46 complete swim coaching course by former British Olympian Brian Brinkley MBE


Some of the BVI's newly qualified swim coaches. Photo: VINO

Some of the BVI’s newly qualified swim coaches trained by Brian Brinkley, MBE 1976 Olympic medallist. Photo: VINO

Some 46 swim instructors in the territory received their certificates for completing a rigorous UK certified programme hosted by the BVI Swimming Foundation of John and Sonya Williams.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Tortola Sports Club on Thursday April 7, 2016.

“We created the BVI Swimming Foundation and we recruited Brian Brinkley MBE who is an Olympic bronze medallist in 1976, captain of team Great Britain,” said John Williams.
Speaking of the programme, John Williams said they had recruited two time British Olympian Brian Brinkley.

Williams said the former Olympian recruited and trained 46 people, some of whom were not even swimmers and in one year he trained and recruited level one and level two ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) swimming teachers and on Thursday evening they were presented with certificates.

The swim coaches took varying lengths of time to complete the course based on the level that they did and the intensity at which they did it.

“Brian is the most fantastic teacher of swimming…he is superb. Right now we are hoping to get him to come back,” Williams said.
He added that the 46 persons are now qualified to teach swimming in the school system and expressed the hope that First LadyLorna G. Smith and Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn will help to make this possible.

Speaking at the event First Lady Mrs Smith offered her congratulations to the successful swim teachers. “I would like to say a very warm thank you to Sonya and John for this massive contribution that they have made to the BVI in swimming. They have spent over $200,000 of their own money for this programme and we are very grateful to you Sonya and John for your generosity,” she said.

Mrs Smith fondly remembers being taught to swim by John Williams many moons ago. “He also taught people like the late J.S. Archibald, QC and Jennie Todman-Smith and a host of other people to swim and we are grateful that John has carried on this tradition,” she said.

Mrs Smith spoke of it being an honour for her to be invited to be a patron of the programme and expressed her gratitude on behalf of Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith who was unable to be present at the event.

John Williams said that with the certification achieved, swim coaches can now teach the sport in the UK and charge the rate of 15 Pounds Sterling per student per hour.