Starting as a lifeguard in 1999, Chris has been a key figure in the development of the Shirley Swimming Pool. A background as a pool engineer and top class swimmer, combined with an extraordinary work ethic proved the perfect combination. Having worked at Eastleigh as a lifeguard, Chris quickly showed his worth and was trained as a swimming teacher and pool plant engineer.
Pivotal in the introduction of the direct debit system and closely involved in the 2009 rebuild, Chris quickly became an integral part of the pool’s management team.
Coaching and teaching at the higher end of stroke development, Chris has introducing the unique Butterfly class, his favoured stroke. Shirley pool is the only swim school with a class dedicated to teaching butterfly. Chris has helped redesign and maintain the pool plant, introducing efficient filtration, Ultra Violet and chlorination systems.
In 2008, Chris took control of the Southampton Dolphins Swimming Club, the competitive section of Shirley Pool. Introducing early morning and land training, Chris has transformed the competitive swim squad into a highly regarded junior swimming club.
Since February 2017, Chris has handed over swim school teaching to focus on developing the County and performance section of the swim school as Head Coach of Southampton Dolphins Swim Club, with outstanding results.
In the capable hands of Chris, the humble Southampton Dolphins have gone from strength to strength. The combination of a talent rich pool of swimmers coming through the swim school and the dedication of Chris, club records have been reset, regional accolades won, and national champions crowned. The 2016 – 2017 season yielded a total of 79 Hampshire County medals, placing the Dolphins third overall. Fifteen swimmers made the cut to compete in the Regional Event.
This success at regional level has brought the swim club into the national perspective and raised the bar for the development squad to aspire to. Four of the elite swimmers from the top squad were fast enough to qualify for the British Championships this year, bringing home three medals. This made the Southampton Dolphins the top Hampshire club at the ASA Summer Nationals for the second year in a row.
With results like this, it was no surprise when three of the Dolphins were selected for the Hampshire Talent Camp, two going on to represent the county at National competitions. It wasn’t just the swimmers receiving attention from the ASA, with Chris being called up to coach alongside the best in the county for Hampshire ASA.
Understandably, Chris is keen to further his experience of coaching beyond the young squad at Shirley and is excited,
“I feel it’s time to take on a new challenge, to try something different in terms of swimmer dynamic and work with different coaches. I will have the opportunity to work with top masters swimmers including a British and World record holder and with a number of coaches, including Steve Greenfield” said Chris.
“I’ve put in a good shift at Shirley Pool which has been a real success story. They are a fantastic group of swimmers and I would like to thank everyone for their support and wish all at the pool the very best for the future.”
Swimmers, Staff and management wish Chris all the best in his career.