Congratulations to Regional Award Winners

On Sunday 12th September we held our Regional Awards Ceremony, this was held on Zoom and was an enjoyable afternoon to celebrate success across the Region. 

The awards were in the following 6 categories: 

Inspriational Athlete Award

Engagement Innovation Award

Inspirational Coach/Teacher Award

Inspirational Volunteer Award

Inspirational Young Volunteer Award

Youth Champion Award

Please see below the finalists and winners for each of the above categories. 

Inspirational Athlete Award

This Award recognises participants across all disciplines from age 12 years and over.

Finalists - Abigail Daly, Devonport Royal

                Suzanna Hext, Swindon ASC

Winner - Suzanna Hext, Swindon ASC

Short extract from Suzanna’s Nomination 

Suzanna’s  ability to inspire others in all areas of life, not just swimming, is heartwarming. Suzanna is a well recognised Para swimmer but has remained admirably upbeat through a particularly challenging few years since she had a riding accident in 2012

The last two years have been some of the most difficult leading into the Olympics in Tokyo. However,throughout lockdown Suzanna continued to smile and train, turning her  sitting room into a gym and swimming in the sea  She endured two major ear operations and had a spell in hospital with a nasty infection.

However,Suzanna continued to put a positive message out on all her social media channels. Suzanna has a wonderful smile which lights up a room despite struggling with the everyday debilitating affects of her spinal injury.

Suzanna is eternally grateful for being given a chance to live her life, despite everything.

Engagement Innovation Award

This Award recognises the creative approach taken to engage our members across the aquatic community to ensure continued member support.

Finalists - Lucy Pollard, Yeovil Spartans Water Polo Club

                Emma Dodd, Soundwell SC

Winner - Emma Dodd, Soundwell SC

Short extract from Emma’s Nomination 

Emma ran a Crowdfunding campaign, finding prizes and activities to engage children and parents, raising a total of £11,000 for our Club, including Sport England Match Funding. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes over two months, publicising the activity on social media, and encouraging donations. This money was pivotal in keeping our Club running. During lockdown, our paid Learn to Swim Co-ordinator left, and Emma took on this role without pay, to save the Club money. She has ensured nearly 100 children have been able to return to swimming lessons. She has supported our small team of Learn to Swim volunteer coaches in getting the children back to the water, and reassuring parents with concerns over returning. Emma gives her precious time willingly, and with enthusiasm and kindness. Her commitment to our Club and to swimming is incredible.

Emma’s contribution over the past 12 months exemplifies volunteering, and as a Club we are very fortunate to have her. She is truly inspirational!

Inspirational Coach/Teacher Award

This Award recognises coaches or teachers in club.

Finalists - Philip Brake, Bath Dolphin

                 Garry Arrowsmith, Tiverton SC

                 Dean Fouracre, Swindon ASC

                 Sally Freeman, Plymouth Diving 

Winner - Sally Freeman, Plymouth Diving

Short extract from Sally’s nomination

Sally has always been an enthusiastic and caring coach, encouraging and motivating the children but since the beginning of the pandemic and the closure of Plymouth Life Centre for repairs she has gone above and beyond to keep spirits up, motivate the children and find ways and places for them to  train.  As the opening of the centre has been delayed yet again she has never given up and continues to put her pupils first and foremost. She is a true inspiration to everyone , a credit to her sport and loved and respected by all.

Plymouth Diving has been without a diving pool since 23rd July 2020. We have suffered the double blow of covid restrictions and the loss of our pool due to urgent repair work. Throughout this period Sally Freeman has been THE one outstanding coach who has never wavered from continuing her quest to deliver training, to as many of the club divers as possible. Our Head Coach was relocated to London which left Sally at the helm of a very demoralised club, which at times has struggled to stay positive. With her contacts in the diving world, Sally arranged last year for wet training at Southampton Diving Academy over 150 miles away. In order to run these training weekends it has meant sacrificing time with her partner and children.

Inspirational Volunteer Award

This Award recognises volunteers over the age of 18. 

Finalists - Emma Dodd, Soundwell SC

                Sara Dilks, Tiverton SC

                 Lynne Sissons, City of Bristol SC

                 Ben Mullen, Bristol Penguin Olympic 

Winner - Ben Mullen, Bristol Penguin Olympic 

Short extract from Ben's Nomination 

Following the cessation of swimming through the various lockdowns Ben has played an instrumental part in our club. Ensuring the club had coaches meant that Ben ensured that every swimmer was available to access Zoom-based land training during all the lockdowns, moving to 'real' land training as the lockdown restrictions were released. Ben negotiated with the pools that we use pool time as soon as re-opening was on the horizon, and ensured that we had appropriate safety plans communicated with pools, coaches, swimmers and volunteers. Some pools we use were not re-opening and Ben negotiated with some of the pools additional time to minimise the loss of training time for swimmers of all abilities. Following on the resumption of swimming Ben played a leading part in ensuring we ran Level X events to re-engage swimmers, then our club championships.

Ben expanded our open water provision for this year, and stepped in to coach when the open water coaches were not available. Without Ben's efforts we risked losing swimmers across the different squads, at each round of lockdown - thanks to Ben's efforts we retained most swimmers, and took on new members who were waiting for the resumption of swim training but pleased that they could access the virtual land training as an interim measure.. Without Ben's efforts we risked losing swimmers across the different squads, at each round of lockdown - thanks to Ben's efforts we retained most swimmers, and took on new members who were waiting for the resumption of swim training but pleased that they could access the virtual land training as an interim measure.

Inspirational Young Volunteer Award

This Award recognises volunteers from the age of 14 to 17. 

Finalists - Adele Cotton, Swindon ASC

                  Ellen Brooke-Vincent, Bradford on Avon SC

                  Micah Partridge, Tiverton SC

                  Florence Futcher, Salisbury Stingrays

Winner - Micah Partridge, Tiverton SC

Short extract from Micah's Nomination 

Two years ago, Micah completed the young aquatics volunteer award and I think undertaking this opportunity propelled him to complete his swim teaching certification and volunteer to give back to the club. Micah also recently qualified as a British swimming timekeeper during the Level X events we ran at the club in the last few months, and has supported club race nights as a time keeper and also using the electronic starting equipment at in house learning galas for the very young swimmers. Micah is a very personable young man, and well liked by the youngsters he is teaching and the coaching team alike, he is willing to help put when asked, from clearing out cupboards to marshalling at junior team events, or organising a fundraiser gala for Children in need 2 years ago.

He has been a fantastic young volunteer to develop giving his time and skill to the local swimming community, and we are grateful for his poolside support. I think Micah deserves some recognition for his volunteering at the club and for being the role model he has turned into for the younger members at the club too.

Youth Champion Award

This Award recognises individuals who continue to champion the voice of young people in aquatics. 

Winner - Ben Broomfield, Tiverton SC

Short extract from Ben's nomination

Ben has supported the club first as a swimmer and then as a swim teacher and club volunteer. Ben volunteers at several club training sessions each week and supports the junior squads in developing their competitive skills. Ben has a great rapport with the children and is well liked on poolside, he is a modest person and doesn’t realise the impact he has on the youngsters, and in particular the teenage boys at the club who really look up to him.

Ben clearly has a passion for swimming and sport, and volunteers hours of his time to support our local swim community- his volunteering at the club has been fantastic and we are so grateful he was able to step in and engage the swimmers during lockdown. I think Ben is a special young man, and would like him to receive recognition for the time  he has been involved with Tiverton SC and the many more years we hope he continues to work with us. Put simply he is a great ambassador for the club!

Posted by Swim England South West on September 15th 2021

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