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Richard Whitehead elected swimming President 2017-18

Swim England News

Richard Whitehead has been elected President of England’s national governing body for swimming at the organisation’s Annual Council Meeting.

The London Regional delegate succeeds Anne Reah in the ceremonial role, and will hold the position for twelve months.

During her nomination, Diane Gamble made reference to Richard’s long involvement with swimming, which began at Epping Forest Swimming Club.

Diane said: “Richard initially qualified as a timekeeper and judge and soon found himself officiating at club and County galas. At the same time he became involved in the running of the club, starting in the control room processing results, and later joining the committee holding a number of different roles before ending up as Club Chairman.

“Richard joined the Essex County Committee in 1998 and was appointed County Secretary in 2001. He continued in the role until 2005 when he stood down in order to concentrate on The London Region Board.

“As County Secretary, Richard sat on the Southern Counties ASA Executive and Jeff Cook took him under his wing and guided him through many of the issues of the day. In October 2005, he was appointed to the London Region Board where he used his accountancy skills to the full by taking on the role of Finance Officer. He was also Regional President in 2008-9.

“Richard passed his referee exams in 2006 and is often seen out and about at local leagues and licensed galas. In addition, after helping out at a LEN Competition in the London Docks, Richard decided to take up the Open Water officiating qualification and qualified as a referee in 2012. He was also part of a small group who were instrumental in establishing a Regional open water competition in 2013 and has been involved in running the event ever since.

“While a Gamesmaker at London 2012, one of Richard’s key memories was being on poolside when Ellie Simmonds achieved her gold medal and world championship time in the 200 metre Individual Medley. Subsequently Richard has been a field of play member at the European Championships in 2016, and has recently been appointed to the Swim England Club Development Group.”

In accepting the role, Richard said: “I am looking forward to visiting as many places as possible over the course of the next year. I want to share my time and experiences with the counties and regions, as well as clubs.

Out-going President, Anne Reah, said: “I have really enjoyed my year and I would like to thank the Association for electing me President. I have particularly enjoyed meeting the many athletes and members while attending events.

“I would like to wish Richard all the best for the year ahead.”

Liz Sykes from the West Midlands Region was elected Vice-President for the year.