ASA Swimtastic Community Project of the Year 2013

West Wight Sports Centre and Swimming Club have been awarded the ASA Swimtastic Community Project of the Year 2013. Representatives of both organisations travelled to Birmingham at the weekend where young swimmers took part in a ‘Swim with the Stars’ event and 9 representatives then attended a gala dinner at Edgbaston Stadium in the company of past and present Olympic and Paralympic swimmers, divers, water polo players and synchronised swimmers.

The evening was hosted by Olympic Bronze medalist and TV and Radio commentator, Steve Parry and the West Wight group were joined on their table by Nick Robinson-Baker who was 7th at the Beijing and 5th at the London Olympics in the 3metre synchronised diving event.

There was stiff opposition in the Community Project category from Age Concern Havering and Tower Hamlets Womens and Girls swim club, but the incredible community spirit that has built and maintained the West Wight Sports Centre and Swimming Club, together with the vast range of services now on offer at the Centre was recognised and they came out as winners.

Photos of the day as well as video highlighting the some of the many achievements of the Club and Centre over the years can be found on The Sports Centre Facebook page .

Photos and a report from the ASA can be found at

The award is a recognition of the humble beginnings when a group of parents formed West Wight Swimming Club in the 1970’s (before there was an indoor pool on the Isle of Wight) and quite simply got their spades, dug a hole and fund raised to form the West Wight Swimming Pool. Over the years a roof, then changing rooms, then the small pool and eventually in 2000 the Sports Centre were added and it became West Wight Sports Centre.

The club has gone on to produce a string of succesful swimmers, most notably Darren Mew who came 4th at the Athens Olympics. Trevor Collins who remains a Club member and was coach to many swimmers including Darren was awarded the BBC Sports Personality ‘Unsung Hero’ award in 2005. Shirley Miles who has taught swimming for the club and Sports Centre since the very beginning (and still does) was awarded the BEM for her services to swimming in the 1990’s. Both Trevor and Shirley were amongst the group who represented the community at the awards on Saturday.


Trevor Collins, Anne Collins, Hayden Fennimore, Gary Richard Watson, River Watson, Kai Watson, Kerry Watson and Shirley Miles at the Edgbaston Conference Centre.


Sharron Davies


With Sascha Kindred


With Robbie Renwick and Daisy Whittaker.


Sascha Kindred and Kai Watson.


Also representing the West Wight were Anne Collins who has taught swimming and fund raised for the swimming club for 40 years; Gary Watson who trained with West Wight Swimming Club and still holds a World Paralympic record; Gary’s wife Kerry and their two sons, River and Kai, both of whom are disabled and who are regular attendees at the Centre’s special disabled childrens swim session; Hayden Fennimore who is the current Club chairman and Trustee of the Sports Centre and Clare Griffin who is a life member of West Wight Swimming Club and was awarded the Barry Trophy by Lord Mountbatten at the opening of the pool in 1977 and is now Manager of the Centre.