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Officials Briefing Room

Technical swimming officials and volunteer helpers are integral to training and competing at Flitwick Dolphins SC and all club members (and their parents) are expected to do their bit.  The system only works due to the generosity of volunteers with no children swimming who give up their time and enthusiasm for the benefit of the Club — please step up to show your appreciation by volunteering to play your part.  You will enjoy being an official and it beats spectating hands down!

Officials Co-ordinators

At Flitwick Dolphins, the Officials Co-ordinators are Phil Winder and Sandra Grant.  They are responsible for ensuring that the Club fulfils its commitment to provide officials at open meets, league & trophy galas, club championships and other events.  They provide a local point of contact for all current and prospective officials within the club — if you have a question or concern, it’s their job to resolve it!

 

Many thanks to all officials who support the club throughout the year at trophy galas, league galas, open meets and championships:  without your willingness to complete the training programme to become a qualified official and to support your club on poolside, the swimmers would be unable to compete. 

With effect from March 2015, the ASA has tightened criteria regarding the provision of officials at licensed meets. It is not permissible for anyone qualified as a timekeeper with no further training to fulfil any of the designated roles at a meet licensed at Level 1, 2, or 3 — this includes County and Regional Championships and all Open Meets (including the Flitwick Open). Even for a Level 4 meet (such as Club Championships), additional training is required for the Chief Timekeeper role. These changes mean that having suitably qualified officials is more important than ever before.  The club currently has several officials in training and any parent is very welcome to join them — it is possible to learn at your own pace under the guidance of a mentor.  Applications are already being accepted for the Judge Level 1 course starting this September — no prior experience is required.

Flitwick Dolphins has always been strongly represented at the Open Water Championships in July.  Beds ASA have arranged an opportunity to train locally as an Open Water official with a view to completing the qualification in July — please contact Phil Winder for details.

Technical Swimming Officials

Swimming officials are required to ensure that rules are observed and competition is fair.  Within England, the ASA provides guidelines on how many officials are required for each type of event and what their roles should be.  You have probably seen officials dressed in white surrounding the pool and wondered who they are and what they do.

Timekeepers – measure the time taken by the swimmer to complete the course.

Judges – observe whether the swimmer complies with the relevant rules during the race.

Starter – gives the signal to start the race.

Referee – has full control of the competition, is responsible for health & safety and ensures that the competition is fair and swimming laws are upheld.
There is a natural progression from parent to timekeeper to judge … and so on.  Special courses are available for officials at disability and open water events.  A licensing scheme ensures that officials’ qualifications and experience remains current as the rules and conduct of swimming competitions evolves. 

Full details may be found from the ASA.  http://www.swimming.org/officials/

Non-Technical Swimming Officials

ASA guidelines also specify non-technical poolside helpers — these roles are vital for the competition to run smoothly.
Promoter – defines the conditions of the competition, processes entries, ensures that the necessary facilities and health & safety procedures are available throughout and appoints the referee.

Recorder – captures the places and times following each event and processes the results.  Update the score at team league galas.

Announcer – works closely with the referee to provide safety announcements and other relevant information during the competition.
 
bcc17 10615Photo Courtesy of mrcphoto

If you are a Flitwick Official then we suggest you register for the British Swimming Officials Newsletters which will keep you up to date with any changes in rules or opportunities to officiate at major meets. Click here to register for the newsletter.

Further information on 2016/2017 Official's Courses can be found here

Flitwick Young Officials

Flitwick Dolphins Young Officials

1991 saw the formation of Flitwick Dolphins Swimming Club, which made its home and main training venue at the newly opened Flitwick Leisure Centre, Steppingly Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire.

25 years of swimming had begun and we saw the birth of what started and has continued to be a wonderful opportunity for children and adults of all ages to take part in the competitive sport of swimming.

The early days at the club saw a gradual build-up to a successful and vibrant competitive swimming club and some early successes included in 1995 the clubs County medallists who can be seen here in this picture. In less than 4 years the club already had a proven successful track record.

1997 saw the first club swimmer achieve a National Qualifying time. On the 24th May 1997, Rachel Mackie achieved this honour competing in the 100m Backstroke at Stantonbury Pool, Milton Keynes.         

In 1999 the club featured in the Times and Citizen Newspaper under the headline “Dolphins speed to first league title”.  The club became the West Midlands Division Three Champions at their very first attempt at the title!

