Competitive Swimming

Would you like to give competitive swimming a try?

We are expanding our squad structure and would be delighted to hear from any swimmers wishing to develop their racing skills as part of a competitive swimming programme.

Who are we?

Winchester CIty Penguins Swimming Club (WCPSC) has been teaching Winchester to swim since 1901 and today offers a swim pathway from lessons through to competitive squads, masters and open water swimming.  We are a registered charity that also provides outreach swimming opportunities in our community.

Our top competitive swimmers race at County, Regional, National and International level and we also provide routes into swim teaching, coaching and lifeguarding.

Why choose WCPSC?

We’ve asked some of our squad members to tell us what they enjoy about the club.

Swimmer G, Junior Performance Squad: “Bronte told me something about my Fly and when I did it, I totally went faster. She knows stuff.”

Swimmer K: “My most memorable moment was when I had to do a time trial to get to represent the club at Arena League.  Being part of the team with face paint and pizza on the bus when we won was great!”

LM, Parent: “Swimming is the gel that holds their social life, their mental wellbeing altogether and brings them such a lot of happiness.”

What is the process for joining one of the competitive squads?

To arrange a trial, please initially email Rachael at, giving details of your child’s name, date of birth and swimming experience to date.

New swimmers will always be invited for a trial so that their level/ability can be assessed. When you come for a trial session, either by joining in squad training or coming to our next open day, you will have the chance to see how we work and to ask any questions.

We can also put you in contact with the parent squad representative for that squad.

The trial will determine which of the training squads is the best fit for your child.

Successful candidates will be given details of membership and training fees and the timetable for their squad.  Places will always be dependent upon a swimmer’s current ability and subject to available space within the club.

As a guideline of minimum standards, typically swimmers accepted into the Bronze squad:

  • Are 8-9 years of age
  • Have efficient strokes on front crawl, backstroke & breaststroke.
  • Have good basic butterfly.
  • Have completed stage 7/8 of the National Teaching Plan
  • Are confident swimming 200m in a 25m pool
  • Demonstrate “coachability” – an ability to listen and learn during training sessions
  • Are able to commit to training at least twice a week
  • Love swimming and are keen to progress!

What if I’m an older swimmer?

If you are an older swimmer or an already-established competitive swimmer looking to join the club, we would be happy to discuss how WCPSC can help you continue your swimming journey.  Please email either Oli Purgavie (  We will contact you to organise an assessment or to invite you to try a taster session with the appropriate squad.

What happens if the squad is full?

Your name will go on a waiting list. Waiting lists vary depending on the time of year and the number of swimmers already in the squad. You will only know which squad your child should go into after the initial assessment.

What happens after I am offered a place?

You will be asked to complete and return a membership application form, code of conduct, medical questionnaire and photo consent form and agree to join the club for a probationary period of up to 3 months.

Your squad’s Lead Coach will be there to meet you and welcome you to your first session.