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New Masters Working Group turns focus to 'paving the future' of the sport

New members of the Swim England Masters Working Group have recently been appointed and are now turning their focus towards ‘paving the future’ of Masters swimming in England.

Chairperson of the group Jeroen Peters is now joined by Christine Goodair, Stuart Horton, Bob Bolton, Jonathan Saunders, Lisa Yates and co-opted member, Karen Bloyce.

Speaking on the appointments, Peters said that he is ‘thrilled’ the group has now started work and laid out its aims for the coming years.

He said: “I am thrilled to have this newly-appointed group in place to help pave the future of Masters swimming in this country.

“These individuals have long-standing backgrounds in the sport and are wholly dedicated to its growth, progression and development at every level.

“Each member brings different expertise to the table and we are excited to begin work and ensure that we are best representing the Masters community at all times.”

New appointments to the Masters Working Group:

Christine Goodair

Christine has been a Masters swimmer for more than 20 years and is a member of Kings Cormorants Masters Swimming Club. She has held various positions on both the London Masters Swimming Committee and ASA National Masters Committee.

She was a games maker for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has extensive experience in both committee and board work.

Christine boasts more than 30 years experience of working in the voluntary sector and her main interests lie within social media, websites, communications and research.

Previously she was a member of the Swim England London Region board and the former manager of the Surrey County Team.

Stuart Horton

Stuart has been head swimming coach at Lancaster University since January 2019 and also volunteers as a sessional coach at Carnforth Otters and Lancaster City.

He first began his swimming career with Stockport Metro in the 1980s and became a qualified swimming teacher and coach in the 1990s.

Known as Stu, he retired from the British Army in 2018 where he was frequently involved in swimming teaching, coaching, and occasionally competing. His last competitive race was at the age of 38 at the Army National Championships.

He is passionate about modern coaching and is a keen advocate for change that provides more resources and support for Masters athletes.

Aside from coaching, he enjoys outdoor pursuits and his day job sees him providing logistical and equipment support to the Army Adventurous Training Group.

Bob Bolton

Bob joined his first swimming club in 1965 and has been a lifelong member of Trafford Metro Swimming Club ever since. While still maintaining his own training and competition, he has also been a coach with the club for more than two decades.

His involvement with the sport stretches beyond the pool as he is also an open water swimmer and coach and a Swim England tutor who delivers coach and team manager courses. He holds a personal trainer qualification and is a licensed swimming referee.

He has been on the Cheshire County Executive for more than ten years and has been the Masters secretary since 2014. Bob is also the county representative and sits on the Regional Masters committee, assisting in the delivery of various competitions.

Additionally, he is a member of the Regional Management Board and is a director of the newly formed limited company for North West regional swimming. He is the county open water swimming secretary and has been instrumental in developing the sport in the county.

He was the managing director of an advertising agency for more than three decades and since retiring has been able to dedicate more time to his passion for swimming.

He founded Openswim UK seven years ago and is committed to seeing swimmers succeed at all levels of the sport.

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan has been a member City of Sheffield Masters Swim Squad since 2016 and has competed at the LEN European Masters Championships in London.

As a youngster, he competed at regional level between the ages of six and eighteen before returning to the sport in his mid-40s when he started training in a triathlon group.

As well as competing at European level, he went on to compete at the World Masters Championships in Budapest in 2017.

He is passionate about encouraging more people to get involved with Masters swimming and is currently the director of an engineering consultancy firm and has also been a school governor for the last 13 years.

Lisa Yates 

Lisa has been involved in swimming for more than a decade and is currently the head coach of the University of Manchester Swimming Team.

She has been involved in coaching and development of swimmers since the age of 15 and has maintained her own training alongside this and has hopes of competing at the Masters National Championships.

She has a degree in sports coaching and development and is currently studying for a masters degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in sports business, management and policy.

She is passionate about the progression of swimming in England and is looking forward to helping shape the reform of Masters swimming.

She aims to incorporate her holistic approach of individual coaching methodology, focusing on individual needs and person-first priority, as a topic for discussion by the working group.

She also hopes to bring the needs of the athletes in the Masters community to the forefront of the conversation with the aim of increasing life-long participation in the sport.

Karen Bloyce (co-opted member) 

Karen began her swimming career with Rochdale Aquabears and swam as part of the English Youth Squad during the early years of her swimming journey.

Having left the sport in university, she returned to the water in the mid-2000s with a focus on open water Masters swimming before returning to the pool with Warrington Masters and then Winsford Masters.

She became a qualified swimming teacher and swimming tutor at university and taught learn to swim lessons throughout her time there.

She is passionate about listening and communicating with swimmers and is keen to raise the profile of Masters swimming and the sharing of stories from athletes at all stages of their adventures within swimming.

She is a busy mum to three aspiring little swimmers and works full-time at Edge Hill University teaching undergraduate education students and leading projects to raise aspirations in local primary school children.