I began coaching over 30 years ago with an age group club that also had a strong Masters section in Suffolk. I consider myself to be very lucky to have had some talented swimmers who succeeded winning medals at County, District and National level both age group and Masters plus a 50m Freestyle British Masters Record breaker in the 18-24 age group and a 200m Butterfly National Masters Champion. Having said that, Breaststroke and Backstroke are probably my favourite strokes to coach.
I haven't really been on poolside coaching for some 10 years or more since moving to Cornwall although have been heavily involved as part of the events team for the GB Masters and National Masters competitions as well as local and regional meets and this will always remain my passion.
Having said that, dusting off my stopwatches has reignited something that has been missing for some time. I'm looking forward to supporting Carrick Masters which is a brilliant idea to give Cornish swimmers additional training time and an opportunity to compete in relays and as a team at meets nationwide.
My aim will be to enable swimmers to reach their potential regardless of age.
In 2005, I started Swimming with Truro Swimming Club Masters to improve my technique and speed when competing in Triathlon. It allowed me to keep swimming during winter when the sea temperature drops.
My son began to swim with Truro City in 2012. I started helping at sessions, which is when I started my path to swim coaching/teaching. I regularly helped out, assisting other coaches and in 2014 qualified as a Level 1 Swim Teacher.
Since then, I have regularly coached the younger members of Truro City and taken many to various galas across the county and further afield with plenty of great success.
My son recently stopped swimming, but I have continued to coach one session a week with the club. I then got the opportunity to coach with the Carrick Masters, this was a new challenge for me and one I am really enjoying.
My aim is to encourage swimmers to improve stroke technique, swim efficiently and enjoy the sport.
Rob is an Open Water Coach and Level 1 SE Swim Coach. He has completed some amazing open water challenges and has gained a lot of experience, both coaching and swimming in open water.
In 1996 he swam the English channel as the fastest British man of year and the 2nd fastest overall, having been coached by International Swimming Hall of Fame & Channel WR holder Lyndon Dunsbee.
In 1997 he went on to coach the fastest British man to swim the English Channel, Lee Wakeham.
Other significant open water events Rob has entered include:
- Marathon Swim X2
- BLDSA Champion of Champions
- Big Brutal Swim Snowdonia
- La Jolla Beach Swim California
- English Channel Relay
- Channel Swimming Pacemaker including WR breaking swim
He also swam for Dover Lifeguards Swimming Club, the number 1 British open water swimming club and 2nd only to the Dolphin Club, San Francisco, in the world.
Rob is on poolside to coach our swimmers in the technique and skills to swim efficiently, and effectively in open water.
Cathy Ralph (Head Coach)
I have been a swimmer all my life, as a child competing with our local club in SW London and then at Charing Cross Medical school for the water-polo team.
When I settled in Cornwall I enjoyed swimming in the sea and watching my 3 children swim and compete with Truro City Swim Club. Seeing the children thrive and progress with their swimming, I decided to take up swimming again and entered a few masters competitions and took up open water swimming.
In 2011 I swam the English Channel as a part of a 6 person relay and in 2012 I became Chair of TCSC. As I approached medical retirement I decided I wanted to come poolside and coach the adult swimmers, so I completed my Swim England coaching qualifications, Level 1, in 2018 and Level 2, in 2020.
Seeing an unmet demand for adult coaching I founded Carrick Masters Swimming Club, which admitted members in 2020 and was affiliated to Swim England in November 2020.
During the pandemic open water swimming exploded in popularity so Carrick Masters was also set up to support open water swimming. I gained my Open Water Coach STA award in October 2020.
Despite a pandemic dictated delay, the Club commenced pool training and coached sessions in May 2021 and has progressed into a vibrant and thriving masters swimming community.
Recently appointed (Sept 2021) as the South West Para-development Coach I look forward to acquiring the skills to admit and support para-swimmers in 2022.