Top swimming coach takes up new challenge
FORMER Ferndown Otters head coach Tony Watson, pictured, has been appointed director of swimming at Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS).
The most successful coach in Dorset's swimming history has accepted his new role following his recent retirement as a PE teacher at Queen Elizabeth's School, Wimborne.
Watson, who has been helping BCS coaches Zoe Baker, a former Commonwealth champion, and Adam Parfitt since the start of the year, said: "I'm really looking forward to working with the top quality coaches at BCS.
"There is some exceptional talent in our swimming academy squad and club and I'll be seeking to develop the athletes and help them achieve their potential.
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"The energy in the school is amazing. It's great to be a part of such an exciting environment."
Watson was an international swimmer and British junior backstroke record holder in his youth.
In his 25 years at the helm in Ferndown, he coached more than 20 internationals, including Olympian Karen Legg, who won five medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where Watson was one of the England coaches.
He was one of the Great Britain coaches at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, where Legg and Ferndown team-mate Alex Savage created another first for Dorset by swimming in the same international event – the women's medley relay final.
Under Watson's guidance, Otters' junior and senior league teams reached national finals.