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Margate: John White, 80, announced as joint-winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Coaching Awards

By Katie Davis

Lead coach for Thanet Swim Club’s juniors, John White, has been announced as joint-winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's UK Coaching Awards.

John, from Margate, has dedicated his life to swimming, putting 43 years of coaching into the sport and developing three clubs in east Kent.

The 80-year-old will be retiring at the end of the year following a long and successful coaching career.

John White

John White

An electrician by trade, White has been the main conduit for developing swimmers in Thanet, with many advancing to compete at club, county, regional, national and international levels.

His dedication has never faltered, with daily 5.30am starts, late night training sessions covering six days a week and weekend swimming meets - even a hip replacement hasn’t slowed him down!

White has also helped to develop many coaches and volunteers, who he affectionately refers to as “his angels”, and many have completed aquatic accredited qualifications and taken up paid employment in swimming across the world.

John at the awards

John at the awards

John White said: “I am shocked to have been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

"It’s a great honour to have even been nominated with some of the greatest coaches in the country.

"What a fitting end to my career, to win this just before I retire.”

Mark Gannon, chief executive officer of UK Coaching said: “The 20th Anniversary of the awards has seen some of the best examples of coaching throughout the nation celebrated.

"We would like to thank all of the finalists for their incredible services to coaching. 

“We saw a record number of finalists nominated and our independent judging panel deliberated long and hard to acknowledge the people and organisations that dedicated their time to the development of others through coaching.

“John has dedicated 43 years of his life to coaching swimming, seeing his protégé’s develop into national and international level swimmers, as well as encouraging many others into coaching.

"It is only fitting that he has received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and although he is retiring we hope his legacy will continue to inspire many more into coaching.”

The annual even was held at The Honourable Artillery Company, City of London yesterday.

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