THE City of Oxford Swimming Club has announced its new head coach, who will take over next month.

Rick Hall will bring 14 years of coaching experience, and a background in developing programmes and performance coaching, when he officially starts on July 12.

Hall will be moving to the city with his wife Lynsey and one-year-old son Louie, having previously spent five years coaching in Dubai, with spells in London and Lancashire.

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He said: “City of Oxford is recognised as one of the top swimming clubs in the country and it is a great honour to have the opportunity to lead the programme into this next chapter.

“My family is excited to move to Oxfordshire and we are looking forward to getting started.”

Hall originally started out as a national level swimmer, before moving into coaching as the assistant performance coach at Gallica, based in Lancashire.

At the age of 19, he was head coach at Blackburn in a joint role with Gallica.

He then moved to Dubai as assistant head coach at Hamilton Aquatics, where he spent five years growing the programme to one of the largest in the Middle East.

New head coach Rick Hall. Picture: City of Oxford Swimming Club

New head coach Rick Hall. Picture: City of Oxford Swimming Club

In 2015, he moved back to the UK to become head coach, and later director of swimming, at Hackney Aquatics Club in London.

Under Hall’s guidance, the club scooped the London Swimming Club of the Year in 2018, in addition to success at regional and national level.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Hall put together a series of technical presentations, which he delivered to national governing bodies and clubs.

He has recently been part of the Swim England Pathway Coach Development Programme, as well as numerous Swim England national programmes, while also being selected as head coach for the London region and Middlesex county.

Hall holds a first class degree in sports coaching and ASA Level 3 coaching qualification.

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Nicola Brown, chair of the City of Oxford Swimming Club, said Hall’s arrival would be ‘an amazing opportunity’ for all the club’s swimmers.

She said they would be able to benefit from Hall’s ‘knowledge, technical expertise, passion, vision, and empathy’.

One athlete in particular who might be set to benefit most is Morgan Smith.

The teenager recently competed in the Pentathlon GB National Biathle, finishing fourth in the under-19 age group.

That meant he qualified for the world championships in Germany, and European championships in Barcelona.