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Jess Shaw - Swimming Club Captain
Swimming Club
Swimming Club


The University of Birmingham Swimming Club is an all-inclusive club, that caters for all levels of swimmers. Whether you are a beginner or an international competitor; becoming part of the swimming club will expand your social circles, forge friendships and provide you with some of the best memories of your university experience.

The Swimming Club as an inclusive progressive pathway with 4 squads and dedicated session times. Each Squad is fully coached in order to develop a wide range of swimmers from Club level to British Championship level.

Ranked within the top 8 Swimming Universities in British Universities Competition (BUCS), we offer the opportunity to train and compete at British Championship level whilst combining a top class degree within a top Russell Group university. Our performance squad program runs from September through to July that encompasses BUCS Championships, British Championships and Summer Nationals each year.

Our program offers a prosperous training environment that is fully campus based with all training sessions taking place in our 50m swimming pool within University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness (opened in 2017). The performance squad and scholars are supported by our high performance centre that includes experts in the fields of sport science, strength and conditioning, sport psychology, physiotherapy, nutrition, and lifestyle consultancy. Practitioners work closely with swimming coaches to deliver an effective program with an athlete centred approach to training.

How to get involved

Our club is open to all swimmers, from recreational club swimming, through to performance squad training and competition. If you are interested in joining, please get in touch via social media, or via the red ‘contact us’ button on this page. Our club committee and coaches will help advise which membership is best for you.

The membership fees are:

Swimming high performance (£400)
Swimming competition (£350)
Swimming development (£245)
Swimming fitness (£161).

You can also find out how you can get involved with more swimming activities at Sport and Fitness.

Please note that on top of the club fee there is a £16 fee that covers personal accident insurance when training or competing for the University, access to free cross-training sessions such as circuits and yoga, as well as a contribution to the costs of affiliation to various national governing bodies.  This fee is only payable once so if you did decide to join a second club then you would not need to pay a second fee.

Training times & venues

2019/20 training times (subject to change for 20/21)

High Performance Programme
16 hours and 15 minutes per week (plus 2 x 1 hour strength and conditioning sessions)
Monday AM – 07:00-08:45
Monday PM – 18:00-19:30
Tuesday AM – 06:30-08:30
Wednesday AM – 07:00-08:45
Wednesday PM – 13:30-15:00
Thursday PM – 18:45-20:15
Friday AM – 06:30-08:30
Saturday PM 12:30-14:30

Competitive Programme
12 hours and 30 minutes per week.
Tuesday AM – 06:30-08:30
Tuesday PM – 20:15-22:00
Wednesday PM – 13:30-14:45
Thursday PM – 18:45-20:15
Friday AM – 06:30-08.30
Saturday PM – 14:00-15:30
Sunday PM – 16:00-18:00

Development Programme
6 hours and 45 minutes per week.
Tuesday PM – 20:15-22:00
Wednesday PM – 14:45-16:00
Saturday PM – 12:30-14:00
Sunday PM – 16:00-18:00

Fitness Programme
3 hours per week
Wednesday PM – 15:00-16:00
Saturday PM – 14:30-15:30
Sunday PM – 16:00-17:00/17:00-18:00

There is also the availability to sign up to Spinning and Circuit sessions which take place on Friday and Sunday respectively.

Level of Competition

High Performance Squad
BUCS Short Course Championships
BUCS Long Course Championships
BUCS Team Championships
Swim England National Winter Championships
British Summer Championships
Swim England National Summer Meet
West Midland Swimming Championships
Local open meets

Competitive Squad
BUCS Team Championships
West Midland Swimming Championships
Warwickshire County Championships
Manchester Inter University Competition
Local open meets

Development Squad
Warwickshire County Championships
Manchester Inter University Competition
Local open meets

Fitness Squad
No requirement to compete

Successes and Achievements

Despite the 2019/2020 season being cut short by COVID-19, UoB Swimming had an incredibly successful year, with an amazing 87 personal bests achieved by our swimmers.

Short Course BUCS (Nov 2019)
1 BUCS medal from Sports Scholar Jess Shaw and 4 Para BUCS medals from Ffion Butler saw us place 8th overall. We had a total of 9 swimmers (plus our relay teams) make individual finals, which gave them the opportunity to race world-class athletes. These swimmers achieved several top 10 finishes, adding to our overall BUCS Gala Points.

Winter Nationals (Dec 2019)
6 of our swimmers qualified for the short course nationals. This was an exciting weekend with lots of races and great way to end the semester and the short course season.

BUCS Nationals (LC) (Feb 2020)
2 BUCS medals from 3rd year Sports Scholar Jess Shaw, 8 finalists and relay team finals saw UoB finish 6th in the country, matching our place last year. Another fantastic weekend of racing that was filled pride and a huge sense of achievement! Bring on 2021!

Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus pandemic BUCS Team Finals, British Championships (Olympic Trials) and the Summer Championships were cancelled, however we are very much looking forward to hopefully taking on these races when we return to a more normal way of life.

Meet the coaches

Head Coach
Gary Humpage

Gary Humpage

Gary has been Head Coach since 1996 after working as Assistant Coach for a two-year period. He has consistently developed the club throughout his time as Head of Swimming, ultimately creating an environment that enables swimmers within the club to perform at the highest levels within the UK.

His expertise and experience of coaching at senior level within education has helped numerous student swimmers to develop and achieve. Having coached for many years at the university, Gary understands the balance between academia, swimming and lifestyle activities, ensuring students achieve at all levels.

Notable alumni and current scholars


Chrissie Wellington –
World Kona Ironman Champion
World Record Holder
Gold medallist 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011

Rachel Joyce
World Kona Ironman Medallist (Silver 2013, Bronze 2014, Silver 2015)

Melanie Easter
Atlanta 1996 Paralympics – Gold 400m Freestyle, Silver 4 x 100 Freestyle relay
Sydney 2000 Paralympics – Gold 400 Freestyle, Silver 400 Freestyle, Bronze 200m Individual medley.

Current BUCS Medallists

Jess Shaw
50 /100 Backstroke

Ffion Butler (para)
50/100 Backstroke

Issy Griffiths
800 Freestyle (2019)

Interesting facts

The Swimming team regularly races against reigning World, European and Commonwealth Champions at all their major meets, thus giving us the opportunity to compare ourselves literally to the best in the World. We are very proud that the team has qualified for BUCS Team Finals 20 times in the past 22 years. Maintaining an atmosphere tailored to performance has enabled our swimmers to reach new heights whilst at university, excelling within sport and academia.

The club welcomes and supports a wide range of members from performance level to those that wish to swim as part of a group socially. There is a group to suit everyone.

There is opportunity to become part of our Club Committee, where student swimmers are encouraged and supported in building additional skills that can be transferred into future employment after graduation. There are a range of committee positions within a large club committee that facilitate experiences that help develop a wide range of skills whilst swimming and studying at Birmingham.

Scholarships are available through our UoB Sport Scholarship program.

Key contacts

Head Coach: Gary Humpage

Club Captains: Jess Shaw & George Boulton