Tim's Report for the Club AGM

posted 12 Jun 2011, 11:35 by Oxford Masters   [ updated 12 Jun 2011, 11:37 ]


City of Oxford Swimming Club Annual General Meeting – 4 June 2011


Squad Coaches Report – Masters Squad


The COSC Masters squad comprises of 70+ like-minded individuals who are focused on achieving their own particular targets and goals. They are drawn from some eighteen different countries, representing both the northern and southern hemispheres, their occupations spanning the full spectrum of life. World leading figures from nuclear physics, mathematics, academia and Formula 1 racing, share lanes with surgeons, general practitioners, educators, police persons, mothers, fathers and those that are just starting out on their own path of life. In fact the only profession or calling not represented is that of a religious minister. So, births, deaths and murders can be coped with however marriages and funerals need the support of outside assistance in order to complete.


They follow our own cyclically performance-related programme, enabling these dedicated swimmers/athletes to focus on their own particular events, which can be multi-disciplined, or to supplement training that they undertake in other locations…synchronised swimming, water polo, modern pentathlon, aquathon, duathlons and triathlons. Open water and cross-Channel swimming is also a discipline that has been covered by the Masters squad.


We are fortunate to be able to train in The Oxford High School for Girls facility for five 90 minute sessions per week…the average attendance for which is 30-35 swimmers per session. The session average is 4600m; leading to an annual total in excess of 980,000m or 650 miles. With the increase of external enquiries for membership which has arisen from an active marketing strategy, perhaps the need for a further session is becoming obvious and potentially more viable.


The performances of the squad over the year has been truly phenomenal and reflects on some outstanding personal and team performances, these have been achieved across the various levels of WORLD, EUROPEAN, NATIONAL and REGIONAL competitions. These have not only been achieved within the swimming pool but in other disciplines, triathlon, modern pentathlon, synchronised swimming, cross-Channel and open water swimming. This mix of swimmers and athletes enables them ALL to be stimulated by the progress and achievements of other like-minded individuals.


Both individual and team performances and achievements are so very numerous, I have had to illuminate the more noteworthy…to those individuals that have been omitted from the list of “Victor Ladorum”, I apologise. It in no way belittles their individual and personal successes.




SOPHIE WHITWORTH: became I.T.U. World Age Group Aquathon Champion in Budapest on 8th September 2011.


SOPHIE WHITWORTH: became I.T.U. World Age Group Olympic Distance Triathlon Champion in Budapest on 12thAugust 2011.


TOM PECHARD: became I.T.U. World Age Group Sprint Distance Triathlon Champion in Budapest on 11th September 2011.




SOPHIE WHITWORTH: became I.T.U. European Age Group Olympic Distance Triathlon Champion in Athlone on 3rd July 2011.




This competition saw the squad achieve SIX national titles:


DAVID DENNY won two individual titles, 800m freestyle and 100m backstroke.


CHRIS AUST                50m Breast in a NEW BRITISH RECORD 29.04


CHRIS MARSH                         1500m Free


MARIE ROYAL             200m Free




FIVE Silver Medallists:


DAVID DENNY              400m Free, 200m Breast


DAVID HALL                 800m Free


ROMAN WALCZAK       100m Back


DAVID DENNY, MARIE ROYAL, MAGGIE SMITH and MATT GOMEZ combined in the mixed 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay.



SEVEN Bronze Medallists:


DAVID HALL                 100m and 200m Fly


IAN SURRAGE              50m Breast


PETER WILLIAMS        50m Breast


MATT GOMEZ              200m Breast


SIMON JOYCE                         200m Breast


PETER WILLIAMS, IAN SURRAGE, DAVID DENNY and CHRIS AUST in the men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay.


At this meet 2 new British Records, 4 new Scottish National Records and 14 new County best times were also set by Masters squad members.




SOPHIE WHITWORTH: became I.T.U. National Olympic Distance Triathlon Champion at Bedford on 15th August 2011.


TOM PECHARD: became I.T.U. National Sprint Distance Triathlon Champion at Bedford on 15th August 2011.


