Success for the South West at Swim England National Awards

On Saturday 11th November 2017 the Swim England National Awards were held at the University of Birmingham in the Great Hall. The event recognised the great achievements and contributions from individuals and organisations from all areas of aquatics.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England CEO, said: “We have so many inspirational people involved at all levels of our sport and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate them at the Swim England National Awards.

Swim England South West would like to congratulate all of the nominations and winners from the South West – it was an outstanding year for the Region at the awards with the Region taking home 5 1st place and 2 runner up awards.

The awards presented to the South West were as follows:

SE Coach of the YearWinner John Spicer from Cheltenham Swimming & Water Polo Club

As a former player and now CSWPC Junior coach for many years, John has been developing and enthusing CSWPC, South West and National players for many years in the sport of Water Polo.  He is attributed to having brought on the most number of regional and National Age Group Players in the county and indeed his peers in the country.  

As a senior coach he not only holds classes for CSWPC players, 4 times a week, manages the various league and tournament for ages 2004 to 2001 Age group, both at local level and Midland League, and NAGS he also acts as senior coach at national levels as part of NAGS and as their senior SW regional coach and as NAGs WP coach for selection, Training and camps. 

John has been instrumental in starting and running Cheltenham’s After School Water Polo Sessions which has, and continues to, allow prospective new players the experience of water polo training at a cost which is not prohibitive to any financial demographic.  

Performance Athlete of the Year - Synchro - Winner Kate Shortman from City of Bristol Aquatics

Dave Beament, CoB Secretary, commented: "City of Bristol Aquatics are delighted that Kate Shortman has been awarded Swim England Performance Athlete of the Year - Synchro. Kate was the youngest (aged 15) competitor in a 32 strong field at the World Championships in Budapest. She reached the Solo Free final finishing in 12th place.

"This result sees Kate as this first British Synchronised Swimmer to qualify for a World Championship final since 2013. Kate is away training and was unable to be at the ceremony. Her award was collected by her proud Dad, Mick. 

SE Volunteer of the Year Winner Karen Bowen from Team Bath AS

Karen is much more than Training and Development Officer for Team Bath AS. She also provides an indispensable link between Team Bath AS and our 10 local network clubs and is worth her weight in Gold. Over the last 12 months she diligently attended monthly committee meetings and quarterly Network club committee meetings.  Karen has secured vital funding for the club. In September 2016 she instigated the review into crowd funding models and fundraising initiatives. She frequently provides a myriad of facts/numbers and statistics to the sponsorship team to help them when pitching for partners.  She put together Team Bath AS Development Plan a detailed ten-page document in March 2017, which helped secure funding.

Karen commented: “I’ve been volunteering at Team Bath for about three years. I started off as a Swim21 Coordinator when someone mentioned they needed some help. Now I regularly do things every day. I always try to help out young volunteers. It’s all about recognising and rewarding volunteers so they want to keep helping out.”

SE Young Volunteer of the YearWinner Amber Francis from Tavistock SC

Young Volunteer of the Year winner, Amber of Tavistock is a talented, successful and highly valued member the club. She leads by example, swimming at regional level and taking her current role as Ladies vice-Captain very seriously. She makes useful contributions at Committee Meetings on behalf of the swimmers.

Amber regularly assists our Head Coach on poolside, teaching and encouraging our younger members in training.  She has a firm commitment to her academic studies at Plymouth High School for Girls where she is an active member of the school Y11 Sports Council.  Amber leads a very full, busy life, including volunteer work through her D of E Bronze and Silver Awards in Swimming and at an Animal Foundation. 

Amber has recently completed the ASA Young Volunteer Programme. She gives up full days to support our Coach at competitions, locally and further afield, even when not swimming herself. 

SE Club of the Year – Runner up City of Bristol Aquatics

Dave Beament, City of Bristol Secretary commented: ‘Over the last 18 months COB volunteers and coaches have merged three Clubs to form City of Bristol Aquatics and secured the pool time to provide 3 Performance pathways - Swimming, Synchronised Swimming and Water Polo. The Club also partners with a Network of 6 Swimming Clubs - Backwell, Keynsham, Bath Dolphin, Bristol Penguins, Soundwell and Calne Alpha to share and develop best practice and provide performance training opportunities.  Work is underway to develop a Pathway for Swimmers with a Disability with funding secured from local organisations. COB are very grateful for the support received from Swim England's Emily Taylor and Lindsay Dunn"

Youth Participant Achievement Award – Winner Tegan Gibson from Warminster SC

Performance ClubRunner up Poole Swimming Club

Congratulations to all those who were nominated for awards and thank you for all of your support in the world of aquatics – without you we would not be able to provide such wonderful opportunities for everyone. 

All images courtesy from

Posted by Swim England South West on November 13th 2017

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