A DEDICATED swimmer has spoken of his pride at being named coach of the Great Britain deaf swimming team.
Sam Chamberlain, of Little Mountain Road, Buckley, who has been deaf from birth, said it was a “privilege” to be appointed to the top role.
Sam, 24, who started swimming at the age of nine, said: “It came as a bit of a surprise as I expected the current head coach, Angela Holmes, would stay for a long time. It’s a privilege to be asked to be head coach.
“The chairman of the club, Peter Noden, asked me. It’s nice of him to think so highly of me and that I had all the qualities and that I am the right person for the role.”
Before quitting competitive swimming last year, Sam had represented Team GB on a number of occasions, including at the 2011 World Deaf Swimming Championships in Portugal, where he came fifth in the 100m breaststroke.
Sam was unlucky to miss out on a bronze medal at the European Deaf Swimming Championships in Germany in 2010, beaten in to fourth place by two seconds.
Before that Sam competed in Greece in 2006, where he reached the 1,500m freestyle final, finishing a creditable seventh.
The young swimmer said his loss of hearing had hampered his early swimming career.
“It was difficult, especially at training where I couldn’t hear anything. When I was swimming up and down, I couldn’t hear any of the instructions.
“But we found ways around it with signals and believe it or not, my coach would throw floats at me. It was just a natural thing for me though. I wanted to compete after two or three years of taking it seriously.”
The new GB head coach has high hopes for the future in his new role.
“We’ve got a lot of young swimmers, so we’re hoping to bring them through for the World and European Championships as well as the Deaf Olympics,” he added.
“We have to give them the experience they need while they’re young to be ready to compete at that level.”