Over the years the club has gone from strength to strength, producing swimmers at County, Regional and National level. Just some of the examples of the clubs successes since its formation include; at the 2005 Bedfordshire ASA County competition, Georgina Halford won the 9 year old age group and Sarah Haslett won the 13 year old age group, as well as 22 gold medal successes with 78 medals in total.

In 2006 the under 10 girls relay team won the medley relay at the Bedfordshire ASA County competition and with a total of 81 medals that year, 46 of which were gold, the club continued to be very successful.

Following on from those earlier Bedfordshire ASA County Competition successes came further age group winners, including Izzy Martin (age group 10 years), Charlotte Beck (age group 12 years) and Hayden Davies (age group 10 years). In 2008 Tom Winder became the boys 14 years age group winner, the boys won the under 15 Freestyle relay and overall the club achieved 75 medals, 26 of which were gold. That year also the club produced over 11 regional swimmers. There have been many individual successes and achievements and the list over the past 21 years is extensive. All the swimmers, in their own ways, have contributed to the clubs vibrancy and continued success.

As well as individual swimmer’s success, the club has major achievements and wins including Junior League Champions, Gareth Jeans Trophy winners, Chiltern League winners and great results at the Arena National League and many other competitions. The club also has a very strong Open Water team that has gone from strength to strength since interest was sparked by Georgina Halford’s successful crossing of the English Channel in a 6-swimmer relay on 22nd August 2008. The culmination of the effort and dedication of the Open Water swimmers saw the team take the title of East Region Open Water Team Champions in 2012.

August 5th 2014, in aid of Diabetics UK and at just 19 years old Georgina Halford went on to successfully swim the English Channel solo in 12 hours and 22 minutes, which was also televised on a BBC documentary –  ‘The Channel Swim’ and was aired on BBC4, July 2016.

The club has also embarked upon a number of swim camps that were held abroad including Cyprus in 2009, 2014 and 2015 plus a trip to Italy in 2011 then in 2015 and 2016 a weekend of intensive Counties training at the Crystal Palace Sports Village.

In 2015 Molly Bow qualified for the British and English Championships in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke, achieving Silver in the 100m Breaststroke and James McFarland achieved Bronze in the 200m Butterfly at the English Nationals.

With a brand new pool to use at the New Flitwick Leisure Centre for 2016, continuing success within the club is still very evident with the dedication of the clubs swimmers and their many achievements.

So far 2016 has been a fantastic swimming year, January and February saw a strong squad of Flitwick Dolphins swimmers competing at the Bedfordshire County Championships at Inspire, Luton Sports Village. The team achieved an amazing 17 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze medals, showing resounding results in the team relays winning gold medals for the boys 14/15 years 4x50m Freestyle relay team of James McFarland (15), Kai Borromeo (14), Sam Dennis (14) and George Hart (15), and the boys 14/15 years 4x50m medley relay team of George Hart (15), Kai Borromeo (14), James McFarland (15) and Ben Rayner (14).
 
Silver went to the girls 10/11years 4x50m medley relay team of Holly Cahill (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Sophie Fowler (11) and Holly Smith (11).

And Bronze medals won by the boys 12/13 years 4x50m Freestyle relay team of Edward McFarland (13), George Maskell (12), Isaac Moon (13) and Tyler Watson (12), the women’s open 4x100m medley relay team of Gemma Trott (17), Molly Bow (15), Georgina Curtis (16) and Melissa Dolby (21), and the girls 10/11years 4x50m Freestyle relay team of Holly Cahill (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Sophie Fowler (11) and Holly Smith (11).  Also, the Junior Championships (under 16) were awarded to Molly Bow, with 1st place for the 50m Breaststroke and 2nd place in the 200m Breaststroke.  George Hart came 3rd for 200m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly, and James McFarland won 1st place for 50m and 100m Butterfly, 200m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley, plus 2nd place for 1500m Freestyle and 3rd place for 200m Freestyle. 
 
In the Senior Championships (all ages), Georgina Curtis was 3rd in the 100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley and 100m Breaststroke. Molly Bow received 1st place for 50m Breaststroke and 2nd place in the 200m Breaststroke, and James McFarland came 3rd in the 200m Butterfly.

Month of June saw Flitwick swimmers at the European Masters Championships, with Liz Woolner winning bronze medals in the 100m and 50m Butterfly, setting a new club record in the 50m Butterfly and narrowly missing the British record by 0.05 secs: a fantastic achievement.

Competing at Regional level in 2016 were: Kai Borromeo (14), who swam in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke; Ben Rayner (14), who competed in the 50m Freestyle and gained a club long course record; and Autumn Handscome (13), who competed in the 50m Backstroke also achieved a club long course record – great swimming achievements from all three of them.

