Dane Valley Swimming Club History

Dane Valley Amateur Swimming Club was formed by Des Cox and friends Gordon Dale, Bill Archer, Joan Tylecote and Bertram Sefton in July 1975. They decided to form a competitive swimming club based at the new Congleton Leisure Centre where there was a new 25m 6 lane competition pool built following the closure of the outdoor pool; where Daneside theatre now stands.

Initially a letter of invitation was placed in the Congleton Chronicle inviting anyone interested in swimming to come along and help get things moving. This was the start of Dane Valley Swimming Club.

From the outset the club was very popular with the young people of the town for both the sporting and social activities. The most memorable highlights were the annual exchange with Congleton’s twin town Oosterhout in the Netherlands, the first exchange was in 1980 and was a huge success with all involved.

Des was the Head Coach and was supported by a dedicated team of volunteers many of whom were parents. The club was successful in producing some outstanding swimmers who have reached international status in the later stages of their competitive swimming careers.

Des dedicated many hours per week to the swimming club and during the 1980’s and early 90’s he was the instructor for the younger club swimmers, those who had just progressed from the teaching pool. Des had 19 enjoyable years at the club before moving house to Northamptonshire in June 1994.

Over the years Dane Valley has progressed onto competing in different leagues:- Crusader League, Deva League, Speedo League (now known as The Arena National Swimming League) and offered youngsters from the town quality swimming training on their doorstep.

Swimmers have achieved success locally in the primary schools annual swimming galas, County, Regional and National levels of competition. Swimmers have also been picked for County teams, North Midlands teams and some have gained National qualifying times.

Throughout the years many youngsters were taught to swim at the club by Ruth Fitzgerald , whose daughter Erika (Gittins) now heads up the teaching programme. We are now seeing swimmers who were competing for the club back in the late 70’s and early 80’s bringing their children to the club to learn to swim and follow in their parents' footsteps.

Danes today is a successful SWIM21 Teaching & Skill ASA Accredited club offering the membership a sound foundation in competitive swimming skills.