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National Award winner Joseph proof you should never give up on your dreams

Dedicated Joseph Cooper earned a Swim England National Award for proving you should never give up on your dreams.

Joseph had set himself an ambition to qualify for his county’s championships – but had always narrowly missed out.

However, after returning to swimming following a shoulder operation, he finally achieved his goal and qualified in both the 200m and 400m Freestyle.

He then took on a Triple 5k Swimathon 2022 challenge to raise money for Contact, a charity which helps families with children who have Multiple Hereditary Exostosis, a condition Joseph lives with.

Joseph finished first in his age group and raised £600 for the charity.

After being presented with the Spirit of Aquatics Award, he said: “I’m really happy.

“I didn’t even think I was going to get into the top three so it’s a real surprise.

“When I first got the qualification time, I just couldn’t believe it. Everyone at the club was cheering because they knew it was my goal and it had been for years so it was a really good moment.

“I love the sport so I’m planning on carrying on for a number of years yet and I just want to keep improving.

“The next goal is to keep improving, keep setting personal bests and keep getting better. 

“Maybe one day I’ll be able to push for nationals.

“I want to thank my mum and dad for taking me to training at ridiculous times in the morning and my coach for helping me to get to there in the first place.”

Kirsteen is Coach of the Year

Kirsteen Mitchell was named Swim England Coach of the Year for her inspirational role at Luton Diving Club.

She has been one of the most important people behind the success of the club and her divers are achieving results in every category they enter.

Her nomination stated that Kirsteen’s attention to detail and infectious energy inspires a real love of the sport within her divers.

She always delivers coaching points constructively and kindly, building the confidence of her young divers whether they are training for National Skills or on course for the Junior European Championships.

Her works has seen her being made the club’s head coach and she has guided a number of youngsters into both England and British diving squads.