Welcome back.....

Tony Woodward

Dear swimmers and parents,

It’s lovely to see so many of you back in the pool and it was lovely to see so many take up the August sessions at Crosfields School. From a coaching prospective, it’s great to be back by the pool where we belong.

Due to the current climate we find ourselves in, we have had to make slight adjustments to the squad structure and I want to give you an update on some of the changes.

Janet Hopkins has now stepped down from teaching Cruiser and Sprinter Squads but you will see her poolside helping out occasionally and perhaps bringing her grandchildren to sessions. For those that aren’t aware she is president of the club and is staying in the role which is great as she brings a lot of knowledge to help the committee.

Dave Milburn has stepped down from coaching Masters to spend more time with his family and to spend extra time doing what old people do. I’d like to thank him for the many years he has given to the club both in and out of the pool.

Another long-standing club member, Sarah Porter, is also stepping down after a long period in her role as squad rep for Cruisers.  I am pleased to say that Jenny Goodman has agreed to take over this role.

Once again, due to the ever-changing restrictions, we have had to make changes to the current training timetable. And we are having to be flexible on squad coaches and pool time.

Current Squad coaches and their contact details in case you have any questions are as follows:

A Squad – Tony Woodward             [email protected]

B Squad – Emma Harris                  [email protected]

Challengers – Emma Harris supported by Tracy Apps and Louise Peters

Sprinters – Vicki Wade supported by Sam Mullender [email protected]

Cruisers – Vicki Wade supported by Sam Mullender

Masters/Youth – Tony and Emma will cover these until a suitable long term coach can be found.

The new session times will be subject to change throughout the Covid period and may be adjusted at reasonable notice, as dictated by any Government or Swim England guidelines. Whilst it’s not ideal for everyone, we have attempted to make the best from a tricky situation.

Many of you would have seen A Squad swimmer, Ruth Wyatt coaching throughout August and September and she has been a valuable asset to the poolside staff.  Unfortunately, she has now left for Cardiff University but we will see her back helping in the holidays. Huge thanks to her for all she's done both in and out of the pool over the years.

We also have the following young helpers who are still swimmers at the club and have already or are about to commence their ASA teaching courses and volunteer their time each week to help support our coaches in the sessions:

  • Elspeth Crane
  • Lucy Emberlin
  • Rosie Harrison
  • Abbie Holland

We are also looking into recruiting at least two new coaches for the development squads and teaching programme in the coming weeks.

Our new timetable is working well and I thank you all for signing up in advance of the sessions, this is very important to ensure we don’t have to turn anyone away due to maximum capacity.  Could I ask that you don’t sign up unless you will be attending as our door helpers will be stood outside waiting – please just take your name off. If a particular session is booked up quickly please use one of the less attended sessions instead. We have one squad booked to capacity on a Sunday but less than 40% attended on a Friday - basically, it'll be a use it or lose it policy during these current times.

I would like to offer my thanks to our Covid helpers, without these guys being happy to ‘man the doors’ we would not be able to run sessions. Please, please don’t give these guys a hard time if you’re not granted entry to the centres, they are following both club and centre policies in keeping your children safe so please DO NOT enter the centres unless you’ve been asked to do so. Face masks are compulsory whilst in the reception area. If you are a Covid helper, you are allowed to sit in the seating area at the pool during the session but you must wear your face mask whilst doing so.

Social distancing measures should be adhered to at all times, including swimmers whilst on deck. Instructions have been given on what to do in the pool but on deck needs a little more attention.

We are all very proud to say that the club has been awarded the SwimMark stamp. SwimMark is the National Sport England Clubmark recognition for great quality clubs, it’s about creating the best possible swimming experience for all and raising the quality of aquatics provision. 

On a final note, I am very pleased to announce Jamie Leach has been selected to attend this years National Development Programme which is aimed at nurturing talented young swimmers on their path to future success. I strongly believe we have others who could easily be joining him if we could’ve finished last season as we started.

Whilst we are unable to compete in a normal sense, we are looking into virtual meets and also some in-squad competition to keep the swimmers focused and to have something to aim for.

Wishing all the best in these strange times