Head Coach Newsletter – Nov 2019

Dear Club Members,

I hope everyone has enjoyed their half term break despite the inclement weather. It’s been a very busy and fast start to the 2019/20 season with the introduction of the new club structure, training programs, land training implemented, squad meetings held and our first club social events of the season.

Swimmers have adapted very well to the new programs and technical training and improvements have been seen already which is very pleasing and promising for the rest of the season.

Competition Updates

Summer League

In September we competed in the final round of the Summer League, held at Five Rivers which was extremely well run by our gala team. The team was in 6th place in division 1 going into the final round but an excellent display from all on the night resulted in a huge point’s hall to claw our way up to third overall in the league and 2nd on the night – a really positive start to the season.


In early October the Masters team competed in the final Wilts Masters gala of the season at Five Rivers again extremely well run by our team. The Masters put in some excellent displays showing their experience and quality to finishing an excellent 2nd on the night.

Inter Counties 2019

Salisbury Swimmers; Ellie Chalk, Sophie Kibble, Byron Robson and Aidan McMullan were selected to represent Wiltshire County in the Swim England Inter County Championships at Sheffield in early October. All swimmers competed in individual events and relays, securing personal bests. Coach Jez Burton was also selected as Team Manger for the event. Well done swimmers and coach!

Wiltshire 800m Qualifier

In October four swimmers (Libby Byam, Jack Simpson, Zoe Palmer and Jacob Priestley) competed in the Wilts 800m distance qualifier at the Link Centre, Swindon. All four swimmers performed excellently, securing some sizable personal bests with Jacob securing his first regional qualifying time this season.

800m Freestyle Results

Jack Simpson – 11.42.10 Libby Byam – 10.39.75 Zoe Palmer – 10.43.86 Jacob Priestley – 9.36.24

Sherborne Open Meet

The Sherborne Open Meet in early October didn’t go exactly to plan for all concerned, especially the meet organisers, with the Sunday having to be cancelled due to the faults with the timing system and recording of results. Luckily the swims from Saturday have now been licensed level 4 so all personal best secured will count towards counties. We’re still waiting for medals and refunds which have been promised by the hosting club.

Poole Season Starter Open Meet

The start of half term saw 45 swimmers compete in the Poole Season Starter Open Meet at Dorchester Sports Centre with hot heats!

Hot Heats presented swimmers with a chance of winning a prize if they won their heat when a popular tune was played. Winners from Salisbury included Georgie Byam and Aidan McMullan.

There was a great team spirit poolside, with swimmers supporting each other throughout the weekend, which was really encouraging, not to mention our dedicated officials who represented the club with great distinction.

The team performed superbly securing 206 personal best times over the weekend which was over 90% of all swims! Lots more county times were secured and some regional times as well!

It was great to see swimmers competing in multiple events over the weekend, including the 400m Freestyle and IM as well as 200m Butterfly. Both Fran Cole and Sanvee Prabhu secured county qualification in their first ever attempt at 200m butterfly, both swimming the event with ease and good pacing.

The improvements made by swimmers at the meet, not only in terms of times but in the execution of skills, such as turns and transitions and stroke technique, are really pleasing to see so early on in the season. Of course there is a long way to go but the progression so far is really great to see.

South West Winter Regionals

The first weekend of November hosted the Winter Regional’s held at Millfield School, an open competition in 25m format with the best swimmers in the region competing including a number of British Internationals. Ellie Chalk and Aidan McMullan secured a number of qualifying times and both entered six events each. For both swimmers it was their first Winter Regional competition and a great experience competing in a high level meet so early in the season.

Both swimmers performed superbly securing 10 personal best from 12 races entered. Notable performances came from Ellie in the 100m Freestyle securing a time of 59.85 the first time Ellie has broken the minute barrier – a real achievement for a female swimmer. Ellie also swam a short course personal best in the 50m freestyle with a 27.00 securing a place in the B final.

Aiden followed up his impressive displays in the Inter Counties with personal bests in the 50m butterfly 26.73 breaking the 27 barrier for the first time and 31.20 in the 50m Breaststroke. All times secured are regional qualification times for 2020.


Ellie Chalk
50m FS – 27.00 100m FS – 59.85 50m BK – 30.91 100m BK – 1.07.46 50m BF – 30.07 50m BRST – 35.89

Aidan McMullan 50m FS – 24.62 100m FS – 55.11
50m BRST – 31.20 100m BRST – 1.10.30 50m BF – 26.73 100m BF – 1.02.14

Social Events Update

October half term saw over 50 club members take part in the first social events of the season which were very much enjoyed and well received. Swimmers in the younger age groups visited “Jump in” a new trampoline park in Salisbury and had a great couple of hour’s fun bouncing around.

Senior swimmers, brave parents and coach made an early start and visited Thorpe Park for the day for the Fright Night themed week where the park remained open till 10pm.

A big thank you to all the parents who helped support and supervise swimmers at the social events.

More social events are planned throughout the year with the next being a Christmas Party with a proposed date of Saturday 14th December, more information to follow.


Saturday 23rd November – Stingrays Level 4 County Time Trials, Five Rivers 5.30pm Saturday 7th December – Stingrays Level 4 County Time Trials, Five Rivers 5.30pm

The Stingrays time trials are for swimmers chasing county times, please enter events that you require county qualification in. Where space allows swimmers can enter events that they already have a County time for once all entries have been received. If unsure of events to enter please discuss with your squad coach.


As most members are aware from my email updates I have now agreed with Godolphin that all our club sessions will now run throughout the year including half terms. The usual club shut downs will apply and I will update members on this monthly but now for the first time all sessions will run as normal through holiday periods in line with our training programs.

The last day for training at Godolphin prior to their annual Christmas maintenance shutdown is Thursday 19th December, sessions will resume on Thursday 2nd January 2020. I’m currently finalising the squads Christmas program which will be sent to all shortly. Maximising training throughout the Christmas period is really important for swimmers with Counties in early January so please try and attend as many sessions as possible over this period.

Kind Regards

Chris White BA (Hons)
Swim England Senior Coach Head Coach Salisbury Stingrays