The Sunday sessions are held at University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness in Edgbaston, from 2-3 pm.
“I love Sunday’s friendly, supportive swim training – it’s led by dedicated experienced coaches in a great pool. It’s also a brilliant way to flush out toxins after a Sunday long run/ride. I always feel fresh and revived afterwards.” Helen, ultra runner and swimmer.
Who is the session aimed at?
Mixed abilities: from those who want to improve their swimming to age group athletes. There is a novice lane, but the session is held in deep water and ideally you should be able to swim a minimum of 200m freestyle (front crawl).
Is there a charge for the session?
Yes, bring £5 cash per session, or pay monthly in the BRAT shop.
What does the session usually involve?
A warm up, coached drills, a main set with different focus depending upon the session and a cool down.
What do I need to know if it’s my first time?
Try to arrive at 13:40 the first time, to allow time for form filling and changing, to be ready to start swimming at 14:00.
Let us know you are coming and the coach can meet you at reception to help you get in. Our coaches usually wear a red BRAT Swim Coach polo shirt and we have designated lanes in the pool, usually on the side nearest the Bristol Road and on the right as you enter the pool area from the changing room.
You can purchase or hire a locker band at the university sports centre reception.
What do I need to bring?
Swimming costume and goggles should be worn. Ideally, pull buoy, kick board, fins, paddles and bag to keep tidy – see the Sunday Kit List for details. Drinks bottle for during the session (there is a water fountain poolside).
Bring your BRAT ICE tag if you’re already a member, to leave on the side of the pool: if you’re a prospective member or haven’t received your tag yet, bring emergency contact details in another format.
Words from the coach
Sunday swim coach Rob Slater joined BRAT in 2002 and got into coaching accidentally – by stepping in when one of the lanes at his son’s session needed some extra help! He has subsequently qualified as a level 2 triathlon coach, as well as completing open water and strength and conditioning workshops.
A keen Ironman triathlon racer, Rob also enjoys trail running, especially along coastal path runs, and open water swimming.
When he’s not being so active, he loves reading, anything from classics to modern fiction; cooking, especially seafood and Indian food; and art.
What do you love about coaching the session, Rob?
“It is particularly satisfying to see people develop their swimming in relation to their own goals. I know that I am just a facilitator but seeing athletes achieve and develop their goals is inspiring. And coaching helps me to reflect on my own swimming.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about coming along for the first time?
“We’re an inclusive club and would love to be able to help with your swimming. You can do as much or as little of the session as you wish.”