The Club was founded in 1975, initially calling itself Thamesdown Swim Squad before officially registering with Wiltshire County ASA as Thamesdown A.S.C. Later name changes included Thamesdown Tigersharks before finally in 1990 becoming known as Tigersharks ASC.
It was the brainchild of a few local swimmers parents who felt there was a need for a swimming club devoted solely to competitive swimming – no water polo, no diving, no synchro, and at the beginning, no learn to swim either. That is a vision that remains today with a superb Learn to Swim Programme added to the club.
Initially water time was limited; one lane at Milton Rd for early morning training – 17 in the lane, ranging in age from 10 to 17 years, was not uncommon.
The Club gradually gained members and water time and began the “learn to swim” programme in 1977.
Our first coach John Sutton was followed by Derek Carthy and then Ron Rennie. In 1990 the club became the first in Wiltshire to appoint a full time professional coach called David Lyles. The current coach, also a full time professional Coach, is Lesley Leffers, who “came through the ranks”. Bringing her children with her she quickly became an enthusiastic teacher and over the years has gone through a number of courses to become a fully qualified UKCC Level 3 Senior Coach.
Tigersharks has been one of the dominating Wiltshire swimming clubs for many years and have continued to do so to this day. This encouraged swimmers to enter the few Open Meets that were then available in order to qualify for the National Age Groups and Championships. They achieved quick success here too with Thamesdown ASC swimmers appearing in 12 finals at Blackpool in 1981.
The first International swimmer created by the Club was Martin Warnes. In 1982 he won the 100m Breaststroke Age Group championships and was selected for the England Youth Squad, representing England in Cork and Italy.
In 1990 Jane Woodward, following swims at the National Championships, was selected for England and later GB Youth Squads. The following year Paul French achieved England Youth status.
In 1991, a young Breaststroker, Jamie King, joined Tigersharks and 5 months later set a British Junior record for the 50m Breaststroke. Jamie then went on to swim in three Olympics.
In 2012 Grant Turner became Tigersharks second Olympian swimming in the London 2012 Games.
The Clubs most recent Olympian is Jazmin Carlin who won two Silver medals in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Carlin was identified by British Swimming at age 14 years as one of a small number of Freestyle swimmers in the country who were potential World class medallists for Great Britain. She has competed internationally for Wales in the Commonwealth Games where she was a gold medallist in the 800m Freestyle, the European Long and Shirt Course Championships and the World Long and Short Course Championships picking up numerous medals along the way. Carlin is the darling of Tigersharks swimming club and has never forgotten her roots or the coaches and teachers who helped her in some way throughout her career which started age 5 years.
Due to its origins, breaking from a multi swimming discipline club structure, the Club has always had a very clear number one objective – to provide the best possible opportunities available to all levels of competitive swimmers.
The spirit and vision of its founder members lives on.
If you are interested in fulfilling your swimming dreams contact us at Tigersharks today.