The Club was founded in 1975, initially calling itself Thamesdown Swim Squad before officially registering with Wilts. 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.
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. In 1981, after just 5 years, Thamesdown ASC won both Winter and Summer Leagues and has continued to win these leagues for over 20 years.
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, is Lesley Leffers, who “came through the ranks”. Bringing her children with her she quickly became an enthusiastic teacher and has since gone through a number of courses to become a fully qualified UKCC Level 3 Senior Coach.
Tigersharks has dominated Wiltshire swimming for many years and on entering the National Speedo league quickly gained promotion to division 1. 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 has since gone on to swim in three Olympics.
The Club’s first major International medal came at the European Championships in Sheffield in 1993 when Tigersharks won Bronze Medal in the Ladies 4x100m Medley Relay.
The Clubs most recent National Age Group champion is 19 year old Jazmin Carlin who won the 200m, 400m & 800m Freestyle at Sheffield in August 2009. Carlin has been identified by British Swimming as one of a small number of Freestyle swimmers in the country who are potential medallists for the 2012 Olympics. She has already competed internationally for Wales in the Commonwealth Games where she was a finalist in the 800m Freestyle, the European Juniors and the Junior Youth Olympics. This year as part of the 4x200m FC team in Rome, Jazz bought home a World Championship Bronze Medal. Alexander Jones 17 also shone this year when he snatched a Silver medal in the 400m Individual Medley at the National Youth Championship 2009.
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 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.
Please call Lesley Leffers on 07707 470 100
Please email Tigersharks at email@example.com