Swim England

A nation swimming

John Davies’ ‘special moment’ to join wife Jane as Alfred H Turner Award winner

John Davies joined his wife Jane as a worthy recipient of the Swim England Alfred H Turner Award after more than 40-years of dedication to the sport.

The couple have had a profound impact on aquatics with John joining Jane by receiving the prestigious honour, which she won on 2014.

It marked a special moment for the family with John admitting that they’ve saved a space on the wall so they can hang them side by side.

Speaking on his motivations to continue volunteering he said: “Well my wife had something to do with it because nine years ago she won this award so we’ve got a great space on the wall for mine to go next to hers.

“We must be the first husband and wife winners of this award so that’s what makes this so special.”

“It’s amazing to be recognised. I’m just one of many people in every club so it’s incredible to win the award.

“I don’t know how many people are involved in swimming across the country but to be recognised like this is special.”

‘Anyone can help out’

John’s journey as an aquatics volunteer has seen him take on the roles of volunteer, teacher, coach technical official, club administrator and regional board member.

Like many others, his start in volunteering came through his children’s experiences at Fareham Nomads, Gosport Dolphins and Portsmouth Northsea.

He initially began with coaching and teaching and made such an impact at these clubs that Fareham Nomads made him an honorary life member and Portsmouth Northsea awarded him their Committee Cup for his contribution in 2012.

He also begun officiating and qualified as a referee before becoming Hampshire’s course leader for officials training from 1985 and 2014.

John was also a major part of the South East Regions board for a number of years, becoming President in 2009 and holding the role of Vice Chairman of the Regional Management Board from 2016 until his retirement last year.

“In the South East region, we really took hold of the reorganisation of swimming and the development officers have done a tremendous amount of work.

“I think if you look at where we were 40 years ago when I started to where we are now, the swimming up and down might be the same but the way we’re organised and the quality of what we do has really improved and that’s not just me and the region it’s the whole thing.”

John had a message for any one of any age that’s thinking of getting involved in volunteering.

“One thing I always wanted to do more of was recruiting more people into the sport to support it. We’re always talking about getting the parents involved but it’s about getting everyone involved, grandparents for example who may want to do something with their time once their retired.

“I encourage anyone to get involved because there’s always some way that you can help out.”

About the Alfred H Turner Award

The Alfred H Turner Award is given to the individual or organisation making the most outstanding contribution to aquatics at club, county, regional, national or international level.

In selecting the winner of the Award each year, the Board will give consideration to the following:

  • outstanding achievement in advancing the sport through competition/coaching/officiating
  • outstanding achievement in the administration of the sport
  • outstanding achievement in advising the sport.