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Olympic swimmer will make a splash

November 23rd, 2018
Olympian Thomas Haffield with Mrs Jennie Phillips.

A former Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer will be creating a splash in Monmouth.

Thomas Haffield is launching a new swimming academy and believes he can ‘build something very special’.

The ex-Great Britain swimmer will also provide senior students Lucy, Ellie, Caitlin and Eva with the opportunity to work alongside him to develop their coaching skills.

The exciting partnership has been forged by Mrs Jennie Phillips, a keen swimmer and Headmistress at Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery.

“Swimming is an important life skill,” said Mr Haffield, who will be working with children from Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery and Monmouth School Boys’ Prep.

“We will be running learn-to-swim lessons with the younger children and an after-school swim club with the older children to try to build a more competitive swim programme.”

The classes begin in January and will take place in the pool at Monmouth School for Girls.

Mrs Phillips said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our children this fantastic opportunity.

“Thomas is passionate about swimming but also has the ability to build a strong rapport with even the youngest children.

“We look forward to watching the children developing their skills under his expert guidance.”

Mr Haffield made his major event debut at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and then swam at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“Competing for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games was my career highlight,” he said.

“It was the most amazing experience of my life not just to compete at the Olympics but because it was the culmination of many years’ hard work paying off. It was something very special.”

After retiring from competitive swimming in 2014, Mr Haffield set up a learn-to-swim programme at the Celtic Manor Resort, which has gone from strength to strength.

He added: “Monmouth will be a great outlet to pass on my skills while keeping a high-end learn-to-swim programme.

“It’s important to have senior children on board to help with the coaching and I believe we can build something very special in Monmouth.”

Thomas Haffield with senior students Lucy, Ellie, Caitlin and Eva.
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