Head Coach’s Report
Surrey County Championships 2018
With every passing weekend of intense competition, and as the coaching team was busy collating and pouring over data, the picture began to emerge of Leander doing rather well this year. But it wasn’t until the last weekend of the Championships – and a further day’s wait for the official tables to be posted on the Surrey website – that the great success we had achieved came shining through.
Each weekend the stats were collected after every swim and a thorough performance analysis was conducted. As more success, records and medals were accumulated, the more excited I became at the prospect of penning this report.
This year the Surrey Championships committee decided for the first time to include the Surrey B qualifiers in the 50m events. Due to the increased number of competitors the fantastic London Aquatic Centre was chosen as the venue for the weekend’s swimming which also included the relays. The magnificent team spirit on poolside coursing through the Leander ranks was plain for everyone to see.
An overview of the last 5 Surrey Championships since I joined Leander shows the great strides that we have made.
The standard of swimming in the Surrey Championships improves every year. Across most events and age groups the qualifying times are getting faster. In spite of the qualifying thresholds being more demanding (with the exception of the 50m events) Leander posted a record number of qualifiers this year: 65 swimmers featured in a total of 286 events, and Leander fielded 28 relay teams.
Surrey Championships – Tinlin Trophy (10-16y olds)
In the competition for the Tinlin Trophy Leander achieved a creditable 7 th place overall scoring 374 points. My first Surrey Championships as Head Coach with Leander was in 2014 when our tally was 210 points. At that point it was clear that we had work to do. While we achieved 6 th place in 2016, we scored almost 20 more points this year.
Kirstin (91) and Alderic (66.5) scored the most individual points while 23 Leander swimmers scored points.
After many years of the girls outscoring the boys, this year the boys (238.5) finally just edged ahead of the girls (224.5p) in the overall score.
With 35 medals in total, Leander also won more medals this year than in recent years. We brought home 5 gold medals each year in 2015, 2016 and in 2017. With 11 golds this year we more than doubled the tally and secured 8 th place in the medal table.
Altogether 9 Leander swimmers won medals. Among the girls Kirstin won 10 and Alderic scored the most for the boys with 7. Sonny won the most gold medals with 5 as he completed the Freestyle Grand Slam – winning the clean sweep of Freestyle events from 50m to 1500m!
Medals were also won by 2 Leander relay teams and one team regained a trophy won by Leander only on two occasions since 1930!
Finals and Personal Best Times
Leander swimmers reached 105 finals (including top 8 finishes in events which were straight finals) and 11 relay teams placed in the top 8. Our swimmers set 225 new PB’s.
Age Group Trophy Winners (10/11-14)
The Age Group Trophy is for the swimmers who gain the most points in each age category over 5 different events and for that reason it is highly prized. No Leander swimmer made the top 10 last year. This year was different: 4 Leander swimmers were ranked in the top 10: Sonny (12y) and Alderic (11y) collected their trophies for 2 nd and 3 rd respectively. Jacob (14y) and Saskia (12y) both finished 7 th while Keira Mc (14y) finished in 11 th place.
Our swimmers set 55 new club records (53 Age group and 2 Open). Alderic set 14 new records, Sonny 13, and Kirstin posted 4 Age Group and 2 Open records, with Saskia close behind setting 5.
Other notable performances and improvements
Our most improved and most successful event this year was 100m Butterfly overtaking the 50m Backstroke from last year. Butterfly became the most successful stroke overtaking Breaststroke. However the great news is that due to our breadth of talent the 3 other strokes vied closely with one another and were not far behind. The rivalry between our two performance squads was intense. Gold Squad chased our seniors in Platinum Yellow Squad all the way but finally had to settle for 2 nd place with 141 points to PLY’s 181 points.
In their final year competing in the Tinlin Trophy, our hugely successful 16 year- old age group, and the girls in particular, accumulated an impressive 141 points. They have set the bar and have given our swimmers coming through next year plenty to aim for!
The Surreys are a team Championships and success in the counties requires a combined and concerted team effort. To build on the wonderful achievements of this year with a view to an even better performance in the Age Group Trophy next year and beyond is now the goal for all our age group squads.
