Craig takes the plunge

5:02pm Thursday 28th November 2013

PEMBROKESHIRE has a new swimming development coach.

Craig Nelson took up the post this autumn with the aim of nurturing the county’s swimming talent.

He succeeds inaugural coach Paul Dowey, who has left Pembrokeshire for the pools of New Zealand.

Craig who originally comes from Scotland, is himself a keen swimmer.

Prior to his new appointment by Pembrokeshire Leisure he was the County Assistant development coach.

“I hope to build on the success that has already been achieved here in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

“We want to develop further the programme that has helped produce so many top class athletes from the county compete on the national stage.

“But although my main priority is in developing swimming as a sport and in coaching elite swimmers, I’m also keen to raise the profile of swimming and other aquatic sports throughout the county.

“Swimming is an ideal exercise, which brings enormous health benefits and can be enjoyed whatever someone’s age or ability.”

Now 23, Craig began swimming at the age of five with the Dumfries Dolphins Swimming Club.

A keen competitive swimmer, he competed with the Scottish Bronze Squad and swam at the UK School Games in 2006.

He came to Wales in 2009 and swam at the Swansea Performance Centre at the same time as coaching different groups on a voluntary basis.

In his new role he will work closely with Pembrokeshire’s swimming clubs and Swim Wales to improve swimming pathways for competitive swimmers.

He will oversee the County’s skills squad, which aims to further develop the skills of talented club swimmers, and also nuture the elite club - the Pembrokeshire County Performance Squad

Councillor Elwyn Morse, Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure said Craig’s appointment confirmed the county’s commitment to the sport.

“There’s a pool of talent out there, which needs to be developed,” he said.

At present there are six swimming clubs in Pembrokeshire based at Tenby, Pembroke, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven and Fishguard leisure centres with an estimated 500 members.

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