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Dorset County ASA

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Swim England launch “Stronger Affiliation” initiative

October 22, 2019   By

Swim England is introducing new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show the highest standards of safe and effective practice are in place. The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced for both new and existing clubs. Other sports, including football and tennis, have also introduced similar schemes.

More than half of Swim England’s 1,045 affiliated clubs are SwimMark accredited, which is the quality standard for affiliated clubs set by the national governing body. From January 2021 those clubs that do not currently hold SwimMark accreditation will now have to provide six pieces of evidence to remain affiliated to Swim England. The focus areas will comprise club constitution, risk assessments, club personnel records,  safeguarding certificates as well as compliance statements from the chairperson and welfare officer. Clubs can then submit additional evidence to become fully SwimMark accredited.

All clubs that currently hold SwimMark accreditation will not have to complete these new guidelines, which are already included as part of the SwimMark process, but will need to ensure accredited status is maintained otherwise the new guidelines will apply.

Jon Keating, Swim England Club Development Director, said: “As the national governing body, we must implement measures to ensure the safety of our members. We want to ensure that all Swim England clubs are fit for purpose and provide a safe environment”.

All non SwimMark clubs, both new and existing, will be able to submit evidence for Stronger Affiliation from 1 June 2020 and all evidence will need to be checked and approved by Swim England by 1 December 2020 in order to coincide with annual renewals. Failure to submit the required evidence will result in temporary or permanent suspension of that club from Swim England.

Anyone with any questions concerning the Stronger Affiliation process should refer to the FAQs document or, if they require further information, email clubdevelopment@swimming.org in the first instance.

Open Water Swimmer of the Year

October 21, 2019   By

Dorset’s Linda Ashmore has been awarded the 2019 Swim England South West Region Open Water Swimmer of the Year award. The Weyport Masters swimmer produced a sensational swim in challenging conditions to regain the world record for the oldest woman to swim the English Channel at the age 71 years. Ashmore, who is also an Ironman World Champion, held the record 11 years ago at the age of 60, but since then lost her title first to 64 year old Australian Sue Oldham and then American Pat Gallant-Charette who completed the swim at 65 years.

Ashmore completed her first ever Ironman competition in Bolton at the age of 68, finishing in first place in the 65-69 age group to earn a place in the Ironman World Championships in the more exotic location of Hawaii and, in 2017, eventually winning the 70-74 division at that event. A talented athlete across a range of sports, she was also the first finisher in the F70+ category at the London Marathon in 2018.


Right: Linda Ashmore presented with the SWR Open Water Swimmer of the Year award by retiring SWR President Bob Holman.

Region announce team for international meet

October 21, 2019   By

The Swim England South West Region has selected a team of 30 swimmers to represent the South West at the Lisbon International Meet in Portugal in February 2020. Congratulations go to Oliver Fairman (Poole), Robbie Hemmings (Poole) and Phoebe Kelman-Johns (Swim Bournemouth) who have been selected from Dorset. The event will be the 12th International Meet held at the Olympic Swimming Complex at National Sports Center in Jamor, Lisbon. The SWR team will depart on 6 February and return on 10 February, 2020.


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!