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Deepings Swimming Club appoint Sophie Leggott as new chairperson

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Sophie Leggott has been appointed the new chairperson of Deepings Swimming Club after being voted in at the club’s annual meeting last weekend.

She replaces Andy Cardell, who steps down from the committee after seven years of service, which included steering the club through its most tumultuous period due to Covid lockdowns and the loss of its home pool at Deepings Leisure Centre.

Five new committee members were also voted in: Neil Shepherd, Steve Smith, Nicola Laud, Kerys Arundell and Georgina Jenkinson.

New chairperson Sophie Leggott wants Deepings to be one of the top swimming clubs in Lincolnshire. (57981743)
New chairperson Sophie Leggott wants Deepings to be one of the top swimming clubs in Lincolnshire. (57981743)

Sophie joined Deepings Swimming Club eight years ago as a swimmer and has been a committee member for the past couple of years. She is also a fully qualified ‘judge level two starter’ official for swim meets.

She said: "I am excited to have been elected as chairperson at the annual meeting.

"Having been with the club since 2014, I have seen it grow, seen the challenges it has faced, but also seen the commitment from everyone involved.

"We have an exciting year ahead of us and I am confident in the club and the committee and look forward to welcoming new members and ideas."

In his outgoing report, Cardell expressed his gratitude to the trustees and staff at Stamford Endowed Schools for 'coming to our rescue' and granting the club access to its facilities when Deepings Leisure Centre closed.

He added: "The club has battled through very tough times over the past couple of years and there are still some challenges ahead.

"However, what is clear to me is that the club has a very strong spirit, and I am convinced that this spirit will allow it to look forward to at least another 46 years of swimming, competition, friendship and fun."

Sophie, who becomes the club’s first female chairperson, paid tribute to the work undertaken by her predecessor.

She commented: "I would like to say a massive thank you to Andy.

"He has played an instrumental part in keeping the club going through the past two years as we faced Covid and the closure of Deepings Leisure Centre. He did a wonderful job and on behalf of the whole club – thank you!”

Outlining her immediate ambitions as the new chairperson, Sophie said: “My goal for the next year is to ensure the club’s membership base increases again, along with volunteers and officials.

"I want to see our presence grow at local, regional and national competitions and to be one of the top clubs in Lincolnshire."

In further changes for the club, its long-serving head coach Lynn Chapman has decided to retire from full time coaching at the end of this season (July 29).

Lynn has been head coach for the past 17 years and has produced numerous national, regional and county swimmers, with several achieving international honours, most recently Alex Wray and Isabel Spinley who both represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships.

Along the way, she has also helped to nurture children into fine young adults, teaching them discipline, respect and independence.

Lynn leaves the club as it goes through a period of regeneration with some promising young swimmers coming through to fill the gaps left by the older members who have recently left for university.

Sophie said: "The club’s future looks extremely bright thanks to Lynn’s endless hard work and dedication."

Deepings Swimming Club is now searching for a new head coach. Interested applicants should email the club at deepings@swimclubmanager.co.uk

New chairperson Sophie Leggott wants Deepings to be one of the top swimming clubs in Lincolnshire.

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