Swimming Australia presents 2020 Community Award winners
An open water referee, a Launceston swimming club and a stalwart of West Australia swimming are this year’s recipients of Swimming Australia’s 2020 community awards.
Bill Ford, an open water technical official, was announced as this year’s winner of the Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year, along with Helen Harding, from Southside Penrhos Wesley Swimming Club who took out the coveted 2020 Local Legend of the Year, with the highly sought after 2020 Club of the Year gong going to the South Esk Swimming Club in Launceston.
Ford begun his career officiating in 1986 at the Penrith Swimming Club which ran the annual Bridge to Bridge event - a 3 kilometre swim in the Nepean river during the 1990s with over 500 participants.
Officiating has become a passion for Ford, who has clocked up several memorable achievements including the 2012 London Olympics, Chief Referee for the Men’s 10 kilometre event at the 2019 FINA World Championships and is soon to head to the re-scheduled Tokyo Olympics. He continues to give back to the sport by serving on the FINA Open Water Technical Committee and recently had the prestigious honour of being inducted into the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Ford said he was incredibly humbled to receive the award, commenting “I’m both honoured and humbled to have been awarded the Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year Award for 2020.
“Every technical official is helped to reach their fullest potential by a very special group of mentors and I have been most fortunate to have the following mentors, all of whom have contributed to my success as a technical official in both the pool and open water swimming, and I would like to recognise each for their contribution towards my development and achievements as a technical official, Mrs Lynette Crossley, Mr Patrick Troy, the late Mr C B ‘Berry’ Rickards - who was instrumental in my first FINA List appointment for Open Water Swimming, the late Mr Dennis Miller and (New Zealander) Mr John West (New Zealand).
“Swimming Australia, through its development programs, encourages all Australian Technical Officials to reach their highest potential. As Technical Officials, our goal is to provide all swimmers with an equal opportunity to succeed by the fair and consistent application of the Rules of Swimming.
“The Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year Award is the pinnacle award for Australian Technical Officials, and I thank Swimming Australia for this prestigious Award.”
Local Legend of the Year, Helen Harding has held nearly every committee position available at the Southside Penrhos Wesley Swimming Club and serves as a technical official. Under her guidance the West Australian club has thrived, widely acknowledged as one of Western Australia’s best swimming clubs.
The Award recognises not only the time she dedicates to the Club but she also her support and development of the Central Zone where now serves as the Zone Coordinator. In true volunteer spirit, Hardy dedicates further time to assist WA Swimming with competition planning, serving on the state’s Competition Planning Committee.
Welcoming her award, Harding stated “thank you so much for the Local Legend Award on ongoing appreciation of the many Volunteers in our community. I am sure there are so many others deserving of recognition.
"For me, I started volunteering for swimming at Club level when my now three very much adult kids joined our club.
“Now near 15 years later, whilst only one is still swimming and no longer at home, I still enjoy giving back to the sport. Being retired, I really enjoy the multi-tasking mental stimulation and at times, the challenges of pulling competitions together and trying to do the best for our swimmers and I encourage all to volunteer in some capacity.”
Like all clubs during the pandemic, South Esk Swimming Club looked for ways to keep their 122 registered members engaged. Head Coach, Ketrina Clarke constantly engaged with swimmers through weekly zoom meetings with discussions on exercise, nutrition, positive mindsets and motivation. She also used an app to engage with her senior swimmers and set weekly challenges for them to achieve.
In a year where communication was critical, Clarke kept swimmer engagement high creating a four week program called FAST - flexibility activity, aerobic activity, strength activity and technique activity - for swimmers 11 years and above to complete activities across the week.
The club also prides itself on providing a number of social and fundraising activities for its members across the calendar year, including an annual awards dinner, a Christmas break-up and a footy tipping competition.
South Esk Swimming Club President Kris Dolle said she was humbled by the award, stating “South Esk Swimming Club is very humbled to be the recipient of the Swimming Australia Club of the year for 2020. It has been a challenging year for all sporting clubs which required a focus on keeping our swimmers engaged with each other whilst continuing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
“Our head coach, Ketrina Clarke used various online platforms to keep our squads in touch. It allowed our swimmers to maintain their physical fitness with various activities outside the pool.
“Facing the challenges of 2020 together our club as a whole has grown into a cohesive group focusing on the well-being of each other and the wider community.
“The South Esk Swimming Club Committee thanks all club members and their supporting families for their commitment to club programs during this challenging period.”
Swimming Australia Chief Sport Performance, Matthew Kennedy said community recognition was especially important in this challenging year.
Kennedy added “although we didn’t hold the full awards this year due to COVID-19 we felt it was really important to acknowledge our extremely deserving community award winners and highlight the work they do for the greater good of our sport.
“Volunteers are the backbone of any sport and swimming is very fortunate to have thousands of people who give up their own time to make our sport better each day.
“This year’s recipients have all shown superb commitment and passion for swimming and on behalf of Swimming Australia I congratulate them all and thank them for their contribution to our sport.”
All the winners will receive Arena prize packs and a framed award recognising their achievements.
Main Image shows the South Esk Swimming Club.
10th December 2020 - Royal Life Saving launches 2020/21 South Australian Vacswim program
1st December 2020 - Winners announced for 2020 National AUSTSWIM Awards of Excellence
16th November 2020 - Swim Safer Week aims to reverse decline in swimming lesson enrolments
9th November 2020 - Kieren Perkins appointed as Swimming Australia President
5th November 2020 - Western Australian Government promotes jobs in swimming
30th October 2020 - Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell to step down
29th September 2020 - Melbourne swimmers welcome reopening of outdoor pools
24th September 2020 - Learn2Swim Week sees swim schools offer free lessons for children under five
8th September 2020 - Swim Parka offers an alternative to aquatic centre changing rooms
20th April 2020 - Swimming Australia celebrates first year of iSwim
27th November 2019 - Swimming Australia honours Gina Rinehart with Lifetime Contribution Award
23rd October 2019 - Swimming Australia unveils Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic campaign
2nd October 2019 - Swimming Australia launches grant program to encourage physical activity
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…read more
@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…read more
Now TPEC Pool Enclosures - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/tpec-pool-enclosuresread more
revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…read more
Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…read more
BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…read more
TicketSearch is focused on providing businesses, organisations, and venues with affordable, efficient, and powerful self-managed ticketing solutions. The organisation has offices in Australia, New…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!