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AGM 2019/20 - Head Coach report

Head coach report 2019/2020.

Wow what a journey we have been on!

Firstly, I feel it is important to formally thank everyone who has been involved with the complex journey getting us back into the pool. 

Since we were given the green light to return to the pool, during August and prior to Strode opening 70 members have taken advantage of the opportunities at Taunton, Millfield and Parish Wharf to return to swimming.

While Covid 19 is ever present in our minds currently, I feel it is important we reflect on the past year as a whole. 

We started the 2019 season 

  • Somerset County Development meet with 61 athletes, 186 PB, 19 QT, 20 golds, 25 silvers, 28 bronze medals.
  • Our more experienced swimmers took part in the Level 2 meet in Newport with great success, 85 PBS, 74 county times, 7 regional QT, 9 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze
  • Our Arena league team really stepped up to support TeamClevedon and we were able to maintain our current position in Division 1 which was an outstanding achievement.
  • In addition to competitions 4 of our older swimmers were given the opportunity to take part in a sprint session with City of Exeter which was the home club for Liam Tancock, an amazing experience.
  • Our YV were invited to attend a nutrition talk at Backwell and we were represented by Addy and Ryan, 2 of our senior Captains.
  • Our Own Club Championships gave us a succession of more County QT with 14 new swimmers achieving this accolade. Over the weekend we saw 607 new personal bests. In addition our older swimmers were showing great role model attributes with many assisting our younger and often nervous competitors either in marshalling or as a friendly face time keeping.
  • Over the Christmas period and leading up to the county championships we were able to offer our swimmers some LC training in preparation either at Bath or Millfield.
  • The County Championships, again Team Clevedon didn’t fail to make you feel proud! We finished ranked 5th in the county behind Millfield, Taunton, Street, and Bath. 127 top 8 positions were achieved by 45 different swimmers with 5 golds, 8 silvers and 11 bronze medals. In addition our YV and not so young volunteers team again were very present helping with the organising and smooth running of the event. 
  • In addition we were able to show how great Team Clevedon can be across the board at the galas held within the Four Seasons, Cotswolds and of course the mini series.
  • We held a “share your love” of swimming event on 14th February 55 swimmers from 6 different squads took part.
  • At the beginning of March the swimmers took on the challenge set them in aid of sport relief. They swam the distance to France and back, liked it so much they did it again! As a team we raised £163 for this great charity.
  • Then LOCK DOWN occurred. Undeterred we kept up the challenges to continue to engage with our swimmers.

The challenges over lockdown during this unprecedented time were made to engage and motivate our athletes to maintain some focus on their swimming and fitness. Activities included:

  • Relay challenge, skipping, artistic swimming without a pool, paper aeroplane javelin.
  • Senior Captains challenge awarding points for physical activity as well as encouraging engagement with their coach or an older member of the family over the Easter holidays.
  • Design a swimming costume challenge
  • Olympic quiz, in recognition of when coach Ben should have been competing at the Olympic trials. 
  • The Easter challenge, toilet roll tower challenge
  • Thursday posts to say thank you to our key workers for keeping us safe.
  • 100 Captain Tom challenge again Team Clevedon stepped up to the challenge motivating some physical activity, goal setting skills to make individuals proud of their achievements as well as raising money for the NHS charities.
  • Aquatics bake off, making use of new to me technologies with zoom meetings, baking banana cookies, pancakes, smoothies, butterfly cakes. Some mouth watering produce.
  • Weekly yoga and Kevin’s work outs sessions via zoom.
  • Ben and Bertie attended a Resilience presentation by Max Lichfield.

As restrictions began to lift we entered the long patient phase of “when will we be allowed back in the pool?” Again Team Clevedon really supported the Swim England campaign and our own Seren Best produced a rap which was viewed and liked by 1,300 people.... Boris be aware you may get pushed into the pool!

The weekend of our own Clevedon and Chard meet saw the 5K rainbow challenge. We collectively not only achieved the distance equivalent of travelling to Chard we again raised £500 for the Children’s South West Hospice. A special mention must go to Sue Clinton for her colourful contribution to this challenge.

I was delighted with the response to our Active Catch ups and many thanks go to Dave Best, Nicola Steadman, Kate Ledward and Kevin Dorrington Together with our Covid Team ensuring we were able to meet up in person and start to reactivate our muscles in preparation of our return to the pool while remaining safe.

More recently Team Clevedon have been represented by Mimi Vincent on the Somerset County Pathway and Riley Price on the South West Regional programme.

Also within the last month Congratulations go to Eva Farmery and Poppy Leaman for completing their level 2 teaching qualifications. 

I am very grateful for the continued support Of our Team of volunteer coaches and Covid team without them none of the return to the pool would have been possible. 

We still continue with our quest for more water time, knowing we must abide by the centres rules to ensure we are able to get back to doing what we love most, supporting our swimmers to be the best they can be. 

The love of our sport was best reflected by the response to what does swimming mean to you in 3 words.....