Congratulations to Lindsey Fraser, who was presented with the Cook Trophy at the recent ASA National age group and Junior elite event in Sheffield.
The Jeff Cook Trophy is awarded annually to the person who is considered to have given outstanding service to the sport of diving.
Lindsey started her career as a diver in 1969 with Ruislip & Northwood swimming club, then became a member of Hillingdon Diving School, Beaumont Diving Academy, Luton Kingfishers, The Ladies diving club and Highgate diving club in order to further her career. She competed in her first International in 1979 and went on to represent GB in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games in Moscow and Los Angeles, and England in the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. During this time she was training as a diver, working full time as a teacher and had already begun coaching in her spare time!
In 1985 Lindsey wrung out her costume and concentrated on her coaching although she was still earning her living as a secondary school Maths and IT teacher, successfully climbing the ladder to become a member of her schools’ management team.
After a period spent developing Waltham Forest Diving Club and continuing to coach for Highgate Diving Club, she decided to apply for the post of Diving Development Officer in Southampton when the Quays first opened to the public in 1999. For the first time Lindsey was able to concentrate solely on her coaching, allowing her to give her athletes, including at the time Peter Waterfield and Blake Aldridge, the benefit of her undivided attention in their bid to make it to the Olympics.
The passion and commitment that went into creating the new programme in Southampton not only resulted in her appointment as British Team Manager at the Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004, but saw Peter Waterfield take a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She has since been a key member of the British coaching team at almost every major event in the world and a highly respected figure on the international scene, whose wisdom and advice is highly sought after by coaches, athletes and support staff of many nations.
In 2004 Lindsey was awarded the Helen Rollason medal as the top female UK Coach of the year.
Apart from the divers that transferred with her to Southampton this dedicated coach identified and nurtured many more young divers, taking them from their first introductions to the sport through to successful international competitors. Many chose to relocate to Southampton from other parts of the country to benefit from what she was able to offer. The list of those who trained with her includes Gary Hunt, Stacie Powell, Max Brick, Chris Mears, Natalie Hill, Rosie Medlock, to name but a few.
Not content with simply being a successful coach herself Lindsey also puts a great deal of effort into helping both current and future coaches to become the best that they can be. She achieves this through being prepared to teach, support and encourage them and also through getting them to learn together, sharing ideas and progressing in their practice by working as teams to give their divers the best possible opportunities. Her recent work at Regional level has had a huge impact over the last 18 months.
Now that her coaching commitments at the international level have reduced this has allowed her to concentrate more on another area, that of judging. As with every other role that she has taken on within the sport she has shown herself to be a very capable judge, greatly valued at the events she has been able to attend. As a FINA judge Lindsey recently presided at the World Series Event in London.
Lindsey says ‘It came as a complete shock to win what is a highly prized award in our sport, and I was absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way. It is particularly special to be acknowledged by one’s own colleagues in this sort of way.’