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New Head Coach: Luke Surplice

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Alton & District Swimming club has appointed Luke Surplice as Head Coach, with effect Monday 15 April. Luke brings with him a wealth of experience as a Head Coach at both Hart and Eastleigh swimming clubs, as assistant head coach and squad coach at Hart and Bracknell and Wokingham, and as a swimmer who swam at national level. He is a level 3 swimming coach, is working towards his level 3 qualification in personal training and runs his own 1-2-1 personal swim school.

Some of you will have met Luke poolside already, and we have received very warm feedback on his skills as a coach, both in technical expertise and the ability to build rapport with the swimmers. At interview, Luke impressed the panel with his passion for the sport and his experience of leading a club, growing membership numbers, proactively managing budgets with his ideas for increasing revenue, as well as his interest in managing and developing his coaching and teaching team. 

Luke will be a very strong addition to our coaching team. But, more than that, Luke will take on much of the running of the club, helping us transform ADSC into a "head coach-led club" with the end goal of making our swimmers even happier, faster, fulfilled and more numerous. He will do this in line with our vision and values and will be assisted by the irreplaceable Nic Gadsby, his team of coaches and teachers and our volunteers on the committee.

We would like to thank Caroline Swain and Lisa Tolliday for their hard work and persistence in running the recruitment process.  They put a huge amount of time and emotional energy into this, finding time to do this as volunteers alongside their busy professional and family lives as well as their day-to-day responsibilities on the committee.

We are also massively grateful to our team of coaches and teachers who have pulled together, taken on more hours and more responsibility to keep the show on the road since summer last year. We’d like to thank in particular our team of senior coaches (Nic Gadsby, Robin Nettleton, Gemma Boylan and Julie Freemantle) for covering the head coach role up to Christmas, and to Robin (assisted by Nic and Gemma in particular) for acting as Head Coach from Christmas up to now. They have all done a remarkable job keeping our swimmers motivated and swimming well. We have seen some excellent performances in the pool, much improved communication with swimmers and parents and, most importantly, consistently happy faces on our swimmers. We owe them all a debt of thanks: as Robin hands over the reins to Luke he is handing over leadership of a club in excellent health, ready for the next step up.

You will see a few changes of faces poolside from 15 April as Luke joins the coaching rota as well as leading the club. Luke will concentrate his in person coaching at the senior end of the club, but this will make more experienced coaches and teachers available across all our squads. Please rest assured that Luke will take an interest in, and have input to, coaching and teaching at all levels of the club, from our youngest swimmers in Tadpoles, through to our masters and recreational squads with the aim of improving the experience for all.

Please join us in giving Luke a warm welcome to the club. Luke will be contactable at the Head Coach email address (adsc.headcoach@gmail.com) from Monday 15 April.