Trafford’s Swimming Clubs enjoyed a successful evening at the Swim England National Awards, with Altrincham Swimming Club securing ‘Club of the Year’ and Trafford Metro’s Head Coach, Bob Bolton scooping ‘Coach of the Year’.
Swim England’s National Awards recognise the vast contributions made by individuals and organisations from all aquatic sports. Both winning clubs provide coaching and competitive swimming for children, young people and adults across the borough at Trafford Leisure’s swimming pools.
Bob Bolton, Masters coach and Club Chairman, Trafford Metro Borough Swimming Club says: “I was honoured but extremely surprised to have won. I’ve been with Trafford Met for over 20 years, and coaching allows me to give back to the sport I love; I’m passionate about creating a safe and friendly environment for people to swim.”
Bob was nominated by his award-winning (adult) Masters Squad, which this year has broken three world records and nine European records, as well as smashing 71 British records, with swimmers from the squad achieving lifetime personal bests well into their forties.
A spokesperson for the Swim England judging panel said: “Bob consistently invests 100 per cent effort, meticulously planning sessions for more than 70 swimmers with diverse abilities. He seamlessly manages dual sessions and provides personalised feedback upon request. Committed to individual development, Bob offers support and motivation, enabling swimmers to surpass personal expectations.
“He is a dedicated educator and conducts coaching courses year-round, fortifying the club’s volunteer base and supporting clubs around the north west. Actively participating in regional galas and meet organisation, Bob epitomises commitment to Trafford Metro’s growth and excellence.”
Altrincham Swimming Club’s Head Coach, Kate Offord, is thrilled to have won Club of the Year. She says: “Altrincham Swimming Club is like a big family. I’m so proud of our swimmers and the fantastic support from our coaching team, committee and parents.
Coaching children to swim is so rewarding, and I like to balance the nurturing side of coaching along side empowering young people to do their very best.
“We’ve had some fantastic results this year, with British National finalists, multiple finalists at English Nationals including Silver and Bronze medalists; we had a Gold medalist at Welsh Nationals and made two finals at the Irish Nationals. We have also had swimmers from our Performance Pathway selected for the National Age Group Development Programme, Regional Development Programme and County Development Programme. I have been privileged to be asked to coach on these programmes too.
“Joseph becoming a British Champion in the 25m breast stroke at the British Down Syndrome Championships recently has been the icing on the cake. We’re looking forward to what’s next for him, with his times not far off the British Squad!
“The temporary closure of Altrincham Leisure Centre for its refurbishment has made training a more complicated, and we are grateful the Trafford Leisure team has accommodated some of our club at their other pools. But we are excited to return when it reopens this summer as move Altrincham, and look forward to being able to call that our home again!”
A spokesperson for the Swim England judging panel said: “Altrincham Swimming Club continued to thrive and grow in 2023. The club found pool time across the area for all its squads to continue training and worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum to support its swimmers. Altrincham has continued to hold all its events and kept up its strong performances, with swimmers qualifying for both the British Summer Championships and the Swim England National Summer Meet.”
Bob Bolton, Trafford Metro Swimming Club says: “Trafford has a great record for aquatics, and it’s fantastic that all the swimming clubs across the borough have an excellent and supportive relationship. Our relationship with Trafford Leisure is envied by other swimming clubs. Trafford Leisure provides a fantastic pathway into swimming through its successful Learn to Swim Programme.
“So many club swimmers give up in their mid-teens, so success to me is keeping a child engaged and excited about swimming through to adulthood. By the age of 18 our swimmers are ready to move on to the working world or university, and our clubs have had important input into their physical and mental development. As young people, competitive swimmers tend to be more organised, self-starters and have respect for their body and what they put into it.
“They usually turn out to be well-rounded adults and are likely to be swimmers for life, which will help them to be healthier. Consequently, swimming clubs have a valuable role to play in our local community, and our partnership with Trafford Leisure is essential in delivering this.”
Jo Cherrett, CEO, Trafford Leisure says: “We are thrilled that Trafford’s swimming clubs have been recognised at Swim England’s awards. We currently teach 4000 children to swim each week and we understand the value and the importance of swimming for our community. We have a seamless pathway from Learn to Swim into the competitive clubs in the borough, and we are delighted these award-winning clubs choose our pools as their home.”
Catherine Hynes, Deputy Leader of Trafford Council and Executive Member for Leisure, Arts, Culture and Heritage says: “Congratulations to Altrincham Swimming Club and Trafford Metro for their outstanding achievements at the Swim England National Awards! Your dedication to coaching and fostering a love for swimming in our community is truly commendable. A big thank you to Bob Bolton and Kate Offord for their exceptional leadership. Here’s to the continued growth and success of our talented swimmers!”
Both Altrincham and Trafford Metro Swimming Clubs accept children from the age of eight, and if you are interested in joining please see their websites for more information and trial dates.