The Reading Cygnets Swimming Club is one of the country's leading Learning Difficulties clubs with many swimmers progressing each year to compete at a National and International Standard.

To achieve this we have a totally-committed coaching team and club structure. We believe our coaches are some of the best in the country. The biggest advantage of Reading Cygnets Swimming Club is that it combines top-level national and international coaching expertise that comes from keeping up to date with mainstream best practice with a depth of knowledge and personal experience of adapting these methods to teaching disabled children and adults who take on board instruction at differnt rates.

We have structured our training based on an individual’s ability and training takes place in designated lanes.

Coach - Abigail Cairns

Abigail is a member of Reading Swimming Club who volunteers her time to train our swimmers. Abigail is an excellent coach, and having swum for many years she has plenty of creative, fun, teaching techniques and experience. She is very dedicated and attends every week with great enthusiasm.

Her encouragement, positive attitude and clear communication skills at the Reading Cygnets shines though - this helps to motivate her swimmers.

Abigail loves the generosity of people and sense of community at the Reading Cygnets, saying that "All swimmers, coaches and supporters are very kind and together we make up an amazing team, always there to help and support each other. I volunteer because I love to give back to the community and meet lots of incredible, new people".

Coach - Hannah Stewart

Hannah is one of our Reading Swimming Club swimmers who have volunteered her time to help train our swimmers and act as lead coaches for this lane.

The swimmers in this lane are generally of the same ability as Helen's but the lane is designed to accommodate those swimmers who need stroke correction and to be taught gradually to go faster. Also in this lane are a few of the swimmers who have been to the 'top'' but, due to age or loss in stamina, are coming down the ladder but still enjoy competitive swimming.


Coach - Gordon Pither

Gordon Pither has been an ex-coach of Reading Swimming Club for some 25 years. He has a vast amount of knowledge and experience of the sport and has coached swimmers who have, in their former careers, swum in the Olympic Games and Olympic Finals.

Gordon’s lane is for the “A” grade swimmers who are very competitive and who swim in National Squads or have the potential to do so.




Coach - Harry Wild

Harry Wild has been coaching swimming since 1976 at Reading Swimming Club where he started as a lane coach when his daughters took up the sport. He joined the Reading Cygnets as coach in 1995. Harry has a vast amount of knowledge of the sport, having coached swimmers who have, in their earlier careers, swum in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in many instances reaching the finals.

Harry started his involvement with the Reading Cygnets when he assisted in setting up inter-club galas between the Reading Swimming Club and the Reading Cygnets. He also played a key part of the first ever Special Olympics gala with joint inter-club teams from Reading Swimming Club and the Reading Cygnets combined in a single team. Harry has also been the Head Coach for the DSISO Great Britain team for the last three World Championships which have seen the country rise to second place over-all in 2008.

Harry gets tremendous pleasure in seeing swimmers - both able bodies and disabled - gain self-assurance in their steady progression and achievements at whatever level. Harry’s swimmers at the Reading Cygnets are the elite swimmers of the club and regularly train with the National Squad and compete in National and International competitions.

Team Manager - Gordon Dart

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