Champion dedicates honour to club

TEAM Ipswich head coach Dave Champion has dedicated his Suffolk ASA Coach of the Year award to the entire club after their runaway victory at the 2007 County Championships.

TEAM Ipswich head coach Dave Champion has dedicated his Suffolk ASA Coach of the Year award to the entire club after their runaway victory at the 2007 County Championships.

Champion was presented with the award after the results were announced following the final weekend of competition, in which Team Ipswich finished 647 points clear of their nearest competitors for the Top Club title.

He said: “We wanted them (the Suffolk ASA) to present the award to us as a group of coaches, but they said that was not possible.

“No one can do it on their own so I therefore accept this award on behalf of all our coaching team, for the likes of Carol Jelling, Nick Locke, Zoe Cray and Nicky Merrell and all the other coaches and club committee members, our success would not be possible without all of them.”


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Reflecting on the event Champion said: “We have obviously won things before but have usually relied on less swimmers, so in that respect, these were probably one of the best County Championships we have had in terms of how many people it involved.

“The success is just reward for the swimmers who certainly seem willing to train harder than ever.

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“Leading up to the Championships we had a lot of the swimmers coming in on an additional Saturday mornings as well as extending some of their training times from an hour and a half to two hours.

“When we have asked them to step up a gear they have responded without question and have accepted some of the sacrifices they make as a price to pay.

“Although some of our swimmers compete at bigger events on an international stage, they always seem to rise to the occasion for the County Championships.

“The swimmers love racing in their own pool and against their piers, and I think it is important for us as a club to show what we can do.

“For me, the highlights from the Championships was seeing a lot of swimmers not necessarily win their races, but take massive personal best times. It is very satisfying when all the people who deserve to go fast do go fast.

“What we try and do is instil in our swimmers that they will make it inevitable that they will do well as long as they put the preparation in. It's no different to exams; if you put the work into the books then you will get the results.

“As a coach I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little apprehensive the night before a big competition, but once the ball gets rolling and the competition starts it is important for a coach to enjoy themselves and just roll with whatever happens.

“Everyone is trying their best, so it is important not to get caught up in the little issues.”

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