So the ASA now has an established web presence, but is it any good and what happens next?
For a while there was no defined ASA presence on the web, the www.swimming.org site came and went, and the ASA awards site continued to develop, but it wasn’t until shortly before the Olympic Trials that the ASA finally revealed its new site. You may well ask why the name changed to britishswimming.org but when the new ASA Director of Communications, Dee McIntosh, commenced her role in June a totally fresh start was made with the web site. From the initial project meeting on June 14th the web site was redesigned and launched with all new information in time for the Olympic Trials. It was quite a spectacular launch, and coinciding this with the trials was undoubtedly a success, with nearly 14,000 people accessing the site in its first week, resulting in 345,000 hits.
So with the site up and running is it any good? Well there is certainly a lot of information available and the no-nonsense style and layout make it generally easy to find what you are looking for. Profiles of the Olympic team and media information were (and still are) available and there are extensive links, results, upcoming events and breaking news about British swimming. As yet however, no sign of courses or rules. What the site does do over the sites of the top swimming nations is include swimming, diving, synchro, water polo, masters, disability swimming and open water in one site. It is a very ambitious project but the ASA hope that britishswimming.org will be an all-encompassing web portal for aquatic sports in Britain. Will this happen? Only time will tell.
So what next for the site? Well there are a lot of major plans including details of Teacher/coaching courses and eventually entries to Nationals etc. over the web. A step has been taken in this direction with the entry form for the Winter Nationals now available on the site. The next big project is to include a page for every district and county to highlight how they are adapting to the new Competetive Development Continuum programmes. This will sit within the existing section on the CDC under Age Group Swimming.
There are lots of areas of work covered by the ASA and new sections will have to be set up from scratch to cover such things as courses/education, professional development, sports development, clubs, officials/laws etc. The site will be evolving all the time and it won’t be an overnight process to get everything up! As Helen Gorman of ASA communications notes “The grand plan is huge but we are yet to set realistic time scales on all the work that needs to be done”.
So its good to see the ASA venture onto the web, and it’s a good staring point from which to develop. The site is definitely worth a visit.