President's Report - July 2016

19th July 2016


Welcome to the first Club committee Meeting of the 2016/2017 season.  The first committee meeting for some of you.

We are excited to welcome our new and returning members as this brings fresh eyes and fresh ideas!  Perhaps, different ways of doing things and perhaps different things we can focus on.

To those new committee members, you will soon realise however that the returning members, or those still hanging around, are not special.   That we all have our flaws, that I am always late and all of our children say or do silly things. But what we do have in common, is that we are wanting to support not only our own kids achieve their goals and dreams in the water, but to support all at Grace Swimming to do the same.  As a committee, I believe it is our responsibility;

-        to continue to foster an environment where the focus is on equality and inclusiveness regardless of the level of success of the individual,

-        to continue to embrace an environment that celebrates the strength of character in and out of the water,

-        to further embrace a culture where we celebrate success not only to recognise the achievements of the individual, but also inspire others to have lofty dreams rather than deflating them, and

-        We should encourage all our members to adopt these values.

All whilst further encouraging our children’s love for a sport, often recognised through personal achievements, through a strong sense of “teamship” and memorable moments.

The coming year is a special one for Grace Swimming.  The 2016/2017 season sees us celebrate 20 years of “Being Grace”.  Hanging around these sorts of committees, you begin to appreciate the efforts of those that have come before you.  I’m not just talking about each of our life members that have played a part in our history, but those that in our 20 year history have help build the culture of the club that we all enjoy today.  Swimmers, parents, coaches, principals teachers.  This year we are looking at celebrating all of their efforts in laying the foundations of our Club environment that our swimmers enjoy today.

The competitive swim season has commenced with our very own development meet held over the weekend.  Whilst the weather was “very ordinary” the enthusiasm of our volunteer army, including our senior swimmers, was extra ordinary.  Nominations for the day totaled 143 swimmers, with 110 of these being from clubs other than Grace.  Whilst we had a few swimmers and families from the Gold Coast and Toowoomba, most were from the Bribie, Redcliffe, Burpengary, and Albany Creek areas.  The smile on the faces of all of swimmers, even through the nattering shivering teeth, I believe still made the day worthwhile.

A Big Thanks goes to the work before and after the meet to Steven Todd, for pulling the program and results together.  The way that even on the day, he treats those that have been incorrectly entered into a race with patience and Grace, is a real inspiration to me and really typifies what it is that makes us grace.  Thanks to everyone else for their involvement, and I am sure we are all ready looking forward to hosting another event in 2017. 

Our development meet also provided our youngest swimmers with an opportunity to obtain a qualifying time for the major meet of the season completed, the BSA Short Course Champs.  At last look at the BSA website, we have had a 10% increase in the number of nominations from last year, 22 swimmers competing in 135 different events.  These BSA events are a great way of fostering the team culture and identity which, acutely more significant give our 20th year celebrations. As a committee, we should encourage our swimmers to wear their white club shirts and uniform these days as a way of belonging to the “team”.  As a committee, we could also consider what other measures we can do to encourage this culture in our 20th year of Grace.

Tomorrow night sees us being 11 weeks from the commencement of the club night season.  Over the past seasons, this is where we as a club we have been able to put our best foot forward and make the night something special for our younger swimmers and their families.  This has only ever been possible through the ongoing commitment and support offered again by our army of volunteers.  The smile of those kids who complete 25m for their first time, or after they realise getting their name has been pulled out of the PB prize draw, is why we and plenty of others continue to help out Wednesday nights.  Our “volunteer army” does not happen accidently however, so I ask that you all continue to encourage other parents to help out where they can, as we know “many hands make light work” 

In Summary, Thank you all for your willingness to contribute to and serve Grace Swimming Club this year.  I look forward to working with each of you over the coming season. 

Yours in Swimming


Garth Hollindale