In July 2016 the club also did well at the East Region Open Water Championships in Norwich, with Emma Boost (14) winning the Junior County Championship in the 5km event with Georgie Halford taking silver in the Senior County Championships, and Tyler Watson (12) won County gold in the 1500m, with Philip Cummins (15) taking silver in his first open water competition.  The performances of Tyler Watson and Rhianydd Jones were good enough to qualify for the National Open Water Festival at Rother Park near Sheffield the following weekend. Rhianydd was unable to compete, but Tyler made the trip north for the Boys 12 year 1500m event, producing a really strong swim to finish 28th.

The 2016 Club Championships concluded in November, with huge success as this was the first time that they had hosted an inter house gala at the new Flitwick Leisure centre .   Over the five competition sessions congratulations must go to every Swimmer that competed as amazing achievements were gained with 519 Personal Best times, and County Times reached, and there were 152 Gold, 141 Silver & 113 Bronze Medals Won. Plus, an outstanding 24 Club Championships Records and 7 Short course Records A special mention to James McFarland for gaining 5 Club Champs and 2 Short Course records in the Boys U16 100m Freestyle, Boys U16 100m Butterfly, Boys U16 100m Individual Medley, Boys U16 200m Individual Medley, Boys U16 50m Butterfly plus a Short Course Record and the Boys U16 200m Butterfly and the Short Course Record.

And massive congratulations go to Georgina Curtis who achieved 8 Club Championship Records and 4 Short Course Records and is now officially the fastest girl swimmer by gaining the Girls 16&Over 50m Breaststroke, Girls 16&Over 100m Butterfly, Girls 16&Over 400m Individual Medley,  Girls 16&Over 50m Butterfly, Girls 16&Over 200m Butterfly and Girls 16&Over 100m Backstroke plus Short Course Record, Girls 16&Over 200m Breaststroke plus Short Course Record, Girls 16&Over 100m Breaststroke and Short Course Records and finally the Girls 16&Over 200m Individual Medley and Short Course Record, which is a truly outstanding achievement.

December 2016 saw Flitwick Dolphins compete at Bletchley Leisure Centre for the 3rd and final round of the National Arena league.  This was a very tense and exciting team gala as they had already won round 1 and round 2, and now they were not only competing but hosting the gala too, and with their amazing team spirit and fantastic swimming it paid off and winning round 3, confirming that they had come 1st in division 3 and will now be promoted to division 2 - a fantastic ending to 2016 and 25 years of the club.

Over the 25years that the club has been formed there has been an emphasis on “team spirit”. As well as nurturing individual successes for swimmers both at open meets and at county and regional swimming, the club fosters a strong support and encouragement network with the senior swimmers often encouraging and supporting the younger swimmers, especially at the younger swimmers’ first competitions. Senior swimmers, over the years, have gone on to take courses in teaching and coaching as well as becoming ASA qualified officials and this has greatly enriched the club and continued to make the club successful at all levels.

The club right from day one, has a contingent of dedicated parents, committee members and volunteers that ensure that the club benefits in every way, from organising the yearly End of Season Party and Presentation Evenings, has its own Club Photographer & Press Officer and provides other fund raising and social events throughout the year for the whole club to enjoy.
Coaching Team

Nigel Halford - HEAD COACH
Louise King (Level 2 Coaching)
Lauren Murphy (Level 2 Coaching)
Chris Murphy (Level 2 Coaching)

Helen Curr (Level 2 Coaching)
Ian Murray (Level 1 Coaching)
Ian Fowler (Level 1 Coaching)
Judy Thompson (Level 1 Coaching)
Sandra Grant (Level 1 Coaching)

Lead Coaches for A Squad, Masters and Open Water
Nigel Halford
Ian Murray


  Lead Coach for B and C Squad
Louise King

Fins and Flippers Coaching Team
Lauren Murphy (Level 2 Coaching) - Lead Coach 
Judy Thompson (Level 1 Coaching)
Sandra Grant (Level 1 Coaching)
Janet Murphy (Level 2 Teaching)
Claudia Grant-Dawson (Level 2 Teaching)
 
Callum Runchman (Level 2 Teaching)

Rhianydd Jones (Level 1 Teaching) - Assistant
Katie Tompkins (Level 1 Teaching) - Assistant
James McFarland - Assistant

Olivia Fowler - Assistant
Emma Boost - Assistant
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