out at all times.
  • Bad behaviour, both in and out of the pool, will not be tolerated.
  • If a club member is disrespectful, disruptive, refuses to follow a training programme or inconveniences other swimmers then he, or she, will be asked to leave the pool and get dressed. A following letter of explanation will then be sent to the parent/s or guardian/s of the swimmer concerned.
  • A swimming cap must be worn both during training, and, when representing the club in galas. All new members will be issued with a Sharkscap. Any further caps required can be bought from the club swim shop. (Please see any committee member!)


A copy of the Club constitution is here and displayed on the club notice board at all times.


Open Water Swimming


In addition to our indoor squads and for the ‘wild’ or endurance swimmer we have an Open Water Section. The last few years has witnessed a rise in triathlon and marathon swimming, Open Water swimming grown in popularity and gone from strength to strength. The season starts around April/May, depending on when the water temperature reaches double figures. Training for our Open Water Section takes place on Saturday mornings, and later in the season Wednesday evenings, at Tryam Lakes, near Hatfield, Doncaster (there is a small additional cost). Whatever your age Sharks has a set of wet suites that can be borrowed for those who want to find out what open-water is all about.


Life Saving


Sharks has a Life Saving Section split into junior and senior groups. All aspects of Life Saving are taught during these sessions, from CPR, using a spinal board, to water safety and how to competently rescue a casualty. Skills for life are learned in and out of the water. For our junior ‘rookie’ life savers ASA certificates are gained. Then, at the age of 16 years, seniors can gain qualifications which may lead to employment in lifeguarding. (There is an additional charge for the Life Saving Sessions).


Official Business


Sharks aims to train and support our parent members and senior swimmers to become ASA Officials. This allows us to facilitate Club Championships, Sprints Meets and (with kind assistance from other club officials) our Halloween Open Meet. We are also happy for our home-grown Officials to offer poolside assistance to the League and Open Meets we attend. In 2015 we ran several ASA timekeeping courses and some members regularly officiate at ASA National, Regional and County level.


How to compete with Sharks


Team Swimming


Sharks currently participates in the Pocklington Times League. The League operates in divisions with each division holding a sequence of rounds/matches during the swimming year. Team selection will be at the discretion of Head Coach and is placed on our club notice board. If you or your child have been successful in selection we would ask you to confirm your/their participation as soon as possible. This is because we try to put together a full team whenever possible and where one person can’t be available to swim for the team, another Shark could be given this opportunity instead.

Sharks has an unrivalled team spirit in triumph or defeat. League events often bring out the best in swimmers, competing for the pride of Team Sharks rather than the glory of an individual performance. It is suggested that League selection should be viewed as a privilege and participation, an equally valuable and enjoyable experience as entering any Club Championship or Open Meet.


Open Meets


As well as our own Halloween Open Meet our members also take part in various Open Meets hosted by our fellow ASA affiliated swimming clubs, based mainly around the Yorkshire region. Sharks select 25m Short Course and 50m Long Course Open Meets both graded and ungraded to ensure we cater for swimmers of every ability. Graded meets are classified A, B and C, to ensure swimmers compete against those of similar ability and age group dependent upon the personal best time upon which they have entered. Details of these galas can be found on the club notice board. Fixture Lists can also be found here.


Club Championships


Club Championships are ungraded and ALL members are encouraged to take part. Although these galas are held as Short Course ASA licenced meets and run under ASA guidelines, Club Championships are a warm and friendly environment where our members compete against only swimmers from the Sharks club. It is a chance to put training into practise and measure individual improvement; there is also a possibility of a medal or two!


We also host Sprint Meets at our training pool in Epworth over 20, 40, 60 and 80 meter distances. Although these are not ASA licenced meets there is a medal for all who enter. Sprint Meets represent a chance for our newer members to dip their toe into competition whilst in familiar surroundings and for every participant, a chance to break the Club Records we recognise over these distances.


