Swimming coach wins at Kent Mental Health & Wellbeing Awards

Sevenoaks Swimming Club’s Head Coach, Keiron Piper, has been selected as one of 34 winners county wide in the Kent Mental Health & Wellbeing Awards. Nominated for his inspirational leadership and his increased focus during the pandemic on mental health & wellbeing, Tony King, the Chair of Sevenoaks Swimming Club says, “We cannot thank Keiron enough for this extraordinary commitment and dedication to all at the club. A truly inspirational Head Coach.”

Keiron has been invited to attend an Awards night in Ashford in October where Double Olympian Jack Green will be the VIP speaker. This event will showcase the best individuals, organisations and initiatives supporting wellbeing in Kent. Keiron will receive an individual award in recognition of his tireless work to ensure all swimmers of all ages are safe, well and happy.

During the first lockdown Keiron ensured that the coaches were supported in linking in with their squads, connecting through online land training; coaching sessions (using Club Captains to lead these) and other fun activities like quizzes and challenges.

Keiron remained central to the organisation and delivery of this, aiming to keep the swimmers connected, engaged and motivated. When the pools reopened between lockdowns one and two, Keiron led and trained every swimmer in every squad. This ensured that financially the club could continue to operate with all swimmers getting as much pool time as was possible. During that period Keiron worked hard to deliver sessions that the swimmers could enjoy, taking into account many cases of anxiety about the return to training.

Lockdown two was for many swimmers at the club the hardest period of the pandemic, another stretch of time where access to pools was denied and as it was during the winter months, no open water available to help compensate. Many of the swimmers were experiencing mental wellbeing challenges and having identified this, Keiron led a mental health awareness and education programme involving fundraising for two mental health charities who then delivered a talk to the swimmers.

This holistic approach to supporting swimmers continues and the Club is planning further mental wellbeing challenges and fundraising initiatives for mental health charities.

Sevenoaks Swimming Club has spaces available in Learn to Swim, Academy & Competitive Squads. If you would like to continue or begin your swimming journey please get in touch and come along to a free trial.

• To find out more about Sevenoaks Swimming Club visit their website at www.sevenoakssc.org or find them on social media @7oaksSwim. For more about the Kent Mental Health & Wellbeing Awards see: www.KentMHAwards.org.uk.