AASE athletes celebrate success at graduation ceremony

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18 June 2012

A total of 125 athletes from all five disciplines celebrated their successes while on the AASE apprenticeship programme at the Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony 2012 in Sheffield.

The graduation was hosted by Olympic medallist and BBC commentator Steve Parry with Richard Cadden, former world Thai-Boxing Champion, as the guest speaker. Richard presented the Advanced Apprentice of the year awards for all five disciplines. The winners were:

  • Tom Baxter – Disability Swimming
  • Anya Tarasiuk – Synchronised Swimming
  • Aimee Wilmott – Swimming
  • Decland Ellwood – Water Polo
  • Chris Mears – Diving

Each of these athletes has not only excelled in their sports but also has completed the AASE programme to the highest standard.

Tom Baxter represented GB in the Deaf Olympics and he is a member of the Great Britain Deaf swimming club committee, helping to raise awareness and contribute to the future plans for deaf swimming.

While on the AASE programme, Anya Tarasiuk competed in European Championships and the World Cup.  Anya has been an excellent role model to the younger synchronised swimming athletes.

Aimee Willmott (pictured receiving her award) gained many skills while on the AASE programme including time management skills. AASE helped give Aimee direction within her swimming career and options outside swimming.  She has been selected to compete in the London 2012 Olympics and will be swimming in the 400m Individual Medley.

Decland Elwood was the centre forward for the GB Water Polo youth squad while on the programme. Decland also had a great attitude towards his work with AASE and he completed all his work on time and to the highest quality.

Chris Mears has competed in many international events while on AASE including the Diving World Championships, Fina World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.

Take a look at films of the apprentices in their working environment or at the pool talking about their apprenticeship.


Chris Mears and Chloe Hurd

Lauren Steadman and Tom Baxter

Aimee Wilmott, Lauren Turner and Justin Austin

Issy Collings and Anya Tarasiuk

Ruth Van Mierlo and Decland Ellwood

Level 3 Coaching:

Frankie Murphy and Samir Ahmed

Parkwood Apprenticeship:

Aristie Wright


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