The Masters Working Group

Swim England and British Swimming are two separate organisations and have different roles to play in swimming.

British Swimming deals with any issues that relate to the whole of the United Kingdom i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. Swim England deals with issues that affect England.

Therefore, there are two voluntary groups which influence decisions in Masters; one for Swim England and one for British Swimming.

Masters Working Group

This group reports directly to the Swimming Management Group which in turn reports to the Swim England Sports Governing Board. The group is comprised of three volunteers and liaises with the Masters Officer who can take issues to the Swimming Management Group.

  • Click here for contact details of Swim England regional and county Masters representatives.
  • Click here to search for the upcoming Masters Committee meetings (new window will open).
Verity Dobbie, Masters Technical Committee ChairVerity Dobbie - Masters Working Group Chair

Verity is the managing partner of a small law practice in North West Durham where she specialises in family law. Married with a teenage daughter she has swum competitively since she was nine, and despite Orwell's dire predictions she couldn't wait for 1984 to turn 25 and start in Masters.

Her adventures as "the Binge Swimmer” can be followed in the Swimming Times and on her blog “Binge Swimming”. Verity also writes the Masterstroke's column in the Swimming Times; She is passionate about the sport and loves its inclusiveness and the fact that it is as satisfying for the complete novice as it is for the more seasoned competitor.

Geoff Stokes, Coaching RepGeoff Stokes - Coaching Rep

Geoff holds a number of positions within regional and national swimming administration.

As well as being a member of the Swim England Masters Working Group he is the Masters Manager for Swim South East with the support of the SSE Masters Working Group, he is a Masters coach for Rushmoor Royals SC and a member of Spencer Swim Team. As a swimmer he has won five world championships over the years and currently holds many British freestyle records.

A swimming judge, level 2, Geoff supports age group competitions throughout the year.

Shelley Robinson, Swim England Masters Members RepShelley Robinson - Swim England Masters Members Rep

Shelley became involved with swimming through her children in the early 1980s. She qualified and ended up as head coach before becoming a Masters coach.

She is also qualified as an official, has run her own swim school and training organisation. After learning to swim butterfly at 40, Shelley started to compete as a Masters swimmer.

More than 20 years later, she is covering both ends of the age range in swimming as South East Region Welfare Officer and a Masters swimmer in her seventh decade!

Val Thorpe, Communications RepVal Thorpe, Communications Rep

Like many masters swimmers Val was a competitive swimmer in her youth and returned to the pool with City of Derby SC after a short 30 year gap.

She regularly competes at all levels of Masters swimming including World and European championships and particularly loves long distance Open Water events, which also allows her to indulge in her other hobby of making and eating cakes.

Val has been a regular contributor of articles on the Masters hub and has also written for Swimming Times.

As an ex Head of ICT at a secondary school she is keen to explore the possibilities of new technologies and social media for promoting Masters swimming.

Simon Griffin, Open Water RepSimon Griffin, Open Water Rep

Simon Griffiths is the founder and publisher of Outdoor Swimmer magazine, previously known as H2Open and launched in 2011.

He was a club swimmer until the age of about 13 and then returned to masters swimming in his 30s.

He got into open water swimming through triathlon but now sticks mostly to the water.

He won his age group at the British Open Water Swimming Championships in 2016.

He is a member of Teddington Swimming Club Masters and has been known to do the odd pool gala between open water events

Sharon Lock, Swim England Masters Swimming OfficerSharon Lock - Swim England Masters Swimming Officer

Sharon was a swimmer in her youth and then re-started Masters at the age of 30. She has competed in all levels of Masters Competitions and has enjoyed limited success at Worlds & European (not top three but mainly in the top 10).

She has been an enthusiastic promoter of Masters Swimmers and has been Leics County Rep for five years, helping to organise Regional Development Days & Team Managing Leics Team for inter-counties.

Jim Boucher, Swim England RepresentativeJim Boucher - Swim England Representative

Jim is our Swim England Representative on the Home Countries Masters Swimming Management Group (HCMSMG) and Regional Masters Rep for South East Region (SER). He is also a member of Surrey’s Management Committee and the SER Board.

Jim organises the Surrey Masters SC and SER SC and is an organiser of Surrey’s Age Group Championships. Besides competing in Masters, and holding a few NI records, Jim is an accomplished Open Water swimmer with two successful English Channel solos. He plays water polo and coaches Surrey University and mini water polo.

As an escape from Aquatics and its administration, Jim fulfils our requirement that the Masters Working Group should have at least one rocket scientist in its midst.

Bob Bolton - Competitions Consultant

Meeting minutes

To view the past meeting minutes from the Working Group, regional masters and the Home Countries see the folder below.

Document Library


If you’d like to know more about what each member of the working group does and the role they play in the team click here.