What is Masters swimming?

Masters swimming for people who no longer swim ‘age group’ that is up to 18 years old. Technically the youngest masters are in the A age group 25-29 years old with further five year age bands up to 80+ years when there is one age group for all. In addition the X age group caters for those from 18 to 24 years old.


Many Masters swim to maintain fitness but a significant percentage also compete. There are three masters only clubs in the county and several clubs cater for masters within their training structure.  The three specialist Masters only clubs are Birmingham Masters, Kenilworth Masters and Camp Hill Edwardians Swimming club.  Masters also swim at Coventry, Rugby, Solihull.  Birmingham University and Warwick University by their nature – mainly students, are masters clubs though some members compete in the age group events.


For individuals there is the Midlands Masters Championships usually held at Leamington Spa. It is not uncommon to see new British, European and even World records set at this event.


For those who meet the qualifying times there are also the National, European and World Championships which can be entered. Needless to say the standards for these are high.  Several members regularly compete in these events and have held individual and team records at all levels.

There are also relay events both Freestyle and Medley, Men, Women and mixed (two of each sex) are competed for in the 100+ (combined ages of the four people in the team) to 280+ categories.  Competition between Warwickshire clubs is very keen at the Midlands event but they are also competing against teams from outside the county.

Inter-county event 2015

As last year the Midlands round of the Inter-County Masters competition took place at Rugby.  Many thanks to Masters team photoThe 2014 team

Rugby SC for providing the four key officials plus the AOE operators.

Unfortunately Worcestershire dropped out shortly before the gala; because they couldn’t raise a team, leaving Warwickshire as the sole WM representative.

Before the gala started the Associations President Mrs Susanna Carden presented first time representative’s badges to five people a fifteenth representation badge to Elaine Bromwich and a ten representation badge to Steve Bircham.

Initially the event had a slightly different emphasis than previous years, before ‘normal service’ was resumed.  Normally Warwickshire has been dominant in the senior ages and had a hard fight in the lower age groups.  This year competition in the older ages was tougher; a symptom of how Masters has matured as a sport.  In the lower age groups the events were slightly easier.  Despite this change of emphasis Warwickshire were quickly in the lead and steadily drew away from the rest, to finish:

Warwickshire                     366    Points

Nottinghamshire               287    Points

Derbyshire                           261    Points

Northamptonshire            198    Points

Leicestershire                     181.5 Points

Lincolnshire                       80.5   Points


Warwickshire were first in 41 of the 68 races and second in 18, hence the high score in a hard fought event.  Overall three new West Midland records were set on the day

Of particular note is the contribution from Abbie Brown.  Though she keeps fit and Trevor knew of her strengths, she doesn’t normally train with a club, so the County had to quickly arrange for her to be registered through the good offices of Kenilworth Masters.  She was second in the 25+ backstroke overall results.  In the 100+ relay events she contributed to a 1st in the freestyle and second in the medley.  Thanks also to those who had to cover for unexpected absences.

The times were brought forwarded and aggregated with those of the other four galas to determine the overall Inter-County result.  This gave Warwickshire second place, closer to Yorkshire than last year and with a much greater margin 500 points to Sussex who were just 5 points behind last time.

The team’s track record continues to be impressive.  Over the last fourteen years the team has been first eight times and never lower than third.  This is in no small measure due to the team captain Trevor Clark who persuades the best Masters in the County to give of their time and swim for the county; he is already planning for 2016.

The top eight counties results were:

1 Yorkshire 1606.0

2 Warwickshire 1553.0

3 Hampshire 1326.0

4 Middlesex 1315.0

5 Nottinghamshire 1194.0

6 Norfolk 1168.0

7 Dorset 1151.0

8 Devon 1148.0


Further information

Anyone interested in Masters swimming should first enquire of their local club as to what facilities are available; they will find them very helpful. Links to all clubs are provided on the Links page of this site. There are limits on the numbers that can be accommodated in some clubs and some sessions are restricted to a specific group within a club. Each club will explain any such restriction.


The county masters secretary is Paul Welsh

See the club links and individual web sites for contact information on individual clubs

Further information can also be obtained from:-

Here you can find the ‘Hub’ and sign up for the ASA Masters Newsletter if you wish.