Allen Bewley has retired from his role as Swim Wales Chair following eight successful years.
Allen has made a significant impact on Welsh aquatics during his time in post and will leave a lasting legacy as he steps away from the Board of Directors. Swim Wales Vice Chair Ian Jones will step into the role on an interim basis.
A 30-year association with Welsh aquatics culminated in Allen rising to the role of Chair, where under his leadership, Swim Wales surpassed historic milestones including the organisation’s 125th year, celebrated highs at Olympic and Commonwealth Games and navigated unprecedented challenges.
He first made a positive contribution to aquatics in 1988 as a basic level swimming teacher and became a fixture on poolside as an event referee and event organiser. In 2015, he completed the journey from swim teacher to Swim Wales Chair after a playing a significant role in the development of North Wales aquatics as Chair of Holywell ASC and CEO of the North Wales Amateur Swimming Association.
During his tenure, the COVID-19 pandemic tested the resilience of the swimming community, but under his guidance, Swim Wales weathered the storm and emerged stronger. Matt Richards and Calum Jarvis went onto secure golds at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games before Team Wales tasted success at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Outgoing Chair Allen Bewley said: “As I embark on a new chapter of my life, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all my Board colleagues and all Swim Wales staff for their hard work, loyalty, and commitment. You are the backbone of this organisation and have made it what it is today.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as an Independent Director and the Chair of Swim Wales, I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved together. I will miss working with you and will always cherish the memories and the lessons that we have shared.
“Finally, I would like to congratulate Ian Jones on his appointment as the new Chair of Swim Wales. He is a perfect fit for the position, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, and is well-equipped to handle all the challenges the future will bring.”
Swim Wales Chief Executive Officer Fergus Feeney said: “On behalf of the board and staff at Swim Wales and the entire Welsh aquatics community, I would like to thank Allen for his unwavering commitment not only in his role as Chair, but during his three-decade association with our organisation.
“Together, we have faced and overcome huge challenges over the last eight years, and we are hugely grateful for his dedication and commitment to the advancement of Welsh aquatics. Allen has given so much to Swim Wales and will continue to be a figurehead of our community, even in retirement. It has been an honour to work with you over the last eight years, and we all wish you the very best in your new chapter. Diolch yn fawr iawn, Allen.”
Interim Chair Ian Jones is a former Welsh Schools Swimming International and former Chair of Swim Gwynedd Performance Club and is currently the Head of Corporate Service for Gwynedd Council. He is looking to build on the success Allen achieved during his eight year term.
Ian Jones said: “I am delighted to take on the role of interim Chair of Swim Wales and wish to thank and acknowledge the tremendous contribution that my predecessor Allen Bewley has made to Welsh Aquatics. My aim is to build on that success and ensure that we continue to inspire, support and promote aquatics for everyone in Wales so that we and future generations can benefit from being aquatically active. We have an ambitious and dynamic strategy to deliver that will require the Board and the wider team to collaborate, co-ordinate and communicate as effectively as possible and I’m determined to ensure that we succeed in that endeavour.”