Plans for the England Programmes Pathway for regions have now been published and will focus on the development of the 12 years age group (age as at 31 December 2017) and development of Level 2 coaches. Like the County initiative there will be three one-day camps which, in the ASA South West, will be held on 16 July, 22 October and 3 December at Oxley Leisure Centre in Sherborne, Dorset.
A total of 36 swimmers will be selected using long-course ASA Rankings from 1 January 2017 to the day following the final ASASW Age Groups Championships. For further information on the selection process click Pathway Swimmer Selection Policy (002).
A meeting to provide further information on the programme is to be held for parents of 12 year old swimmers, as well as those competing for the first time at regional championships, on 21 May at Millfield. The meeting is free of charge and no booking is necessary.
Jean Holland, life member of Poole SC, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List for services to swimming following 70 years commitment to the sport. Joining Poole SC in 1947 aged 13 years, Jean gained her first ASA Teaching Award in 1955 and has since taught thousands of young swimmers at both Poole SC and Hamworthy Junior School. As a qualified official Jean has officiated at club, county, regional and national level, culminating in an invitation to officiate at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. A former county junior champion, and having established a Masters section at Poole SC in 1981, Jean continued to compete until well into her seventies and was a National Masters and World Masters medallist. Out of the pool, Jean has undertaken two separate terms as President of Poole SC, as well as President of Western Counties ASA (now ASA South West) in 1967 and President of Dorset County ASA in 1969.
Bournemouth Collegiate’s Alice Tai has also been awarded an MBE for services to swimming in the New Year’s Honours List. Alice who turned 18 at the end of January competed for Team GB at the Paralympic games in Rio 2016 and brought home a relay gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m Medley relay and an individual bronze in the Women’s S10 100m Backstroke. Alice, who currently trains in Manchester, competes in the SB9 and S10 classifications.
Dorset County ASA has signed up to the pilot scheme of the England Programmes Pathway initiative which aims to provide a consistent nation-wide programme for the development of swimmers, coaches and team managers together with education opportunities for parents. The County Pathway project replaces the County’s current Talent ID scheme, which has been in place for seven years, and will focus on the development of the 11 years age group and club-level skills coaching.
The programme will include three one-day camps held in-County, co-ordinated by a County Lead and supported by a Lead Coach, four to six skills coaches, and a Lead and Assistant Team Manager. England Programmes will appoint coaches and team managers in conjunction with County Associations. For the 2017 Dorset Programme, County Lead is Di Gibbs and Barry Alldrick has been appointed Lead Coach.
Application forms requesting expressions of interest in Skills Coach and Team Manager posts have been circulated to all clubs via Club Secretaries and Head Coaches. Closing date for applications are 6 January for Lead Team Manager and 10 February for Skills Coaches and Assistant Team Manager.
A total of 24-36 swimmers will be selected using short-course ASA Rankings from 1 September 2016 to 26 February 2017 inclusive for each County Championship event for the 11 years age group (age as at 31 December). Swimmers will be selected for the programme in the week immediately following the end of 2017 County Championships and notified by 10 March 2017. Proposed camp dates in 2017 are Sunday 2 April, Sunday 25 June and Sunday 1 October.
A meeting to provide further information on the programme is to be held for parents of 11 years olds at this year’s County Championships during the second warm-up of the day on Sunday 19 February in the cricket pavilion at Littledown.
Hopes were not riding high for Dorset’s Senior Men’s team at this year’s ASA South West Water Polo Championships. With none of the usual players from Weymouth & Portland available it was left to players mostly from the opposite side of the County to field a team to face the might of Devon and Gloucestershire – however!
All six counties in the region had entered a Senior Men’s team so, for each team, the event would be a five game tournament. In the opening game against Somerset the Dorset team got off to a flying start winning 11-2 and with Jackson Mullins scoring seven of the goals. The second match against Gloucestershire was a much closer encounter but, due to a goal in the last minute scored by Matt Lands, resulted in an 8-7 win. The team then faced tournament favourites Cornwall but nevertheless ended with a comfortable 7-4 win, with goals scored by Nathan Perren, Matt Helps and Harrison Mullins.
The penultimate match was against Devon and, despite losing with a creditable 6-7, knowing that a last-match win against the 2015 winners Wiltshire would hand Dorset the Championship – and the “Jack Jones” trophy – made for a nail-biting end to the tournament. The final game against Wiltshire started off tight and tense with the first half ending in a 3-3 draw, but the Dorset team used its youth and fitness to power through and pull away in the second half to end with an emphatic 8-3 win.
“It’s a great result, one better than our second position last year. What is even more rewarding is that the majority of the teams came up through the age group ranks of Dorset Water Polo,” said David Bradley, Dorset County ASA Water Polo Secretary and long-serving player/coach for Bournemouth Water Polo Club.
Water Polo has a long and distinguished history in Dorset and is arguably the location for the world’s first ever structured Water Polo match held in 1876 off Bournemouth Pier. So, 140 years later, it’s an anniversary worth celebrating.
This year’s ASA National Winter Nationals has resulted in two historic Dorset County short-course records being broken, together with a further four new records set and two Junior medals won.
Poole’s Fiona Hardie and Jasmine McCrea rewrote Dorset history for both the Senior and Junior Female 100m Butterfly with Fiona setting a time of 1:00.74 in the B final (chipping just 0.01 sec from the heat time) and erasing a record of 1:01.33 set by Alex Savage (Ferndown) in 2003, while Jasmine’s heat time of 1:01.31 surpassed 1:02.27 set 22 years ago by Sam Greenep (Ferndown) in 1994.
Jasmine’s 100m Butterfly time was enough to move from being ranked ninth to the silver medal position in the Juniors, having already achieved a well-earned Junior gold in the 50m Butterfly. Ranked fourth in the Juniors, Jasmine turned into the second length of the heats in that event in an impressive 12.6 seconds, and touched in 27.68. Enough to crown her National Junior Champion, be the only Junior to reach the Finals and lower her own Dorset County Junior Record in both heats and final.
Jacob Peters also successfully lowered his own 50m Butterfly County Record in both heats and finals with times of 24.58 and 24.53 respectively, finishing in fifth place in the B Final of that event and achieving National eighth in the final of the 200m Butterfly and first place in the B Final of 100m Butterfly.