One of the squad’s swimmers TOM BURKE spent most of 2009 and 2010 preparing for the challenges of a cross Channel swim…more people have made a successful attempt on Mount Everest than have completed a Channel crossing swim. TOM invested heavily in terms of time and at a huge personal cost well in excess of £5000 to make a successful crossing…his worthwhile cause was to be The Helen and Douglas House. Not being satisfied with attempting “La Manche” as a soloist he volunteered to substitute for an injured team member so he could swim as part of a three person relay.  His perseverance, strength of belief and focusing on his goals saw a successful ending to both crossings…in fact the solo crossing was achieved in a faster time than the relay, 13hrs and 4 mins.


The Masters squad’s season recommenced with the Midland Regional Championships held at Leamington in early May. Once again the swimmers responded superbly producing 20 Regional Championship swims, 17 silver medallists and 6 bronze medallists:


Regional Champions:


CHRIS MARSH                                     400m Free, 400m IM, 50m and 200m Back


GRAEME SPENCE                   200m IM, 200m Breast, 100m Fly


JO EATON                                400m Free.


DAVID DENNY                          400m IM


DAVID HALL                             100m Fly, 50m Free, 100m Free and 100m IM


MARCOS VIEIRA                                  50m Free


MATTHEW GOMEZ                   100m IM


ALAN THOMPSON                    100m IM


ZSUZSANNA FELVEGI             100m Fly


CHRIS SCOTCHER                   100m Back, 200m Back


CHRIS AUST, CHRIS MARSH, RUMELO DE LAZZARI and MARCOS VIEIRA in the 4 x 50 Freestyle relay combined to set a NEW REGIONAL and COUNTY RECORD of 1:38.20.


There were also 17 SILVER and 6 BRONZE medal swims.


The results have now re-established COSC Masters squad as one of the centres of excellence in both the Midlands and the South East.


This year saw the 11th consecutive “overseas self-funded training camp” which takes place at Club la Santa, Lanzarote. This comprises of 2 x 2 hour pool long course training sessions (66000m) per day over 6 days augmented by a variety of contrasting activities…stretch and relax, boxercise, core stability, yoga, body pump, etc. The choice of contrasting consecutive activity is left to each individual…those that choose to could cycle! No, not with a basket on the front and down to the shops, but on one of many demanding 40-50k routes.  The “Lanzarote Ironman” competition is held whilst we are in attendance and one can easily see the results of those that have prepared properly or conversely those that have failed to prepare properly.


To summarise the swimmers can look back at their achievements this past year with a great sense of satisfaction. In order to continue and even sustain those standards and become consistent WE MUST as a CLUB REMAIN COMMITTED ACROSS THE BROADER SPECTRUM OF ABILITIES.


Both as an individual and as a squad  we should like to welcome the appointment of AMANDA BOOTH as CHIEF COACH, it is very apparent that AMANDA has brought so much to the City of Oxford in such a short period of time. Parents and swimmers alike will perhaps never again be afforded the opportunity to be coached by such a gifted individual. Amanda brings an abundance of technical knowledge gained by working with some of the most talented swimmers in the WORLD ….this knowledge she shares with you in your quest to improve, she has great organisational capabilities, and she is an extremely well motivated individual.  Her two way communication is both inspirational and motivational with a balance of empathy and common sense, but swimmers be warned, after a life time in the Swimming World she has heard every permutation of excuse. Peeps, YOU now have the opportunity to make significant improvements as swimmers and young people. This, opportunity normally comes but once in an individual’s life time…please use it wisely and respond wholeheartedly.


Remember YOU are only as good as your NEXT swim!


It has at times been fraught, very taxing and a demanding year but on overall reflection a fantastic one, to see as many individuals pushing their performance “envelope” and succeed, is what makes a coaches’ life bearable.


Please remember that fabulous Abraham Lincoln Quotation;


YOU can have anything you want, if YOU want it badly enough. YOU can be anything that you want to be, do anything YOU set out to achieve if you hold that DESIRE with a singleness of purpose.”


Thank you for your attention.


Tim Samwell MBE


Masters Squad Coach