Author: Karen Adams

2020 County Pathway Head Coach Application

We are recruiting for our County Pathway Coaching programme and welcome applications for Head Coach.  There will be additional roles to be advertised for the Lead  Team Manager, team managers and four skills coaches.


As part of this post you will need to attend the Coaches Conference to be held on 14th March 2020 at the Holiday Inn Taunton


Attended is also required at three development camps at Mount Kelly pool dates to be confirmed.


Applications for this role need to be returned to Karen Adams by the 28th January 2020




Karen Adams


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Victory Trophy


Dear All                                                                               


Please find attached details regarding the Victory Trophy award, if you wish your club to be entered for this award please complete the attached form and return by the 29th February 2020




Karen Adams

Devon County ASA

Bush Fire Crisis Fundraiser




As the British Media start to follow the developing Bush Fire crisis in Australia, the horrors and devastation facing the people and wildlife of Australia becomes more and more severe. 


At the start of January, the normal beginning of the bush fire season, an area the size of Belgium is ablaze, with up to two months of fire still to contend with. Homes have been lost, lives have been destroyed and millions of animals have been burnt alive, or suffocated in the smoke. Some species whose habitats have been destroyed may never recover. Over 1000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone, with more devastation to come.


18 months of drought are contributing to deadly conditions, and fires have grown out of control to the extent where they are creating their own weather systems, the smoke is blocking out the sun, and Canberra the nations capital is now, due to the smoke, the most polluted place on earth. Skies in New Zealand, a 3 hour flight away have turned orange at times due to the size of the fires. 


Nathaniel Rookes, James Lake and Iain Chalmers, the head coaches of three local swimming clubs, with the support of the Plymouth Life Centre have decided to hold a fundraiser over the 1st & 2nd of February 2020. 


We are offering  one to one coaching sessions to swimmers of all levels in exchange for a donation to the Australian Red Cross, who are helping to combat the fires, and assist with relief work for the victims and helping the country to rebuild.


From 13.00 to 20.00 on both days, we will be available to work on technique, skills, race practice work or anything else that fits your requirements. Sessions will be 30 or 60 minutes depending on your wishes. 


At present we are hoping to enlist the aid of competitive swimmers to help demonstrate, explain and support our coaching skills, to help anyone who takes up this offer and it is possible other teachers and coaches will join us. We will announce more as we progress in the next few weeks.


From the other side of the planet there isn’t much we can do to help Australia, but this is one way we can. 


The Coaches


James, Nathaniel and Iain all have long histories in the sport, each being a competitive swimmer to a national level within their swimming careers. They were coached by some of the most reputable names in British Swimming, and involved with some of its biggest clubs. James himself coached both Iain and Nathaniel before they joined his career path as coaches themselves. 


All three are highly qualified, and bring years of experience as coaches, teachers and swimmers to every session. All three have coached swimmers to medals at a national level, and have had great success at Regional and County levels, as well as creating formidable teams. All three have led their clubs to the brightest times in their respective histories. James Lake was the 2019 Devon Swimming Coach of the Year, Nathaniel the 2018 Devon Young Coach of the Year while Iain heads up for 2018 Swimming Club of the Year. 


We are all keen to help as many swimmers as we can, and in doing so – help Australia. 


The Plymouth Life Centre


PLC have kindly donated pool time free of charge to allow us to run this fundraiser. We are immensely grateful to them. The Life Centre is likely well known to you already, but please do check them out, follow their social media content and keep an eye on the various charitable fund raisers and events they run throughout the year. 


How to book a session? 


Bookings will open at the end of the week – and we will post how to go about doing so by then. For now, please express and interest, please share the event and please tell as many people as you can.


The Australian Red Cross


The Australian Red Cross is equivalent to the British Red Cross you will be familiar with. At present, the damage to Australia is in the millions and when it’s all done, more than likely the billions of Australian Dollars. The ARC are working on supporting victims to rebuild their lives, supporting fire crews in tackling the fires. and Australia as a country to recover and rebuild.


We will also be making a donation to Macmillan Cancer Research. Everyone Active have been kind enough to Donate a significant amount of pool time to us, and as their supported charity we will be donating to Macmillan as a means of showing our gratitude. This donation will be made by the coaches, yours will go to the Australian Red Cross.


How to Donate?


As it’s a foreign country and charity we are looking at whether we can use JustGiving, or a similar fundraising service. Once we have this established we will share information about this at time of booking. 


How much should I donate?


