Search

Romford Town swimming coach still has the buzz

17:12 15 January 2014

Swim coach Gary Rogers at the Abbs Cross Health and Fitness Centre.

Swim coach Gary Rogers at the Abbs Cross Health and Fitness Centre.

Archant

Gary Rogers has been head coach at Romford Town Swimming Club for almost 19 years – and he has no plans to give up just yet.

He’s seen scores of young hopefuls pass through the pool at Abbs Cross Lane, Hornchurch, including disabled swimmer Amy Marren, who was one of the nominees for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2013.

The 56-year-old explained he is still going strong purely for the love of the sport.

“I love everything about coaching and I’ll keep doing it as long as they want me and as long as I keep enjoying it, which I still am after all these years,” said Gary.

“No day is the same and at least one kid says something which puts a smile on my face every day.

“The 4.30am starts don’t get any easier as you get older, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Gary is a former swimmer himself, having competed for Redbridge on the county circuit for more than a decade.

He got into the coaching side of things when his children – first Erin and Kimberley, and then the younger Joshua, took an interest in the sport.

The coach admits he misses competing, but simply doesn’t have the time with his coaching commitments as well as his work for an accountancy firm.

He said: “I do miss competing, it was always an unbelievable thrill.

“Romford has an excellent masters programme but I just don’t have the time.

“There are 10 training sessions a week – five mornings and five evenings five days a week – and I go to competitions probably every other weekend.

“It’s very intense.”

Gary, of Harold Park, Harold Wood, reserved special praise for his protegé Amy Marren.

The 15-year-old won four gold medals and two silvers at the IPC World Championhips in Montreal last August, and her coach is expecting big things of her in 2014.

“The focus this year is the European Championships, where she should get some medals,” said Gary.

“There’s the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well but we need to see what Amy will be able to compete in for that competition.

“I’m immensely proud of her, she trains so hard. She deserves all the success she’s had.

“Amy’s still a typical teenager, which is exciting because it means she’s still got a lot to learn – and she really wants to learn.”

The father-of-three initially started out coaching at the club on a voluntary basis before the role became full-time.

So what does it take for someone to be successful in swimming? Commitment, says Gary, because there can be no half measures.

“It becomes like a lifestyle,” he explains.

“You have to really want to do it because it’s so full-on, not just for the young swimmers but also for the parents who are taking them to training and competitions.

“You can’t do it half-heartedly because there are a lot of sacrifices. There needs to be 100 per cent commitment.”

One of Gary’s children, 30-year-old Kimberley, swam in national competitions, so it seems that in the Rogers family, swimming excellence really did run in the genes.

For more information on joining Romford Town Swimming Club, email romfordtownsc@aol.com or visit the website www.romfordtownsc.com.

0 comments

Latest Romford Sports News

34 minutes ago
Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers boss feel pitch at Victoria Road feels pitch at Victoria Road no longer suits a passing style

10:00
Romford teenager Matt Luff will race for JHR Development in 2017

Current Havering Junior Sports Competitor of the Year announces plans for 2017

Yesterday, 22:32
London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley on the attack against Chelmsford (pic John Scott)

Forward reflects on win in Streatham, after loss to Chelmsford

Yesterday, 16:00
Oliver Hawkins of Dagenham & Redbridge against Guiseley

Ned Keating provides player ratings following the 2-1 National League loss at home to Guiseley

Yesterday, 12:30
Havering's Josh Olawore in long jump action at the BUCS indoor championships

Long-jumper misses out on third indoor title

Yesterday, 11:00
Byron Red Star under-sevens celebrate their futsal success

Under-sevens come out on top in tournament

Yesterday, 09:30
Connor Brown of Guiseley AFC and Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers captain backs squad to hit back immediately as winning run comes to an abrupt halt

Yesterday, 08:17
Marshalls Park pupils face the camera during their half-term ski trip

School enjoys another successful ski trip to Austria

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now