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The Coaches

Jeff Hill - Head Coach

Jeff joined Cheddar Kingfishers in April 2018. He is a sport science graduate from the University of Bath with an extensive swimming history including representing Great Britain in open water swimming. He has previous coached at City of Ely Swimming Club and holds the ASA level 2 swimming coaching and open water coaching certificates.

 

Louisa Slingsby

Louisa holds the ASA level 1 (2011) level 2 (2017) certificates in coaching swimming and level 2 open water coaching (2019). 

With a mother who was a county swimmer, unsurprisingly she started club swimming at a young age and swam at Basingstoke swimming club starting in the under 9s age group. In her teens she left the swimming club to concentrate on Pony Club Tetrathlon and Modern Pentathlon where she competed at national level until her third year at university when she cut back on multi-sport and concentrated on fencing.  After a break from swimming for almost 20 years she has been having fun training with Cheddar trying to keep up with the youngsters in the social/ masters squad, competing at masters swimming competitions and, since 2019, exploring the madness that is open water swimming (brrr!).

Louisa got involved as a poolside helper in 2010 when her children started at the club.  She really enjoys seeing swimmers mature and develop their skills. She is passionate about sport and exercise being a life-long thing and not just something you do as a child. She hopes to act as a role model for the swimmers, particularly the girls, by continuing to train and compete even though she is old enough to be their mum!

Nic Blake

Nic holds a Preliminary Teaching Certificate gained back in the 80's when he was a young 16 year old helping out with his first club, Newport Pagnell. Since then he has gained a Level 1 ASA Teaching / Coaching Certification (2014)
 
His swimming career started when he was 3, learning to swim at a young age.  He started swimming competitively when he was 11 years old for his childhood club, Newport Pagnell. The highest level he achieved was County (Buckinghamshire) for the club, best achievement coming County 3rd in 16 & over 50m Freestyle.  His swimming career took off after he joined the RAF.  He represented the RAF at several meets, and through this got selected for Combined Services, representing all three services (Army, Navy, Air Force) not only in national competitions, but international competitions across the world. He has since represented Truro City, Cornwall and Somerset in the Masters teams.  He has also had brief appearances for Truro in the Arena League and Cheddar in the Cotswolds
 
He started getting back into swimming when his eldest, Rhys, seemed to have a bit of a talent for it. He started team managing for Truro City at events rather than sitting watching for hours on end. He eventually got asked to become an assistant coach at Truro, and at the same time joined the Truro City and Cornwall masters teams, an excuse to get fit.  On moving to Somerset, Rhys and Haydn joined Cheddar and Nic wanted to get involved straight away.  One of the reasons was his  parents were involved heavily at Newport Pagnell when he was a kid, and still has many friends from this years later.  Mostly it’s because he enjoys coaching the kids, and is proud of their progress and achievements, and is overjoyed by their excitement when they achieve things they thought not possible. Seeing their faces when after getting a PB or winning a medal, or fantastic team performances, makes it all worthwhile. 
 
Nic is still the youngest person to have gained a combined services blue in swimming (like a cap in football or rugby) representing all three services at 18 and 2 months. He also held the RAF 50m and 100m freestyle records from 1992 to 2000, and the combined services 50m freestyle record 1992 to 1997.