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Why Mount Kelly Swimming?

Mount Kelly Swimming Prospectus 2020

The Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF)

Douglas | Mount Kelly Swimmer

Hannah Russell | Alumni

Athena Clayson | Alumni

Athena is an Old Mount Kelleian (alumni) and is now studying Journalism at Florida State University

Ben Harrison | Alumni

Ben is now studying Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University

Harry Turner | Alumni

Harry is now studying at Biology at Swansea University

Emily Haimes | Alumni

Emily is now studying Psychology at West Virginia University

Ollie’s Story

Mount Kelly Swimming provides the very best solution for combining excellence in swimming performance and a fully integrated academic programme.

Training to swim competitively at a national or international level takes many hours a week every week of the year. Managing this alongside the academic demands required to achieve the highest grades at GCSE and A Level is challenging to say the least. Not only do you need first class facilities, the best coaches and excellent teachers you also need the support and care that will enable swimmers to manage the pressures that they will inevitably feel.

With an 8 lane 50m pool and a 4 lane 25m pool together with a well-equipped strength and conditioning gym, all within the grounds of the School, swimmers at Mount Kelly are never more than a few minutes walk away from the pool, their class-rooms or the boarding houses. Our world class coaching team work closely with the academic and pastoral staff at the School to ensure every aspect of the athlete’s journey is the best it can be.

A recent dissertation published by Ian Cumming and Karl New (2017) was prompted by a comment made by the headmaster of a state secondary school, with excellent academic results, who said:

“a school full of competitive swimmers would be fantastic, they are all hard-working and perform highly academically.”

Cumming and New’s extensive review of the literature looks at many aspects of cognition in adolescents from both a physiological and psychological perspective and conclude that there are both short and long term exercise-cognition benefits and that these are accrued through a variety of mechanisms. Being part of the squad and participating together competitively accrue psychological and psycho-social benefits leading to enhanced self-esteem and better academic performance.

The ‘Complete Swimmer’ programme at Mount Kelly is designed to ensure our swimmers can realise their full potential in the pool and, equally importantly, to capitalise on the academic benefits that have been proved to accrue from their training programmes. The discipline and self-motivation of the swimmers contributes to a positive work ethic for all our pupils and the School day is carefully structured to support the needs of everyone whether it be in the pool, in the orchestra, hiking on the moor, on the rugby pitch or on the stage.

The Complete Swimmer

The structure of the academic day and training timetable has been designed specifically to give priority to the needs and demands within our athlete’s chosen sport. With international coaching and excellent tuition this allows our athletes time to train, rest, study and compete to full advantage.

For our youth and senior performance swimmers, we will provide world class coaching; individual goal setting; the most advanced training with testing and monitoring; biomechanical analysis; sports science support; personal mentoring and personal evaluation along with essential tutoring and lifestyle coaching helping to ensure that each individual achieves their full potential.

The success of the Mount Kelly swimming programme is down to the following main factors:

Coaching & Training

We offer over twenty hours training a week, utilising our new 50m pool, 25m pool and gymnasium.

We have specific development pathways for talented swimmers aged 8-18 years.

  • The programme is tailored to individual needs.

Small training group sizes with flexible scheduling allow for individual attention.

  • We take a balanced long-term view on swimming development.
  • The coaching staff give 100% commitment to our swimmers through their knowledge, experience and passion.


We have a very strong technique based programme, which helps junior swimmers develop balance, co-ordination and timing along with essential stroke technique skills in all four strokes.

  • We work regularly on stroke control, stroke efficiency, pace control, racing tactics, starts and turns.
  • Stroke technique and video analysis work above & below the water.

Testing & Monitoring

Our swimming plans, testing and monitoring procedures are inline with National Protocols.

The Swimming Performance Centre (SPC) is the on-site swimming hub for coaches and support staff.


Excellent academic results in 2019:

  • GCSE – Over 40% of all grades awarded were 9-7, over 90% of all candidates were awarded 9-4. 20% of pupils scored 8 or 9 in five or more subjects.
  • A Level and BTEC – 36% of all grades were A/A*, or the equivalent, while 56% of all grades were A*/B, and 99% were a pass.

Our highly successful level 3 BTEC programme in Coaching & Sports Excellence has assisted many of our elite swimmers with the heavy demand of training and racing.

Fully integrated boarding within the School where pastoral care has been judged as ‘excellent’ by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate.

We spend a great deal of time educating our swimmers on training and the reasoning behind training.

The swimming staff and academic staff working closely together to ensure that our athletes can effectively manage their studies and their training.

Strength & Conditioning

It is the mission of the Strength and Conditioning Team to maximise a swimmer’s athletic potential and minimise the risk of injury. The Programme is underpinned by proven scientific principles of strength and conditioning whilst creating a positive, high-energy, encouraging environment, all of which contributes to the holistic development of our swimmers.

Sports Science Support

In September 2018, Mount Kelly commenced a formal relationship with the University of St Mark and St John who will be assisting Mount Kelly Swimming in the delivery of their Sports Science support. This will take the form of swimmer workshops covering subjects that are designed to assist our swimmers with coping with the pressures of being an elite sports person, as well as 1-2-1 sessions with our two associative psychologists.

Melissa Coyle is a registered sport and exercise psychologist who has been practising in elite, national and international sport for 13 years. Melissa is qualified through the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) and The British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) and has been working in swimming for the past 4 years, with a wealth of experience working with individual athletes. Sophie Gibbs-Nicholls will be supporting Melissa in the delivery of workshops. She is a sport psychologist trainee who is currently completing her stage two training with the British Psychological Society and who is supervised during her applied practice by registered sport and exercise professionals.

The 1-2-1 sessions are charged at a rate for £40 per 40 minutes session and can be booked directly through our associate psychologists. If you are interested in this service please speak directly with the Director of Swimming or Assistant Director of Swimming.


Swimmers can be referred to the on-site, qualified and experienced sports physiotherapist.



The Mount Kelly swimming programme has a priority on swimming pool use.

  • All the boarding, dining, training and school facilities are no more than 400m away. This unique and time efficient component allows swimmers extra training time, extra rest or extra time for studying.

“I go into this season not the athlete I was one year ago. A lot has changed in my life. The way people see me, but more importantly the way I see myself. Throughout my career I have never had the comfort of a great team, like I enjoy now. This time last year I had to make the toughest decision I have ever had to make and start over at a new school. However, knowing what I know now, that decision wouldn’t be one of the toughest, but one of the easiest. That is the impact Mount Kelly and Mount Kelly Swimming has had on my life in one year.”

Julian Chan Quee Lin – Former Captain