A quick response to an opportunist email asking if any coaching positions were available at several Nottinghamshire Swimming Clubs secured the services of a first year university student by the name of Grant Robe. Little did we know what the next three and a half years was in store for Nottingham Portland Swimming Club or for Grant himself!
Grant soon demonstrated his coaching capabilities and his infectious enthusiasm quickly spread throughout the club. So impressive was his commitment and undoubted knowledge of swimming that he was appointed as Head Coach within a few months of joining Portland.
A much needed structure was introduced to the coaching team, who now had genuine leadership and direction. Performances improved way above expectation in the pool (both at galas and training) and membership increased as Grant began to establish himself as the quality coach that we know today.
It was not only within the confines of the ‘Portland family’ that Grant’s efforts were being recognised. He was nominated for the Nottingham City Council Sports Awards in 2010 and, for such a young coach, achieved an amazing top three finish in the Coach of the Year category. His continued contribution to the development of Portland Swimming Club was further recognised a year later when the Club emulated Grant’s individual result from 12 months earlier, by achieving a top three finish in the Club of the Year category.
Grant was appointed as coach for Nova Centurian’s Development Squad in 2011 as his reputation within the swimming community continued to grow.
In the second half of 2012, Grant’s success and subsequent recognition continued when he won the ASA’s Aquaforce Volunteer Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution from a Young Adult’ for the East Midlands region. Winning the regional award meant Grant was then put forward for the National Award, which everyone was thrilled to hear that he won!
Most of us are aware of the time that Grant has spent at the pool but may not appreciate the countless hours that he has spent behind the scenes designing training schedules and preparing session plans for all of the coaches. His dedication and commitment to Nottingham Portland Swimming Club has been quite remarkable, especially so when we remember that he has also been studying for his Degree at the same time.
Nottingham Portland Swimming Club would like to thank Grant for everything that he has done for the Club over the last three and a half years and to wish him every success in the future.