12 Feb 21

Deepings Swimming Club appointed a chairman and three new committee members at its 2020 annual general meeting in January.

The AGM had been postponed from June due to the coronavirus pandemic. The club was hoping to hold a face-to-face meeting later in the year but when that was no longer a possibility, it switched to a digital meeting via Zoom. The 2021 AGM will return to its usual date.

Interim chairman Andy Cardell was officially ratified as chairman by members, while Sophie Leggott and Nicole Burdock were both voted onto the committee. Virginia Moran, a ward councillor at Market Deeping Town Council, also joined the committee as part of a commitment by the Council to precept funds for the club over the next couple of years.

In his annual report to members, Cardell described 2020 as “one of the most challenging years in our 44-year history”, but added: “We have a strong club with great volunteers, supportive parents and, most of all, a fantastic bunch of friendly and talented swimmers.”

He pointed to the successes at the Lincolnshire County Championships held in January 2020, where the club’s top swimmers came away with 46 medals, seven club records and multiple regional qualifying times across the three weekends of competition. In February, a squad of 27 younger swimmers competed in the Grantham Grand Prix and achieved 64 personal bests across 81 races.

After five long months out of the pool, the club returned to training in August and began competing in a new Level X meeting in November before the latest lockdown saw all activities paused once again.

Cardell praised the coaches, volunteers, and officials for rallying together to successfully host a Level X meeting.

“Not only did this remind us of the enjoyment of competitive swimming but the Swim England rankings show that the club has several swimmers at the top of the County Level X rankings,” he said.

Long-serving head coach Lynn Chapman recognised the efforts of the swimmers during the first lockdown period in her report to the AGM, highlighting their “great athletic skill” when taking part in a series of running and cycling challenges set by the club.

Upon returning to training, Chapman was forced to juggle reduced hours and split pool time between the club’s home at Deepings Leisure Centre and a 50-mile round trip to Boston’s Geoff Moulder swimming pool.

“But it did not take long for swimmers to settle in and improve their fitness and skills,” she said. “I am certainly looking forward to getting back and starting competitions again.”

Virginia Moran joins the committee as a condition of a commitment by Market Deeping Town Council to precept funds for the club. Her role is to provide quarterly updates to the council about the club’s performance and to advise on sources of funding and opportunities for promotion of the club and recruitment of new members.

“Deepings Swimming Club has played an important role within our local community for the past 44 years, helping hundreds of children to achieve their swimming goals, so I’m delighted to represent the town council on the committee,” she said. “It is essential that we protect the club and create the right environment for it to prosper for the future.”

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