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Phil Brake awarded Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month

Phil BrakeCongratulations to Phil Brake of Bath Dolphin Swimming Club who has been picked by Swim England South West as Volunteer of the Month for April 2020.

Phil has been a coach at the Club since 1985 and has been Head Coach of the senior squad for a majority of that time. He attended 5 training sessions a week, month in and month out.

Phil arranges the team for the Cotswold Series, chasing up swimmers to confirm availability to ensure the best team possible takes part and gives the team and the swimmers the best chance of success. He led the team to runner up spot in the B final last season and to first places in the first two rounds of the 2020 season.

In 2000, Phil also took on the role as President of the Somerset ASA, maintaining his coaching commitment to Bath Dolphin Swimming Club, coaching generations of swimmers to County, Regional and National success. This year more than 20 swimmers from Bath Dolphin Swimming Club achieved County times across all distances and strokes and competed in the Somerset Championships, racking up personal bests and Regional Qualifying times. Phil was there to watch all of them, ready with a handshake of congratulation or an arm around the shoulder in commiseration and a word of encouragement as necessary.

The swimmers he has coached hold him in the highest regard. Recently, he has had to take a step back due to personal reasons and the swimmers were devastated. Former swimmers who had left the Club came back specifically to see him and wish him well and the swimmers made a video to thank him for his coaching as well as signing a card and arranging a shirt printed with “World’s Best Coach” to be presented.

The swimmers also contributed “Phil’s quotes” to be included on a word cloud in the shape of the Club's logo, which included gems such as “kick from the hips”, “don’t breathe first stroke out”, “my Grandma can swim faster than that” and “your back stoke is like watching paint dry” amongst many others.

He has had a huge influence on the hundreds of swimmers who have swum in his squads over the years and given them a love of swimming to many which will last them a lifetime.

Thank you Phil for your contribution.

Update to Volunteer of the Month Criteria

During the current situation Swim England South West felt the need to add to the Volunteer of the Month criteria to include nominations for club volunteers, young volunteers, coaches, etc who have been innovative in ways to keep members of their clubs engaged and in touch. If there is someone in your club who has been instrumental in the communications of your club to members then please fill in a nomination form,
The Region is also asking clubs and members to provide case studies of ways you have made a difference to your club during these difficult circumstances – do you have new virtual training sessions or weekly video calls to your members? Email these across to any of the Regional team and together share ideas and make this time much easier for all involved.

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