Lifesaving coach appointed to national development squad

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RIPLEY Amateur Swimming Club And Life Savers (RASCALS) coach Jeremy Johnson has been selected to become the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) National Development Coach.

This will involve coaching both the development squad and the Great Britain team. His appointment by Matt McFahan, performance director of the RLSS, is testament to his impressive coaching skills and the growth and success the Ripley club has enjoyed throughout its 37-year history, 17 of which have involved Jeremy.

Regional and national honours have been won with astonishing consistency relative to the small size of the club, across all age groups, from grass roots competitors under ten years old, to competitors representing their country at Commonwealth level.

At the RLSS championships this year the RASCALS junior boys team won all categories and hold the current UK record times, the junior girls hold a UK record and silver medals in another two other races, and overall five from the top ten UK lifesavers are from the Ripley club.

Jeremy has been a member of RASCALS since the age of seven, and graduated to coaching following his father’s footsteps when his interest developed from competitive swimming to lifesaving.

His dedication to the service and encouragement of others is given freely in a voluntary role, eight hours per week and often much more in the run up to competitions.

He is held in the highest esteem by club officials and members, his enthusiasm, cheerful nature and encouraging smile has built a ‘family’ ethos in the lifesaving club where non-competitive members are nurtured, valued and focused as their confidence is raised and success is worked for and celebrated at all levels.

Coaches like this are the ones that youngsters will remember later in their lives, having shaped their interest and love of learning through sport and instilled belief to stay involved as adults to give something back within the wider community.

His appointment, as the RLSS take on a complete review of the National Coaching Programme, is in recognition of the fast evolving sport of speed lifesaving.

In the 2012 Olympic year, this is a fitting tribute to an outstanding Club Coach who has already produced champions and will continue to do so into the future.

Jeremy will continue in his role at Ripley and help with the development of a national squad of 40 lifesavers, training towards the Junior Championships in Sweden and the World Championships in Australia, both later this year.