Chirk Dragons Swimming Club is celebrating after its head coach Steve Parker scooped the Coach of the Year award at the Wrexham County Borough Council Sports Awards on Friday night (February 23rd).
Steve, who has been head coach at the Chirk Dragons for ten years, said he was shocked when the announcement was made at the ceremony, which took place at Brymbo Sports and Social Club.
“It was bit of a surprise after listening to the achievements of some of the other coaches,” said Steve. “But I’m absolutely delighted. From my point of view though the achievement isn’t just about me. I can only achieve if I have the backing of the committee, the support of other coaches and teachers and also the commitment of the swimmers. I’m very grateful to all of them.”
This is the second time Steve, who originally hails from Gwent in South Wales, has won the Coach of the Year Award. He also netted the prestigious accolade in 2014 for his coaching commitment to Chirk Dragons.
Chirk Dragons Swimming Club was founded in the 1970s. Today it has around 80 members and is sponsored by Chirk-based panel board specialists Kronospan.
The club trains six days a week at Chirk Leisure Centre and Moreton Hall School near Oswestry. Over the past 30 years it has trained some top class swimmers, many of whom have swum for Wales in various age groups.
Steve himself reached national level in swimming in the 1970s before switching to water polo, a sport for which he also represented Wales.
After joining the police force in 1980 he played water polo for a police team. In the 1990s he became head coach of Wellington Swimming Club in Shropshire, where his daughter was a member. He then moved to Chirk in 2007 and became involved with the Chirk Dragons.
“Within three days of visiting the club I was offered the coach’s job and I have been there ever since,” added Steve.
Steve and his partner now live in Welshpool and he travels from there to train the Dragons six days a week.
Chirk Dragons is always keen to hear from swimmers interested in joining a club. For more information visit www.chirkdragons.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.