Watt is Swimming?

The Heriot-Watt Swimming Club is a GOLD Watt Mark level club and was awarded Club of the Year in 2022. As our club continues to grow, we are looking to expand our pool sessions and are currently in the process of hiring a new head coach. Our team of 7 student coaches, along with a weekly dryland circuits fitness session, ensures that all members receive comprehensive training and support.

With regular swimming sessions and exclusive social events for members, we aim to provide all our swimmers with a memorable sporting and social experience whilst at University. We welcome swimmers of all levels, whether you are looking to improve your skills, maintain general fitness, or compete at a higher level. Our sessions cater to various goals, offering tailored coaches to meet the needs of every swimmer. Join us to be part of our vibrant and inclusive community!

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes, you need to be able to swim at least 25 metres, but the club now offers a ‘Learn to Swim’ course which is designed to help beginners build their confidence and improve their swimming skills. This course is a great opportunity for those who are new to swimming to receive instruction and support from our experienced teacher Lauren Sandison.

Learn to Swim

Our ‘Learn to Swim’ programme, started last year, is set to expand in the years to come. Recognising that swimming is an essential life skill, this programme offers the perfect opportunity for those who have never swum before or have little water confidence to learn while at University.

The programme consists of a block of sessions each semester, where you will practice body positioning, breathing techniques, and different swimming strokes. With small class sizes, the teacher can provide personalised feedback and ample time for learners to ask questions.

Upon completion of the programme, you will have developed your skills, putting you on the path to feeling confident enough to swim 25 meters unaided, which will allow you to progress further into Heriot-Watt Swimming Club’s sessions.


We provide many competitive opportunities throughout the year for both the competitive team and our recreational swimmers.

Our ever-growing competitive squad competes in the Scottish 2nd Division, narrowly missing out last year on promotion to Division 1. This year we are confident in our ability to compete for promotion once again. We participate in head-to-head meets against other Scottish Universities and take swimmers to the Short Course BUCS at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, among other competitions throughout the year.

Recreational swimmers can compete in specific inter-club rec team swimming galas and out own Club Champs gala at the end of the academic year, which is also open to alumni.

We offer our competition squad a professional Strength & Conditioning programme throughout the academic year with a swimmer focused training plan in place.  The competition squad is selected at the beginning of each year through time trials (week 2/3 of the semester).


The swimming club has 4 external pool sessions a week, with plans to add another session for beginners, and transport to the venues provided from Oriam reception. Our sessions cater for all levels from beginners to competitive swimmers, with a new club structure being implemented to ensure all members get the most out of all their sessions.

In addition to this we run a weekly Wednesday morning dryland fitness session taken by our student coaches.

Our swimming sessions are located at James Gillespie High School and Queensferry High School.

Monday20:00-21:30Queensferry HS
Thursday20:30-21:45James Gillespie HS
Friday20:30-21:45James Gillespie HS
Sunday12:30-14:30Queensferry HS

Club Structure

Our club has implemented a new 4-squad system to enhance the quality of our training sessions. This structure allows us to sort swimmers into appropriate lanes and tailor sessions based on squad levels, providing clarity on session attendance as the club continues to grow, and enabling custom training sets to be made to suit all levels of ability.

The Squads:

Development Squad

  • For swimmers who only swim 25 meters at a time.
  • Swim times slower than 50 seconds for 50 meters.

Bronze Squad

  • Swimmers who can complete a minimum of 50% of a full session.
  • Swim times slower than 50 seconds for 50 meters.

Silver Squad

  • Active recreational swimmers
  • Confidently swim 200 meters without stopping.
  • Can perform tumble turns.
  • Able to complete a minimum of 80% of a session

Gold Squad

  • Competition team
  • Selected through trials.

This new structure ensures that all members receive training tailored to their level, promoting continuous improvement and progression within the club.


This year, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our student coaching team from 2 to 7 members. Leading our team are our returning coaches and new President, Jonathon Brooks, alongside Catriona Sutherland. They are joined by our talented second-year student coaches: Owen Williamson, Laura Murray, Ryan Broadley, Chloe Barron and Eva Alguero. This expansion ensures that our club’s coaching is well positioned for the future.

Each of our student coaches has competed at the national level and brings a diverse background in coaching swimmers of all abilities. With their unique skill sets, we are looking forward to a year of exciting improvements and achievements for our club!

Committee 24/25

President – Jono Brooks

Women’s Captain – Laura Murray

Men’s Captain – Owen Williamson

Social Secretaries – Heather Rae & Ryan Broadley

Treasurer – Jonathan Higgs

Secretary – Jonah Dahlin

Social Media Officer – Emilia Rae

TASC Officer – Kyle Muirhead


The swimming club is renowned for hosting some of the best weekly social events in the Sports Union. We organise joint socials with other clubs, offering a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and explore different sports!

Our annual charity ceilidh is a highlight of the year, bringing together members for a night of fun and fundraising. Additionally, we host alumni socials throughout the academic year, providing the chance to connect with past members of the team. These events not only foster a strong sense of community within the club, but allow for networking and building lasting friendships.


At Heriot-Watt Swimming Club, the wellbeing of our members is a top priority. We have two designated wellbeing officers, Owen Williamson and Laura Murray, dedicated to supporting the mental and physical health of our swimmers. Additionally, our entire committee has undergone wellbeing raining to ensure a supportive environment for everyone. We believe that a focus on wellbeing is essential, both for individual growth and overall success of the club.

Social Media

Whether you’re looking to compete, improve your skills, or just have a great time, our club offers something for everyone. Join us and become part of our vibrant and inclusive swimming community.

If you would like any further information about the club or you are interested in joining, please email us at swimming@hw.ac.uk or send us a message on Instagram @hwswimteam.