The very first photo of the newly formed Borough of Southend Swimming Club squad taken in 1985.

The town of Southend-on-Sea has always prided itself on a long established strong swimming and diving community through existing clubs who are affiliated to the sports governing bodies. Forming a new club in the town was therefore not without it’s difficulties. For it’s swimmers to compete, a club needs to obtain affiliation to one such body. In BOSS’ case at the time it was the Southern Counties Amateur Swimming Association (S.C.A.S.A.). Undeterred by the resistance to a new club in the area, through the determination of a small group of individuals, the fledgling BOSS began by joining Southend Synchronettes in 1982. A year later they were hosted by Redbridge Borough Swimming Club. However, in 1985 BOSS was eventually successful in obtaining affiliation to S.C.A.S.A. after a national tribunal hearing granted in their favour.

During the ensuing years The Borough of Southend Swimming and Training Club have boasted among it’s swimmers champions at all levels of the sport from world record holders, Commonwealth champions, Olympic medallists, Great Britain Internationals, and National and County champions. It is without doubt, an endorsement for a Club who’s philosophy has always been to encourage and provide a base for swimmers to realize their ambitions at all levels of the sport. A philosophy which remains very much in place today.

But back to the beginning. Under the skillful tutelage of Head Coach Mike Higgs and his wife Pam, BOSS soon made their mark. This husband and wife team were the ‘engine room’ of the Club from 1985 until their retirement in 2007. Pam’s role was the development of a steady stream of young swimming talent at the Shoebury Pool in preparation for their graduation to Mike’s senior squad at Southend’s Warrior Square Pool. Their legacy lives on today through those in charge of coaching and teaching at BOSS’ new home at Southend’s Garon Park Swimming and Diving Centre. The Club relocating after Warrior Square, their home for so many happy and successful years, was demolished in 2011..

The Borough of Southend Swimming Club have never claimed to have a large membership. Indeed, today it is one of the smaller clubs in Essex. BOSS have never sought to expand it’s membership beyond that which the current coaching and teaching staff feel comfortable in accommodating on an individual basis. You will never see an overcrowded lane at a BOSS training session! To know and understand the likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses of each swimmer, whether novice or national champion, is of paramount importance to their development. Only when a coach knows and fully understands just what makes a swimmer ‘tick‘ will they maximize their full potential in the sport.

So, for any youngster who has a desire to progress in the sport at a competitive level, why not come along to a BOSS training session on a Monday evening between 6 and 8pm. for a chat. You would be most welcome.