Former Olympic coach appointed as new Weston coach

PUBLISHED: 09:20 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 10 February 2017

Mark Rawle.

Mark Rawle.

Archant

Olympic Legacy coach Mark Rawle has been appointed as the Weston Swimming Club’s new head coach.

Weston Swimming Club is absolutely buzzing with the news that Olympic Legacy coach Mark Rawle has been appointed as the club’s new head coach. Mark is an outstanding coach, with a wealth of experience and comes to North Somerset’s premier swimming club with a glittering CV.

He has previously served as head coach of both Yeovil & District Swimming Club and Bridgwater Swim, and assistant coach at Taunton Deane Swimming Club. He recently also developed the performance swimming scholarship programme at Sherborne Girls’ School.

He has a proven track record in nurturing swimmers from learn to swim level, through to county, regional, national and international levels.

Mark’s expertise has been recognised nationally by the sport’s governing body. He was one of just 80 coaches selected from throughout the UK to join the Amateur Swimming Association’s Advanced Coaching Offer Programme as part of the London 2012 legacy.

Prior to that, he was one of the few coaches appointed as part of the ASA’s Beacon programme, developing elite swimmers from across the south-west region. He has also coached on the prestigious ASA England Talent programme.

Everyone at the club is looking forward to exciting times ahead, energised by Mark’s love and enthusiasm for swimming.

Speaking to a club officer, Mark emphasised his delight and excitement coming into the role and stated his desire to build on his predecessor’s achievements at the club, and to follow the club’s motto, of moving both the club and each swimmer “ever forward.”

He has already started to formulate plans to develop the club’s land training and pool work, to widen its volunteer workforce, to enhance its support for coaches and to deploy his excellent people skills, to engage fully with athletes, parents and the management committee.

As the calendar flipped over to 2017, Weston said a fond farewell to the retiring Julian Davies and his university-bound daughter Lucy.

Julian was recently awarded life membership of the club for his outstanding service to the club over a lengthy period from boyhood and beyond as a superb polo player to becoming an outstanding technique-focused swimming coach.

Lucy’s swim in round three of another successful Premier Division National Arena Swimming League campaign for Weston was her last competitive swim in a purple hat.

Lucy has taken up a swimming scholarship at Fresno State University where she is studying criminology after a 12-year career at Weston that saw her not only win loads of county and regional medals and trophies, but compete at the highest level – appearing as a 13-year-old in the London 2012 Olympic trials and rounding things off in style in August 2016 with a fantastic gold medal at the ASA National Summer Championships in Sheffield in her 200m breaststroke event.

A special mention must be given to every single coach and parent who has stepped in to help the club manage the transition between head coaches, both on poolside, enhanced land training and administratively.

At the club’s recent awards evening, which celebrated the achievements of the departing head coach Rachel Aldington, who leaves Weston to take up an exciting coaching position at Millfield, the club celebrated the contributions of all of its workforce, with a hugely well-deserved life membership awarded to Keith Titchin.

With his eagle eye, rock solid technique focus and kind supportive comments, Keith has enabled every swimmer he has coached to not only thoroughly enjoy the sport, but to make significant improvements to their stroke.

The club was delighted to hear of one of its alumni’s recent marriage – Keith’s daughter Lucy (an international swimmer, bred at Weston Swimming Club and later developed at Millfield and Fresno State University).

A very welcome sight back on poolside has been Weston legend Phil Moore. The club is delighted to have Phil back after a period of illness.

One of Weston’s youngest qualified coaches and current club female captain, Evan King, carried Team Weston’s hopes at the recent ASA Winter Meet in Sheffield.

Having qualified across multiple events (a huge achievement in itself), star pick was Evan’s 200m fly where she qualified from heats in 11th place in the UK and cemented a place in the B final, which she duly won in a fantastic personal best time of 2.12.39.

Evan and her national squad team-mates are currently in a solid training block ahead of the 10-week qualification window for summer national championships, which will include the British Championships at Sheffield (April) and South West Regional Championships at Plymouth (April/May).

If you are interested in joining North Somerset’s premier swimming club, which is focused on helping every swimmer to become the best that they can be, please contact Weston head coach Mark Rawle, via the club secretary – secretary@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk – or for Learn to Swim, contact Charlotte Bradley – ltswsmsc@hotmail.co.uk

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