Bob Holman

Bob Holman

Regional President 2018/2019

Bob Holman became a member of Barnstaple Swimming Club when he was 15 years old.   He was soon playing water polo for the town, first for the junior team and then progressing to the senior team.

After he was married, he came to Dorset in 1970 and played for the Blandford, Bridport and Bournemouth polo teams.

In 1974/75 Bob took his first ASA swimming teaching qualifications and he then went on to form the Bere Regis Swimming Club in 1976; a learn to swim club which still flourishes today. After 42 years, he is still chairman of the club and is now teaching the children of his original children!

Through his work, Bob met Tom Watch who had trained most of the Weymouth channel swimmers since the 1950s. Bob always had an ambition to swim the channel and at the age of 47 back in 1992 swam the channel in a time of 18 hours 40 minutes gaining the Rosemary George trophy from the Channel Swimming Association for the most meritorious swim of the year.

In 2004, under Bob’s guidance and leadership, Bere Regis Swimming Club became the first club in Dorset to gain SwimMark accreditation.

In 2005/06 Bob became Dorset ASA County President and in that same year, he took on the role of Dorset County Water Polo Secretary and with others formed the Dorset mini polo leagues. A number of new clubs were introduced to the game for the first time and are still flourishing to this day. At one stage he was running five leagues.

Also, in 2005, Bob became the Dorset Open Water Secretary. Again, with others, he formed the East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club in Poole and was its founder chairman for a number of years. He started up and ran the club’s very popular Seahorse Swim race at Studland and the event now attracts well over 300 swimmers from all over Southern England. A very busy time.

In 2007/08 Bob and a friend took on a challenge to swim a mile in every UK lido. There were 99 still in existence at the time and they spread from the Jubilee Pool down in Cornwall to Stonehaven in Scotland. Swimming Wiveliscombe twice they completed their 100 miles in 100 lidos and raised over £4,000 for Save the Children Fund.

Following this challenge. Bob wrote a diary which was published in the ASA’s Swimming Times Magazine over 3 months in early 2009. Peter Hassall, the editor invited him to become a regular contributor to the magazine under the title “Pools of the Trade”

In 2008 Bob encouraged and trained a team of swimmers from East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club. They went on to successfully complete a relay crossing of the English Channel. Following this the Club has managed several relay and single Channel swims.

In the run up to the 2012 Olympics Bob was given the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch through Abbotsbury. The weather was absolutely atrocious with the rain being so severe that the television crews would not follow the procession.

Bob still swims regularly and in September 2019 he will take part in the round Brownsea Island 4.6-mile swim. Swimming has been so much part of his life and it will be a real pleasure to him to take on his new role as Swim England SW President.

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