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Celebrating milestone for Nova Swim Squad

Posted onPosted on 6th Oct

Paralympic swimming champions Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw toasted to the next generation of swimmers as celebrations got under way to mark Mansfield Nova Swim Squad’s 30th birthday.

The celebration at Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex, Mansfield, was an opportunity for all squad members to share their success stories from the last three decades and to look to the future of what can be achieved in Mansfield by the next generation.

Mayor Andy Abrahams, who took part in a relay race, said: “It has been fantastic to hear first-hand how far the squad has come in the last 30 years.

“Mansfield is firmly on the map thanks to the hard work of the team members and staff, who put in the hours to help our young people achieve their full potential.”

The swim squad has been run and financially supported by Mansfield District Council since 1992. The council secured its long-term future in August by approving the decision to transition the day-to-day operations of the squad to Nottinghamshire ASA County Swim Squad/Nova Centurion SC from 1st January 2023.

Glenn Smith, swimming development coach for the council, who coached double Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington in her early development sessions as well as Paralympic swimmers Ollie, Charlotte and Sam Hynd, is retiring at the end of the year.

He said: “Looking back it is hard to believe we have had 30 years of the Mansfield Swim Squad. It has whizzed by in the best way possible.

“I am happy to have played my part in bringing success to the district with so many achievements, from coaching swimmers to 10 Paralympic Games medals, including four golds, to producing swimmers to make Senior British Championship finals.

“Winning several personal accolades over the years and being given Freedom of the District has been a highlight for me too.”

Over the last 30 years, the swim squad has not only produced Olympian and Paralympian champion swimmers, but has also seen successes with the likes of Callum Lawson, who was Paralympic Games reserve finalist in Athens, 2004 and silver medallist at the IPC World Championships, in Durban 2006.

Charlotte added: “I’m immensely proud of what the club and squad have given me and I had an amazing swimming career. It instilled a work ethic that I don’t think I would have got anywhere else and it put me in a really good stead for moving on to my canoeing career, where I went on to win Paralympic Gold in Tokyo.

“I am so proud we are 30 and am happy to have played a small part in the Nova Swim Squad’s history.”

Serco Leisure and its operating partner, More Leisure, manage the Water Meadows, Oak Tree and Rebecca Adlington centres on behalf of the council, following the award of a new 10-year contract in May of this year.

Darren Kissane, facility manager at Water Meadows, added: “We have been pleased to give the Mansfield swim squad its home for the last decade, and to see them during that time go from strength-to-strength.

“It is a milestone moment to reach 30 years, and to have been a part of so many successes during that time is special to us. We look forward to continuing with our support for the squad over the years ahead.”