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Open Water Development

Sadly several Swim England regions have already announced the cancellation of their Regional Open Water Championships in 2021 after reviewing all current Government, Local Authority and venue COVID limitations and restrictions, Swim England's “Return to Competition” guidance and exploring any options available that would have allowed events to proceed in compliance with these conditions.

With Swim England asking Regions to consider holding an open water festival in September 2021, it is worth noting that open water swimming development continues locally. Click on a panel heading below to open it and learn more about the organisation driving participation in the discipline.
A.N.T. Swimming Club of Somerset


A.N.T. holds open water sessions at Cromhall Quarry, South Gloucestershire, Bristol Open Water Centre (BTC) and also holds elite OW pool sessions at Hengrove Leisure Centre.

Andrew Turner and Nicky Taylor lead their Coaching Team. Andrew is a qualified ASA Level 2 Coach, ASA Level 2 Teacher and England Talent Development Coach (Paris Marathon & Frankfurt Ironman) and received a B&NES Chairman Sports Award 2015.

Nicky Taylor is Somerset ASA Open Water Secretary and a member of the County’s Swimming Committee. A qualified ASA Level 2 Coach, ASA Level 2 Teacher, ASA Level 2 Open Water Coach and British Swimming Licensed J2 Official, Nicky also holds a Diploma in Anatomy & Physiology and has completed Deaf Friendly Swim Coaching CPD.

Club Open Water Sessions cater for Juniors, Performance Athletes, Triathletes and Masters swimmers.


Vobster Quay


Richard Smith is based at Vobster Quay where you will need to be a current swim or diving member to visit.

While A.N.T Swimming Club coaches Andrew Turner and Nicky Taylor will be known to many readers already having coached at a number of local swimming clubs, we have shared below Richard’s profile as Swim England South West’s new Open Water Development Officer.

Richard is an MSc Sports Science and Coaching post graduate with over 25yrs experience of working and coaching in elite sports programmes, including 5yrs as a Senior Lecturer / Applied Sport Scientist and 10 yrs heading up England Cricket’s Sports Science, Medicine and Strength and Conditioning programme. His involvement in and passion for Open Water swimming and Triathlon started some 30yrs ago. As part of a British Triathlon development project he became the first sighted guide to paralympic swimmer and future paratriathlete Tim Reddish. The project focused on raising awareness and creating opportunities at all levels for athletes with disabilities both within Triathlon and Open Water swimming and helped to establish paratriathlon in the UK.

From this introduction to Open Water swim racing and having completed the original ASA Club Coaching award, Richard went on to race around the World over a range of distances up to Long Course / Ironman Triathlon and a variety of Long Distance swims. Most recently he has raced Baithle as an elite age grouper. He has helped to establish five triathlon clubs; coached extensive pool and open water swimming programmes; supported novices through to GB multisport athletes and coached on numerous international training camps, workshops and seminars.

With two young children, Richard left England Cricket and moved back to the South West Region and as a full time professional Open Water Swimming and Multisport coach. he established and developed the Open Water Swimming venue, events and coaching programme at Vobster Quay. As Performance Coach at Vobster, he offers a broad portfolio of Open Water Swimming and Multisport coaching from introductory workshops and 1-1 coaching for complete beginners, pool to open water swimming through to supporting elite programmes and swimmers. This has included the South West Triathlon Junior Talent Squad, Vicky Holland and the Bath based elite Triathletes and GB swimmer Jazz Carlin.

As a venue operator, Richard has established positive links with a range of National Governing Bodies, Open Water Swimming groups and organisations, including the RLSS and Outdoor Swimming Society. In 2018 Vobster piloted several very successful Junior Open Water swimming initiatives which from 2019, link to Swim England’s new Open Water swimming awards. Vobster have also organised and delivered a sell out Open Water senior and junior coaching day with Jazz Carlin; hosted and contributed to Swim England and British Triathlons Open Water Coach Education and CPD programmes and hosted SW Swim England’s Open Water Development programme.   

Richard is Head Coach to the newly formed Team Proto-col Multisport, which in its first season saw both senior and junior members win World and European Titles. Richard mentors and runs development workshops for Marlborough College elite sport scholars programme and writes extensively on Open Water swimming and Triathlon for Triathlon 220 Magazine, Triathlon Plus Magazine and Get Into Swimming.  

Both his sons train and race for Trowbridge Amateur Swimming Club and he and his wife are active volunteers within the Club. 

Relevant Coaching Qualifications

  • British Triathlon Level 2 Coach – Currently Completing Level 3
  • ASA Level 2 Open Water Swimming
  • STA Open Water Coach
Other relevant qualifications:
  • NPLQ Lifeguard – Renewal due in 2020
  • RLSS Open Water Rescue – Renewal due in 2020
  • First Aid at Work & Advance Emergency First Responder – Renewals due in 2020
  • DBS Enhanced Certificate with Wiltshire Council and British Triathlon
  • Safeguarding in Sport – Sport England 
Contact Information:
Address – 4 Westbourne Gardens, Trowbridge, BA149AW
Mobile – 07768 552653
Email – ecb_richards@hotmail.com



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