Swim England

A nation swimming

Alfred H Turner award winner Rosa Gallop shares accolade with her family

Rosa Gallop has paid tribute to her family after being named the winner of the Alfred H Turner award.

After an incredible career in swimming, Rosa said that she couldn’t have done any of it without their support.

She said: “I’m really chuffed (to win the award) but I would like to say without my husband and my family, I couldn’t have done it. So, I think we all deserve the award, it’s an award for all of us.”

Rosa is certainly a worthy recipient of the award but after collecting the accolade at Swim England’s National Awards ceremony in Birmingham she was taken aback by the moment.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed actually. I’m so chuffed, I didn’t expect anything like that.”

‘I just had a passion for the sport’

It’s clear to see Rosa’s impact from some of the work she’s done throughout her time in the sport.

She dedicated a lot of her career to coaching where she was Chief Coach at Bracknell & Wokingham Swimming Club from 1984 to 2007 and also Chief Coach at Cranleigh Swimming Club from 1984 to 1997.

She also coached the army’s swimmers at the Ministry of Defence where she was responsible for ensuring that all health and safety requirements were met as well as the education and ongoing training of both lifeguards and swimming teachers.

During her time in the army, Rosa admitted that it was a different but enjoyable experience where she was able to continue to grow her passion for the sport.

“You can say it was a bit of a different experience. I’ve worked with the military and I’m still a vice president of Army Swimming, where I’m the first civilian to have held that role and it’s something I enjoy.

“I always enjoyed coaching, I worked for the MOD (Ministry of Defence) so I coached their swimmers and I’m still quite heavily involved with army swimming now.

“I’ve stopped coaching now but I had a passion for it. I liked to do well and I really just had a passion for the sport, that was it really.

“Eventually I took on coaching as a living and what could be better than doing something you enjoy.”

When asked to pick a highlight of her career, Rosa couldn’t signal out one of a lifetime full of enjoyable moments.

“I’ve had lots of moments. I mean I had a swimmer make the Olympics in 1996 when we didn’t really expect to so I was really happy about that.

“And even now I work with Newham at the London Aquatics Centre with the London Legacy and Sport England and that’s something I love doing because I’m still finding new challenges to this day.

“But there are so many incredible things I’ve been involved in it’s hard to pick one out really.”

‘That’s very special to me’

Rosa also worked for Swim England (then the ASA) from 2007-2020 as both a Talent Officer and Club Development Officer in roles where she felt she could give her knowledge back to the sport.

Despite leaving Swim England she continues to give back to the sport after taking up a position as the South East Region’s Regional Management Board Member and still works with Newham UEL Swimming Club as part of the London Legacy Project.

She wanted to take the time to thank all those that have helped her throughout her career and encouraged everyone to get involved in the sport.

“There’s a lot of people that have helped me in lots of different ways and particularly different coaches that have given me support and help.

“There’s a lot of people and a lot of people have supported me in very different ways.”

It’s a great sport and if you want to get involved, get involved. The only thing I would say is it’s time consumable but of course in a good way.

“I’ve loved every minute of it and it’s very hard. When you look back, I never thought that I would get involved.

“I started by helping out teaching at a swimming club and then I got involved in a bit of coaching and then I coached a bit more.

“And eventually I became a Head Coach and it just built up from there. And when I got to the age where I needed to move on and they needed a younger coach at the club I was able to join Swim England.

“I’ve enjoyed working as a Talent Officer and I really enjoyed working as a club development officer because I think it’s something I could give back in what I’ve learned.

“I’m amazed I never expected anything like that. That’s very special to me.

“I’ve had a lot of support from Swim England, I worked for them for several years, so I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a good career.”

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.