Gala set to honour popular swimming coach

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT DOLPHINS will honour their beloved coach and long-term member Nigel Davis on Sunday evening; holding a memorial swimming gala in his name with past and present team-mates coming together to pay tribute at the Leisure Centre in Holbrook for an evening of fundraising action.

Mr Davis tragically passed away in June 2020 aged forty-two after suffering a stroke, with floral tributes left outside the closed leisure centre due to lockdown restrictions. Messages were also left on social media and on the Gosport Dolphins website from a heartbroken swimming community.

The popular coach first became a member of Gosport Dolphins at the age of eight years old, finishing eighth in the National Championships in Leeds when he was just 14. Davis quickly started volunteering just twelve months later and progressed his coaching career after qualifying for a level 2 grade.

Dolphins committee member Claire Kershaw is quoted as saying during an interview with Portsmouth News earlier this week: “It’s fair to say Nigel loved his swimming and being a part of Gosport Dolphins. He was an amazing guy, and nothing was too much trouble for him”

‘He would happily get in the pool himself in order to help show a swimmer the technique they should be using. Losing Nigel was a huge loss for the club. He was a man who had a huge heart and would do anything for you, and especially the Gosport Dolphins club as a whole”.

Starting at 5:30pm on Sunday, November 21, this memorial event will see members swim a total of two-hundred metres each having met two conditions. This includes a registration with a Swim England club and they must have swam with the Dolphins from January 2019 onwards.

Swimmers have paid £3 each to take part in this memorial, whilst medals have been made available for £5 in tribute. Covid-19 advice has also been given to those planning to swim including lateral flow tests, with a successful event paving the way to potentially expanding the gala over future years.

PICTURED: Floral tributes left outside Gosport Leisure Centre in June last year