Performance sport - Swimming


UWE Swimming Club is a relatively young but increasingly successful part of The Students’ Union at UWE and affiliated to the ASA. The club welcome swimmers of any ability and is ideal if you want to keep up your fitness and/or compete. Many of the club's members have the opportunity to compete in various competitions; the majority of which are in the BUCS championships.

Elite Swimmers have access to the United Bristol Swimming Club (UBSC) which is the leading performance and competitive swimming club in Bristol. UBSC offers elite coaching at national, international or British university standards which personally caters for individual needs and aspirations. The programme is supported by Bristol North SC, Bristol Penguins SC, Henleaze SC, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and provides a programme to over 1000 swimmers in Bristol.


UBSC complements the UWE swimming club whose programme provides a recreational and semi-competitive opportunity for students to keep fit. The programme is delivered at the University of Bristol swimming pool at Clifton in Bristol, and is linked to a number of other hub pools across the region.

Training and Competition

The UWE swimming club compete in the individual and team BUCS championships. Through UBSC swimmers can compete in Arena League and various grades of open meets throughout the year, a great outlet for both elite and developing athletes.

The Performance training squad exists for elite swimmers to gain access to enhanced resources in support of the athlete. Swimmers who achieve the necessary criteria join the performance squad and swim together under the direct supervision of the Director of Coaching and set training program with 7-10 Weekly sessions available (including land training).

Athletes will take advantage of specialist screening in Physiotherapy and Strength Conditioning. Depending on ability and subject to successful application, athletes gain access to the High Performance facilities and eligibility for specialist funding/assistance packages.

All performance-level swimmers will be invited to undertake an initial screening process carried out by qualified sports science staff at UWE Bristol. It covers prevention and rehabilitation of injury, fitness testing, strength and conditioning support, plus access to physiotherapy, sports massage and osteopathy.

Strength and Conditioning is built around the timetable of the athlete so it fits in with their studies and developed alongside appropriate ancillary sessions including strength, mobility and nutrition, thus providing a complete resource for athletic performance.


Overseen by ex-international swimmer, performance director Jez Birds and supported by University Sports Departments, Swimming Clubs, coaches and teachers.

Jeremy (Jez) Birds – UWE Swimming Head Coach

Jez was born in Sheffield but lived in Stafford where he went to school and began his swimming career. He attended University in Cardiff and competed in the World University Games. After graduating Jez became a full time athlete as a Senior England International and representing Great Britain. Jez continues to swim and is currently the British and European Masters Record Holder in the Mens 4x100 Freestyle Relay and British Record holder in the Mens 4x100 Medley Team.

On taking a gap year to Australia Jez moved into a coaching career and moved to Bristol as the Head Coach for UWE Bristol. The programme has developed from a weekly stroke correction session to a functional club with several National and British Championship qualifiers attending within the first 3 years. Over the last 5 years Jez has been one of the lead coaches in the England Talent Programme and South West Beacon Programme coaching multiple national finalists, champions and GB swimmers.

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