About Carnforth Otters

Carnforth Otters ASC is a competitive swimming club. Our aim is to help each one of our swimmers to achieve their potential, whether competing as an individual or as a member of a team; we do not exist purely to help children to learn to swim.

Carnforth and District Otters ASC was launched in 1977 alongside the newly built Carnforth Swimming Pool and for many years we were well and truly beaten by most of the local clubs. We persevered, using whatever resources could be made available, including a 10m pool at Morphy’s Barn, Borwick, and travelling overseas to compete due to our then non-accredited status with the Amateur Swimming Association. In the mid 1980’s things started to change with several coaches introducing structured and scientific training programs. That started producing results with our first wins against Lancaster City and the mighty Fleetwood at their own invitation gala. In 1985, 1986 and 1987 Carnforth Otters won the Microleague North West with 5 swimmers holding National Qualifying Times. Today, the club has 230 swimmers aged between 4 years and masters, boasts well over 30 swimmers that have achieved the magical goal of a National Qualifying Times, supports Triathlon and Pentathlon in addition to competitive Swimming, and has a team of 30 ASA teachers and coaches supporting the training program with sessions 6 days per week. We are active members of the South Cumbria Network and the North Lancs Swimming Association

Who runs the Club?

A committee, elected at the A.G.M., of up to twenty members and officers who meet once a month run the club. Poolside staff may serve on the committee but they also have their own meetings to discuss coaching matters. It is essential to realize that Otters are a club run entirely by volunteers and that, whilst we are fortunate that, from time to time, former Otters parents with a lot of experience have stayed on to help the club, we do rely on new parents helping out in all sorts of ways. This may involve poolside assistance or coaching, membership of the committee, or help with galas, fundraising, swimwear, newsletter etc. Without parents giving of their time the club could not function. Find out more about the committee…

Club Policies

The club operates under ASA rules and maintains policies related to all areas of governance. These can be downloaded from the “Our Policies” page of this site.

Club fees

The A.S.A. sets registration fees that the club has to pay annually for each swimmer competing, whether as a team member or as an individual and, after applying a small subsidy, the club passes these charges on to members. Family membership fees are also charged and these are a legal requirement to cover insurance liabilities. The cost of pool hire for our training sessions, currently (2016) well over £45,000pa, is met by squad fees, which the committee has to set each year. We try to be as fair as possible in relating squad fees to the amount of pool time available to each group such that, as swimmers progress through the club, they will pay higher fees but get more time available. This is not strictly a linear relationship however as there are other factors to consider relating to the teaching and coaching needs of different groups. Whereas the youngest ages have only 2 short sessions a week, we aim to provide two-hour sessions for the top squad, who currently have 10-14.5 hours per week. This amount of training may seem a lot, but it is essential to enable our best swimmers to achieve their potential in competition against elite squad swimmers who have even more hours available to them; the committee is always seeking more water time for our swimmers. View the list of current fees…

Who can join?

We take children from 4 years and upwards irrespective of whether they can swim. Before joining the club, children will be invited for an assessment in order that we can allocate appropriate swim sessions. Some ages and ability levels may have waiting lists. Read more about joining Otters…