New head coach at Honiton Swimming Club

PUBLISHED: 10:52 03 February 2011

Ralph Watson

Ralph Watson


Honiton Swimming Club have appointed a new head coach.

Having had a career in the Royal Navy, Ralph Watson has recently relocated from London to be closer to the sea.

Ralph began his swimming career as a parent, helping on poolside at the local club, in Harrow. He gained his coaching qualifications during this time, becoming Head Coach for the Disabled Swimming Club at the pool.

He was later encouraged to join Ealing Swimming Club, one of London’s premier clubs, where he was in charge of a group of 600 swimmers, for many years.

There he worked alongside top Olympic coaches and learnt a great deal from them. He also attended coaching related courses at Loughborough and Bath.

His aims for Honiton Club are to use the assistant coaches and supporting poolside assistants, effectively. He would like to use the collective responsibility to good effect.

He said: “The quality of swimmers is there and they just need guidance. The biggest challenge is motivation and success is a big motivator. I am looking forward to working as a team with enthusiastic and committed assistant coaches, whose help I am already appreciating.”

Honiton Swimming Club’s formidable team of assistant coaches, consists of: Laura Halford, originally from Tewkesbury, Gloucester.

She developed as a swimmer, to a national level, at Tewkesbury Swimming Club, where she helped coach for three years. Whilst studying Economics, at Lancaster University, Laura swam for the uni team. As she studies to become an accountant, here in the SW, Laura continues to build on her coaching expertise, at Honiton Swimming Club.

Carol Rea and family, from Okehampton originally, have been a big part of the Honiton Swimming Club for around 15 years. Carol has served on the committee for many years, as her sons attended training sessions and galas. Carol seized an opportunity to train as a Level 1 coach and has been assisting poolside ever since. Carol’s youngest son has achieved Devon County times and also helps coach the very young swimmers on a Sunday evening.

Gary Kingston is a sergeant major in the Royal Marines. He has always been a keen swimmer and helps poolside, whenever he is not away serving his country. Gary trained as a coach, several years ago when he also did the team manager course. Originally from Bristol, Gary and his family moved to Honiton in 1998. The whole family got involved and they are all still keen swimmers at the club.

All of the assistant coaches and poolside helpers are highly committed and very motivated individuals.

They are looking forward to working alongside Ralph in his mission to build the Honiton Swimming Club up to a new level, through fun, discipline and hard work.

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