Sharks Recognise and Reward Personal Success and Commitment


The Sharks Sprint Ladder is a competition run throughout the swimming year with trophies being presented to the top 3 swimmers in each indoor training squad. (Life Saving and Open-Water Sections have separate awards). To score Sprint Ladder points swimmers are awarded 5 points for each personal best (PB) time achieved. In addition, each time a swimmer attends a gala and represents Sharks they are awarded 5 Gala Points. Rewards are given when a swimmer reaches 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 Gala Points. Sprint Ladder and Gala Points can be gained at Sharks Club Championships and Sprint Meets, at Team Galas and Open Meets.


Sharks Activities and Events


During the year the swimming club holds Fun Nights, these are open to all swimming members of Sharks, and again, details are posted on the club notice board at the entrance to the pool. These events are usually held around Christmas, Easter and in the summer. All Fun Nights are held at the training pool in Epworth. It is a great opportunity to build team bonds, meet members from other squads, have an evening off training and most importantly have fun swimming in team relays.


We are proud to have been invited to provide pool-side assistance at the Rotary Disability Games held in Scunthorpe over the last 2 years, an inspiring experience for members who have volunteered at these games. There are also chances to raise money for charity events like Sports Aid Swim-a-thons and to land train in your onesie for Children In Need.


Sharks is a family friendly club and we host family events during the year, a Pantomime trip and our Presentation and Social Evening where Club Champions and Coach Awards are presented to swimmers not only to our champions and Sprint Ladder winners, but also for improvement, commitment to training and for outstanding contribution to the team with awards followed by disco, games and fun.


What can I achieve with Sharks?


In the 2015-2016 swimming season our Head Coach proudly took the largest squad of Sharksin recent years to the Yorkshire Age Group Championships with qualifiers ranging from the age of 10 to 21 and over, with some swimmers gaining more than one qualifying time. Senior members, Jessica Gillatt and Finleigh Dukes are Yorkshire finalists. Some Sharks have also achieved qualifying times for the North East Region Swimming Championships and, in previous years, National qualifying times.

A number of club records are still held by the Great Britain, and former International, Rachel Lefley whose swimming career started with Sharks. As are club records held by current member Finleigh Dukes, a double medallist at the ASA British Summer Championships in 2015. Open Water also saw national achievement in 2015 with our own ASA National Open Water double medallist, Greg Clarke.

Sharks is growing in success. Last season Shark members represented the club at over 20 Open Meets mainly hosted at Ponds Forge International Sport Centre in Sheffield, John Charles Centre in Leeds, and at more local pools in Adwick and Beverley. A larger number of Sharks competed in 2015 for the first time than have done in previous years and there were medals in abundance, as well personal best times set. Some swimmers even took home top Boy/Girl Trophies. Our Masters had a great season too, taking a team of Sharks to the Rotherham Annual Masters Team Gala and South Yorkshire Open Masters Gala at Ponds Forge International Sport Centre with our ladies relay team taking Gold!


During 2015 an amazing 1,400 personal best times were achieved by our members in competition … 600 more than were swum in 2014!


Do you feel inspired? Why not come down for a free trial?


Can you Sponsor Sharks?


ASA Regulations for Short Course competition makes our 25m pool hire at Scunthorpe and Gainsborough a necessity 5 to 6 times per year for Club Championships and to facilitate participation in League competition. Our annual Halloween Open Meet is hosted at Beverley as the extra spectator capacity on offer at the Beverley Sports Complex is essential, as this gala is our main fundraiser. Pool hire is expensive, ranging from a few hundred pounds per hour to thousands for day hire. This expense is, in part, covered by entry fees but can require a significant level of subsidy through Sharks funds. This represents a major expense for the Club and something we look to support through sponsorship. In return for sponsorship we acknowledge that generosity on our website, our notice board located at the entrance to our training pool (also well used by members of the local community) and in our annual Halloween Open Meet programme.

We rely on funding solely raised by our own events and the support of local business and charities.   New sponsors and continued sponsorship are much welcomed and we would invite you to contact us if you feel you could kindly support Sharks in this way.