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Dorset County ASA

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Dorset volunteers receive South West Region Awards

October 1, 2019   By


Two Dorset volunteers were recognised for their long-standing dedication to the sport at the regional Annual Council Meeting held in Taunton on 8 September.  Weymouth & Portland WPC’s Dan Kinsey received a South West Regional Adult Achievement Award, while Chas Wallace from Poole SC was presented with a Long Service Award.

PE teacher Dan Kinsey, pictured left with retiring SWR President and Dorset’s own Bob Holman, started playing water polo for Weymouth & Portland at 11 years of age, rising to first team player at 15, and continuing the sport at university in UCAS competitions as well as an Under 21 Wales International. Dan returned to Weymouth as First Team captain and coach, captaining the team to win the Hampshire Water Polo League, and took Weymouth & Portland to National League status for two years running. Having started a successful development programme for young players in the Weymouth and Portland area, which has become an important part of the local community, he continues today coaching all club teams as well as organising and coaching Age Group and Senior Dorset County Teams. Despite a serious debilitating illness in 2015, a determined rehabilitation has meant that Dan has returned to work and also the sport he loves, as well as finding time to coach football for Bournemouth and rugby for Dorchester.

Chas Wallace is the ultimate example of long service to the world of swimming. Though now 94 years old, he is still a regular official at Dorset Schools Swimming Association events, but this reflects only a fraction of the service that Chas has given to the sport over the years. As with most volunteers, his first poolside experience came when his children started to swim and in 1957 he offered to help with a club session one night a week. Then, having qualified as a volunteer teacher and coach at Heston Swimming Club in 1967, a single club session rapidly became a life-long involvement in the sport.

In 1977, Chas (pictured left at the SWR ACM) took a coaching post at Elmbridge Phoenix SC and was then persuaded to cover for a coach at Feltham SC at the same time, but nevertheless continued with both clubs for seven years. In his “spare” time Chas taught swimming at the Hounslow School of Life Saving for 16 years, and coached older swimmers to enter lifeguard competitions both in the pool and open water. In 1990, having been approached by a local Lions group on how best to run an inclusive event for young people with disabilities, Chas next developed a handicap system to cater for all. His involvement with these disability events lasted for 20 years, and he continued to travel back to events long after his family had moved to Dorset. In 1996 Chas became a member of Wimborne Swimming Club, which continued until the club disbanded in 2007. As a qualified official, Chas retired from the Dorset County Officials list in 2006 at the age of 81, but continues to support DSSA events when asked.

2019 National County Team Championships

October 1, 2019   By


The Dorset team will be heading north this weekend to Sheffield’s Ponds Forge for the annual National County Team Championships on 6 October 2019, with 24 swimmers from six clubs having been selected as follows.

Bournemouth Collegiate – Finn Trehane; Poole – Alex Bryant, Tom Cutbush, Catherine Eland, Robbie Hemmings, Charlie Meek, Oliver Fairman, Amy Gooch, Max Looker, Tilly McHugh, Ella McNamara, Tiasha Michelo, Luca Sartorius, Alan Szczasiuk and Betsy Vavasour; Seagulls – Isaac Ellis and Sam Small; Swim Bournemouth – Amy Brown, Connor Cherrington, Ella Chown, Eva Hourigan and Phoebe Kelman-Johns; Wareham – Hester Mugford; West Dorset – Lauren McRobbie.

Age groups for this competition are 12/13, 14/15 and 16/17 years, with age as at 31 December 2019. The team from Dorset will be competing in Division Two and appointed coaches are Sam Woodward (BCS) and Becky Dowling (Poole). Congratulations to everyone selected and good luck!

2019 Regional Open Water Championships cancelled

September 2, 2019   By


The Swim England South West Region Open Water Committee has taken the decision to cancel the Regional Open Water Championships for this year.

The event was due to be held on 6 July in Weymouth, but postponed due to water temperatures being below the required FINA regulations of a temperature of 14C at 40cm depth. However, it was hoped to stage the event this month.

