A LEADING abuse claims lawyer says a report into bullying allegations against Ellesmere Titans swimming club should be released by Swim England, which the national government body has rebuffed,

Earlier this year, Swim England shut the Ellesmere College-based club down permanently after further investigations into bullying allegations were reportedly still found, much to the Titan's shock and disappointment.

Dino Nocivelli, a lawyer with Leigh Day, called on Swim England to release the reported, which had been previously leaked to the BBC, in order to address any concerns regarding the thoroughness of the investigation.

He said: "It is disappointing that the safeguarding report has never been published as this would have shown to victims and survivors of abuse that the governing body wanted to thoroughly investigate and publicly expose all of the failings that have taken place to date within Ellesmere College and potentially elsewhere.

“Instead the report has been produced for the use and eyes of Swim England with only excerpts being released to the public and this sadly is not the transparency that the public deserves.

"The report needs to be published in full and as soon as possible.”


The report into Ellesmere Titans came after a year-long investigation into the club, which led to the suspension of coach Alan Bircher from Team GB, after more than 70 allegations against coaches and welfare issues.

Mr Nocivelli says the public interest would be better served by the publication of the full report so that any failings found and any safeguarding recommendations were made public.

Although not similar to the specific complaints concerning the Titans, he cites examples of transparency including the Football Association’s inquiry into child sexual abuse, as well as the Lawn Tennis Association’s inquiry into abuse in Wrexham Tennis Centre.

He added: "Abuse experienced by Titans club members is reported to include derogatory remarks of a sexual and personal nature along with a system of weighing children from 10 years old and then publicising the results with others in the team.

"The report found that the swimming club’s safeguarding systems were 'woefully inadequate' and no welfare concerns were passed to Swim England.

"It was only after parents raised safeguarding concerns with the Swim England in 2020 that action was taken."

However, a spokesman for Swim England insisted that Mr Nocivelli's comparison with other high-profile cases was not correct and they were following a common procedure.

They said: “Investigation reports are not published for a number of reasons but most importantly to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those who were brave enough to come forward and participate in the process.

“The FA and LTA reports referenced by Mr Nocivelli were commissioned as retrospective reviews into processes that surrounded investigations, rather than a particular investigatory report as is the case here."

A Titans spokesman also called for transparency from Swim England.

They said: "The club and its members have consistently asked Swim England for justification of its decision particularly in light of its statements that Titan swimmers face no immediate safeguarding concerns.

"The club has delivered on all of Swim England’s original remediation requirements. Swim England has not been transparent with its decision making processes that led to a change of its position."