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'Delighted’ Catherine Ralph named Masters Cherriman Award winner

A life of dedication to the Masters community has seen Catherine Ralph be awarded the prestigious Cherriman award.

The annual award is given to an exceptional individual who inspires others or works tirelessly behind the scenes to help the Masters community.

Catherine has been doing exactly that, undertaking multiple roles during her journey – swimming, team manager, coach, representative, and administrator. Her work in these roles has been across all levels from club, county, regional and national.

After receiving the award from her clubs’ (Carrick Masters) Welfare Officer Alan Dodd, she wanted to thank everyone who has been a part of her journey.

She said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way and nominated me for the award.

“It was very unexpected and I’m totally delighted to join the list of incredible Masters community members who have won it before.”

A life of dedication

After swimming her whole life, Catherine got into Masters swimming and since 2014 she has been instrumental in the organisation of the Masters Cornwall county team.

She stepped out of the pool in 2016 and took on the role of team manager and due to her diligence, dedication, and commitment to her team, Cornwall rankings improved year on year from 2016 to 2020.

Catherine has been a big figure in Masters swimming behind the scenes with her role as the Cornwall Masters representative from January 2017 before becoming the Volunteer Administrator to Home Countries Masters Swimming Management Group in 2019.

Her quiet but efficient management of these administrative tasks ensured the smooth running of the group despite the considerable disruption caused by the pandemic.

Catherine also is a qualified coach, gaining her Level 1 SE Assistant Swim Coach in 2018 and her Level 2 in April 2020. This was followed by her STA Open Water coaching qualification in 2020 and SW Para-swimming coach later that year.

She is enthusiastic about promoting the lifelong participation in the sport of swimming to both younger adults and masters swimmers.

From late 2018 she coached masters swimmers at Truro City swim club before almost singlehandedly forming a new swim club – Carrick Masters – in November 2020 where she is currently both the Chair and Head Coach.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic the club was affiliated to Swim England and started to admit members in November 2020.

The club has now gone on to achieve SwimMark status with 85 active members which is growing each month. The club has expanded into open water following the rise in popularity during the pandemic and has supported events in Cornwall throughout the summer.

Given Catherine’s contribution to Masters swimming she is a deserving winner of this year’s Award.

Nominations for the next Cherriman award winner are now available. If you know someone who is deserving of this prestigious accolade, nominate them here.