Unfortunately, and despite contacting several clubs and companies, the SWR Open Water Committee has been unable to obtain enough on-water cover of canoes or paddle boards to ensure swimmer safety. Sue Dors, Committee Chairman, advises that refunds to entrants will be addressed once costs incurred through cancellation of the event have been assessed.

Swim England National Open Water Age Group Championships 2019

August 10, 2019   By


Strong winds forced the abandonment of the opening day of the 2018 Swim England National Open Water Age Group Championships; this year blue-green algae resulting in lake closure in the Rother Valley Country Park meant that fast action was needed to ensure this year’s event could even take place. This came as a second blow to Dorset swimmers who had already experienced the Swim England South West Open Water Championships at Weymouth being cancelled in July due to water temperature, and who had then to travel to the Midlands Open Water Championships at Nottingham’s Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre to be able to qualify for the national competition. A last minute move, however, to Thrybergh Country Park in Rotherham meant the Championships took place on Monday 5 August with nine Dorset swimmers making the journey north to compete in either 2km (12/13 years), 3km (14/15 years) or 5km events according to age.

Poole’s Thea O’Keefe was the highest placed Dorset competitor finishing in 5th place with a time of 1:06.54 in the 19 Years Girls 5km event, while Teagan-Mae Graham (Poole) placed 8th in 1:04.39 in the 17/18 Years of the same event. In the 15 Years Girls 3km Poole’s Alex Palotai-Avella and Aimie Quarrie placed 9th and 12th in times of 39.02 and 39.08 respectively, while Harriet Fish (Swim Bournemouth) finished 17th with a time of 39.25 in the 14 Years age group.

Seagull’s Sonny Chamberlain-Hyde was Dorset’s highest placed male competitor finishing 11th in the 16 Years Boys 5km in 59.11, while Miles Ward (Poole) finished 14th in the same age group in 1:00.36 and James Richardson (Seagulls) also finished 14th in the 17/18 Years age group in 59.49. Finally, Poole’s Xavier West finished 20th in 28.06 in the 13 Years Boys 2km event.

The Swim England Open Water National Masters Championships will take place at Nene Park in Peterborough on 1 September 2019.

Lyme Regis water polo weekend a big success

August 10, 2019   By


Having brought back water polo to Lyme Regis only three years ago, the 2019 Lyme Splash UK Sea Water Polo Championships has gone from strength to strength with another successful weekend when nearly 500 players and supporters took part in the event at the historic Cobb Harbour. During the weekend over 40 games were played in two floating pitches by 18 teams coming from as far afield as Newquay, Aberdare and Southampton and which included nine Women’s teams and two mixed Amateur “taster” teams.

Winner of the Women’s event was Southampton Sirens with Welsh Warriors as runners-up, while Valley Dragons/Cwm Draig won the Men’s event with Exeter & Taunton as runners-up. Winner of the Amateur matches was Lyme Launchers with runners-up Lyme Luggers. Sponsors Annie and Sam Hanbury of Baboo Gelato presented water bottles to the winners and medals to both winners and runners up. Players enjoyed camping over the weekend at Haye Farm and a BBQ together at The Power Boat Club, with raffle prizes from Wyvern Water Polo, finishing off with a wonderful firework display.

“We certainly exceeded expectations!” said Karen Durham-Diggins, Founder of Lyme Splash UK. “The Harbour Masters, volunteers, Swim England referees, officials and Fred Fowler from Bridport Barracudas Swimming Club all deserve a special mention. Our new goal posts from Lyme Regis Town Council’s grant had their first outing too and performed excellently! We’ve heard from people who have watched the games last year sign up to clubs and we are intending to add friendly games during the year as well as the Championship next year. We’ll be trying to get together a youth team soon. More details will be announced soon. Water Polo is back on the map in Lyme Regis!”

Lyme Splash is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers held as part of Lyme Regis Carnival and Regatta is the only Water Polo Sea Championship in the UK. This year’s charities were BSharp and Plastic Free Lyme Regis.