Tom Watch of Great Britain was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) as an Honour Coach in 1986. Watch has coached English Channel swimmers for 57 years and is still offering advice in his 80s.
For over 60 years, Watch has been a coach and mentor for long distance and channel swimmers needing support, training, encouragement and advice. His coaching career began with Geoffrey Chapman in the 1951 Daily Mail Cross Channel race who was the first British swimmer to finish. He has accompanied more than 100 swimmers across the English Channel, both from his native Weymouth, but also from across the world. In 1965, he accompanied Phil Gollop, who became the youngest swimmer to cross at that time.
Some of the swimmers he has mentored include Marc Newman, Chad Hundeby who made the fastest Channel Swimming Association crossing on record, Peter Jurzynski, Jacqui Hampson who was the youngest female at the time, Samantha Druce, who at 12 years of age became the youngest of all time and James "Doc" Counsilman, who was the oldest at that time. In 1982, Watch was an Observer on Jon Erikson’s historic three-way swim of the English Channel.
IMSHOF Honour Coaches
- Richard “Dick” Campion, Australia, inducted 2010/11
- Gilles Potvin, Canada, inducted 2006
- Gus Ryder, Canada, inducted 1981
- Charles “Red” Silva, USA, inducted 1978
- Tom Watch, Great Britain, inducted 1986
- Freda Streeter, Great Britain, inducted 2005
- Don Watson, USA inducted 2013