To place the Club at the heart of our community, providing children and volunteers with an incredible positive environment and the coaching and support to fulfil their potential. We are focused on becoming the blueprint for all other clubs to follow with excellence in parent engagement, volunteer recruitment, and coaching - all fully focused to give our swimmers the best experience in the country.
About Kinross Otters
Kinross Otters is a successful and friendly swimming club offering a safe environment for children of all ages to develop swimming technique and stamina. In 2019, Kinross Otters won Scottish Swimming's Club of the Year award marking it as the most vibrant in the country. Our Club is competitive, encouraging Otters to attend galas in the Midland District (which stretches from Fife to Montrose) and beyond.
Kinross Otters was formed in 1972 and originally used the swimming pool in the Green Hotel when it was available for public use. Training then moved to Cardenden before ultimately moving to Live Active Loch Leven when that facility opened in 1983. The Club still trains at LALL today.
Our training sessions are fun and challenging. Many of our Otters use the all-round fitness, stamina, and muscle strength provided by swimming to compete in other sports such as triathlon, water polo and tetrathlon.
The Club is affiliated to Scottish Swimming (S.A.S.A), and we hold open assessments three times a year. We have four squads in the club, and actively encourage and support swimmers with their progression through Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Currently we have 82 swimmers across the five squads (25 Bronze, 20 Silver, 15 Gold, 16 Platinum, and our recent addition of a Masters Squad), a further 62 non swimming members of which 46 are trained officials, and a fabulous team of trained and accredited coaches to develop each swimmer on his/her own journey of achievement.
We focus on developing and supporting all involved in the Club: swimmer, coach, official, or volunteer. Everyone is vital to the Club being the best it can be.
We encourage our swimmers at all levels complete in District and Divisional Galas. We create the environment to ensure each of our swimmers has ample opportunity to improve their PB’s while also having fun at galas with fellow Otters. The Club has had swimmers breaking District records, swimming in National Competitions and representing the District at both DRP and Inter-Regions for many years. April 2022 is looking to see an unprecedented number of Otters qualifying for the Scottish National Age Groups competition in Glasgow.
Otters coaches have been involved in the DRP and Perth & Kinross squads over the years, with three Otters being chosen to participate in the Mini Olympics in Aschaffenburg in 2009. The Club has been and continues to be very supportive to multisport activities with several members being part of Scottish Triathlon squads, leading to a highlight in 2014 of an Otter alumnus competing in triathlon at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In 2021 and 2022 our current Otters continue to excel with Emily Cumming's qualifying for British Swimming Trials and Struan Bennet being crowned British Youth Triathlon Champion with greater things to come, we are sure as he goes from strength to strength.
As a competitive club, we have a busy calendar of events, and each one will be listed on the Active Portal (through Swim Manager) website. Each Otter, parent, or carer is invited to create an account on the Active Portal; all the details of a swimmer's meets, races, and PB’s can be accessed there as well.
Our culture is at the heart of our Club’s identity. Our guiding principle is ‘a community club with a competitive edge’. The Club’s life blood is engaged members, both swimmer and parent together. We strive for inclusion to ensure everyone’s voice is heard so that we can learn from each other, value our members’ contributions, and use their insights and feedback to guide the future of our Club.
We started by listening. We are fortunate to have amongst our ranks an acknowledged expert in market research, who over the course of two months explored the views of current and past Otters to understand the true value gained from the Club, to identify and embrace what makes our Club unique, and to use the feedback in targeting where we can improve. It is part of our inclusion to share with members what we learned and how their views are shaping the development of the Club. Our values of inclusion and improvement have been shared with other clubs to strengthen all.
By listening, agreeing, and moving forward with clarity as a unit, we have focused on building an inclusive club which serves the needs of all our swimmers. These needs range from fostering close social connections between swimmers and ensuring inclusion to supporting others through performance coaching and pathways to SNAGs.
We have structured our committee to ensure each role reflects the needs of our members and the progressive development of the Club. Accessibility and engagement have been key to our success. We have introduced roles focused on engagement, volunteering, and communications. The impact? Currently we have 46 trained officials to support our 82 swimmers.
Through focusing on accessibility and striving to be an approachable Club, we have made it a simple and positive experience to become engaged. Inclusion extends to every aspect of our club - especially the committee. We include anyone who is interested in being on the committee without requiring them to hold a formal position. We have also made it easy for swimmers to re-join the Club if they have left but circumstances have changed to allow them the chance to return.
We embrace learning and leveraging the expertise of others. We have asked the Midland District regional development manager for help in classroom-based awareness sessions on resilience, team spirit, dealing with success/failure, and mental health/wellbeing on the whole. We’d like to create a “safe space”/positive culture for our swimmers.
Reinforcing our culture and acting on feedback about kit, we underwent a new kit selection engaging with members on suppliers and kit design and now have an online portal to order kit as and when rather than ordering only once per year. Why? It is important that we do more than listen, we must act on our members’ views and ensure we make our Club as accessible as possible.
As part of cementing a strong Club culture and celebrating the personal success of our swimmers across every squad and ability, we provide and fund new swim caps branded for each squad. As a swimmer moves squads, they receive a new cap for that squad. At competition and training, we systematically get all swimmers together and take pictures (with permission) for social media, reinforcing that we are a team. The impact of the small things is powerful. We are a noisy club at competitions. When one Otter swims, all shout and support.
Since its inception in the 1970s, Kinross Otters has been for its swimmers and members run by volunteers . As an affiliated club of our national body, Scottish Swimming, we ensure complete adherence to the management frameworks and constitution put in place by our governing body.
A copy of the latest PDF version of our constitution is downloadable below. Please reach out to the Club if you have any questions relating to the document or how the Club is managed. To be part of the Club, please do not hesitate to volunteer and become part of its rich history.
Protecting our swimmers
Our swimmers and volunteers are at the heart of our club, and ensuring they are protected from any form of injury or harm is paramount. We adhere strictly to Scottish Swimming's best practice guidance for welfare and protection. All volunteers have a protecting vulnerable groups (PVG) check and valid certificate in place. Compliance with the Club's protection policy is mandatory for every swimmer and non swimming member.
We have two highly experienced and trained Welfare and Protection Officers (WPOs) in the Club who can advise and are a direct route to discuss any concerns or answer any questions. They are reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of our Club's Protection and Wellbeing Policy can be downloaded below.