Highlights of 2018 Surrey Championships;
- Leander came 7th in the Tinlin Cup
- Sonny got 2nd in 12y olds age group trophies
- Alderic 3rd place in 11y old age group trophies
- Sonny. ‘Grand Slam’ – gold medals in all freestyle events
- Suzannah, Enerel, Lucy and Kirstin for winning the Elsie Annison Challenge Cup in 4 x 100m Freestyle
Well done to all the swimmer’s that swam and all the parent’s that drove and cheered them on. Full Surrey report will be following soon
Are you looking for a course to become a swimming teacher or lifeguard or enhance your existing qualifications
The following courses and qualifications are being offered:
- ASA / Swim England Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching)
- ASA / Swim England Level 2 Teaching Swimming
- ASA / Swim England Level 2 Teaching Pre-School Swimming (**new qualification**)
- National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)
- National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
- Qualifi Level 3 Certificate in Swimming Teaching and Aquatic Programmes
More info the the courses them self and how to book can be found HERE
Head Coach Report for AGM 2018
Over the last 12 months Leander has enjoyed the most successful year in recent club history. During this time our membership has grown by 30% and we have been able to add three new coaches to the Coaching Team.
This recent success is due to the united vision of the Club leadership, the establishment of clear goals, the hard work of our coaches and our swimmers, and the enthusiasm and commitment of our parent volunteers. It is a simple recipe for success. It is not easy, but it is simple.
Some of our recent best team results:
- Our Juniors achieved remarkable success against some big clubs coming 5th in the top division of MK Junior League
- Team Leander won the 1st Division of National Arena League winning every round and gaining promotion to Premier Division
- Leander swimmers won 29 medals at the 2017 Surrey County Championships
Some of our recent best individual performances:
- 3 regional champions
- 6 national qualifiers
- our first international representation – World Junior Championships qualifier
The performance of our junior swimmers has improved considerably. On the first weekend of the 2018 County Championships Leander junior swimmers won 4 out of 5 Leander medals and broke seven age group club records in doing so.
It will soon be 4 years since I joined Leander as Head Coach. It has been an incredible journey; challenging but enjoyable in many ways. Remembering where the club was in 2014 makes me proud of what we have achieved together in a relatively short time.
In 2014 Leander was unable to field a team to compete in the National Arena League. Leander finished mid-table in the Surrey Championships, had few regional qualifiers and no national qualifiers. Four years on and I am happy to say we are in a different place entirely.
Our results have been achieved due to our emphasis on the process – with clear goals in mind. It is the process which we value the most and provides the values which we instil in our swimmers. As well as coaching swimming we teach swimmers the value of hard work, perseverance and team spirit. These are the reasons why so many people choose Leander. We continue to offer a training programme which creates champions in swimming and in life.
There is one crucial ingredient which distinguishes us from other swimming clubs and makes us successful. It is the readiness of the Club to change and evolve. The changes introduced over last 4 years were introduced in stages. Each change allowed and encouraged further growth and development.
Our recent success is the result of club restructure implemented in June 2015. One season was all that was needed to show the results of this improved club structure. The most recent change in September 2017 went further still with the introduction of clearly defined development pathways, better utilisation of our facilities and coaches, and the carefully managed increase in the club capacity. We are now able to offer our swimmers a top-class training programme.
Our main short term goal is to consolidate the gains due to this restructuring – and we will begin with the squad moves planned for June 2018. Our goal is to fill the club close to its capacity by September 2018. On the performance level we will aim to become firmly established as a Premier Division Club in the National Arena League and will therefore be ranked among the best clubs in the region. Another goal is to be the most successful sports club in Wandsworth.
I very much look forward to coming 12 months working together towards these goals to make Leander an even better club.
Our next trials are on the 24th February 2018
We welcome applications from swimmers competent in all four strokes (including starts and turns) to join our squads training towards County, Regional and National competition. To see our MINIMUM standards watch our video.
The trials will be held on Saturday 24th February at Ernest Bevin College, Beechcroft Road, Tooting, SW17 7DF. (Go to the sports complex entrance through the car park). Timings: sign in at 11.45, swim from 12.00, finish at 13.00.
Online pre registration application form is required, we will not allow your child to trial out otherwise.