This is up to you – we don’t want to set a minimum amount. As a rough guide, a 1-1 swimming lesson with a swimming teacher is likely to cost £12-20 depending on service provider. A level 2 coach is likely to charge between £20-30 for an hour, sometimes more. While a level 3 coach anywhere from £30-50+.

While we have zero expectation of anyone donating anywhere near that amount, please give generously to help support this charity.


How can I help?


Donations aside, sharing this event, liking its content and spreading the word to your friends, team mates and swimming clubs would be brilliant. 


If you are a swimming coach or teacher and would like to be involved, please get in contact and we will see what we can work out.


We hope you will help us to help the Bush Fire relief effort – and we look forward to seeing you soon!


James, Nathaniel & Iain


Completion of Judge 1 training

Important information for all current judge 1 trainee swimming officials who started their training before 31st May 2019.

 Swim England has stated that all judge 1 trainees must complete their training by 30th June 2020 as they are moving to a new online system.

 If this applies to you, please can you urgently contact Mel Jeynes and Esther Rookes (their emails are on the Devon swimming committee page) to confirm that either:

 A. You want to complete your judge 1 training – please include a scanned copy of your competency sign off page.

B. You don’t want to complete your judge training at this time.

 Please include your name, club and Swim England number.

 We want to help you achieve your judge 1 qualification.



Bursaries for teaching and coaching training courses
Please ensure that all claims for bursaries for teaching and coaching courses attended during the year ending 31.3.2019 are sent to the county treasurer ASAP and no later than 17th March

Leander’s Dunn smashes British records on his debut at National Para-Swimming Champs

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Reece Dunn enjoyed a tremendous debut at the National Para-Swimming Championships in Manchester at the weekend.

The 23-year-old, competing in the S14 class, won three gold medals, smashed two national records and beat an Paralympic silver medallist.

Dunn’s first success came in the 100m freestyle, where he destroyed the national record and all his rivals with a 52.01 second swim. Thomas Hamer, who was third in the race behind Dunn and Jordan Catchpole, was the previous British record holder with 53.53 seconds.

Dunn then did the same in the 100m butterfly, clocking 56.96 seconds and finishing more than four seconds ahead of previous record holder Catchpole.

The Leander swimmer then made it a hat-trick of not only category wins but also multi-class titles in the 200m freestyle where he beat Rio silver medallist and 2016 European champion Hamer to victory with a 1:59.29 swim.

Dunn will now be seen as a major contender for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

A number of other local swimmers, who will have their eyes on Paris 2024 and beyond, also competed at Manchester at the weekend.

Mount Kelly’s Alexander Hobbs, Sebastian Williams and Benjamin Grainger and Devonport Royal’s Xander Harris and Abigail Daly all returned with medals.

Williams and Harris enjoyed some great battles against each other in the 14-17 year-old S6 category. The class was dominated by Bournemouth’s Leo McCrea, who claimed seven gold medals, but in nearly every event Williams and Harris were fighting for the silver and bronze medals.

All Saints Academy pupil Harris took second in the 100m freestyle (1:27.48), 50m freestyle (38.29) and 50m butterfly (45.73) and third in the 200m IM (3:57.63), 100m breaststroke (2:10.02) and 400m freestyle (7:18.75).

Williams was second in the 200m IM (3:47.24), 100m breaststroke (2:05.48) and 400m freestyle (6:50.74) and came third in the 100m freestyle (1:29.92), 50m freestyle (42.10), 100m backstroke (1:53.75) and 50m butterfly (51.71).

Mount Kelly’s Grainger was dominant in the 14-17 years’ S10 class. He won the 100m freestyle (1:02.11), 200m IM (2:40.18), 50m freestyle (28.55) and 100m breaststroke (1:19.05) in his class and also took second in the 400m freestyle (4:48.77), where he was also a multi-class medal winner.

Club team-mate Alexander Hobbs led the way in the 10-13 year-old boys’ S7 class. He clocked 1:40.25 for the 100m freestyle, 45.34 for the 50m freestyle, 1:37.24 for the 100m backstroke, where he was a multi-class medal winner, and 7:10.49 for the 400m freestyle.

Devonport’s Daly, who attends Longcause Community Special School, came third in the 10-13 girls’ S14 100m freestyle (1:16.68), 100m butterfly (1:36.42), 200m freestyle (2:47.04) and 100m backstroke (1:33.03). She also claimed two multi-class third places after recovering from two earlier disqualifications.

Devonport Royal’s Andrew Keeler also competed in Manchester in the men’s S14 category where he was up against Paralympic, World, European, Commonwealth and British champions. However, he put in some solid swims in the 100m breaststroke and 100m butterfly events.