Grace Swimming

TROPHY NIGHT - 20th Anniversary Welcome Address

On behalf of the Grace Swimming Community, I would like to thank each of you for not only joining us here this evening, but also for your continued support of our swimmers and Club over the past 20 years, and particularly over the past season.

A special thank you also to the work of the Swimming Club Committee for their help in pulling tonight together. With this year being our 20th year,  Marie, Carolyn and Cathy have all stepped up to give this night some extra love and attention, for which we are very grateful.  Could I get you to put your hands together for those ladies.

Also I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our time keepers, BBQr’s, check starters, Flipper’s ladies, Bakers that have helped out through the season.  Our club nights would not be the success they are without each of your continual help. 

Tonight, we would also like to acknowledge the very talented Josh and Mykaela of Prestige Images for kindly donating some of their photos that they have taken throughout the season.  We think they really showcase what makes us Grace, and will be popping up on the big screen throughout the evening.

And then of course, I would also like to welcome you, our swimmers.  It is you guys and your achievements in the water over the past 12 months, after all, is what brings us here together tonight.  And it is you guys, that makes us Grace.

Achievements such as Competing at the Australian Age or Open Water Championships, success at Brisbane Swimming Association meets, the number of Personal Bests swum at club nights, qualifying for the first time to compete in the 50m events on Wednesday Nights, or even getting to that 12.5m rope for the first time without the help of a big person. 

I like those ones – they are pretty cool. 

We are proud of you all for each of these achievements, and that is what we have all come here tonight to celebrate.

Just as important as celebrating each of these measurable achievements in the water though, is to acknowledge your excitement, your passion, your pleasure and dedication that you guys put into your training and competition each week.   Along with the successes I mentioned before, we recognize that your journey to achieve your goals and dreams in the water is never without hiccups.

If you look at the pointy end of Team Grace - our team at the recent National Championships - 3 of our 4 swimmers were suffering injuries or illness, meaning that they may not have swum the times that they wanted.  But it is their commitment to hard work and always doing their best despite these hurdles that we are so very proud of.

But these 4 swimmers are of course only a small representation of our entire club.   We know that each of you have a real love of swimming by the fact that you guys will train up to 20 hours a week to chase after improvements of less than a 10th of a second.  Or for the days that you are so tired, sore and hungry, that you want to quit but you don’t.  We admire you guys for choosing to sacrifice pleasures and opportunities that your friends away from swimming enjoy, just so you can pursue your dreams in the pool. We respect you all for the times your disappointed that your swims on Wednesday nights, or on the weekend aren’t the PB you hoped for, yet you turn up to training the next day, ready to give it your all once again. 

Just as you guys love swimming though, I think its important for you all to realize how much we , the committee members and all the parents here tonight, love to see you guys, still celebrate the results and achievements of your team mates as if they were from your own family.  This is particularly significant given that you are competing in a sport that is so focused on the results of the individual.   The way we see a queue of senior swimmers (and often junior swimmers) wanting to help our youngest members swim the 12.5m butterfly on a club night.  How our seniors come alongside our juniors at outside meets or during training to offer encouragement is certainly part of what makes us Grace.

Now I’m sure almost all here tonight have heard me talk about “what makes us Grace” in this 20th season of our club.

It’s a phrase coined, as far I know, by our past President and most recent Life Member, Paul Chambers.  And obviously I have started to use it more and more.

This is because, I have found myself reflecting on what this catch cry actually means. Obviously, Grace Swimming Club takes the name from the college where we reside and whom are our biggest supporters.  But still, I find myself looking for more understanding.

One of my favorite bible readings which provides me with regularencouragement to serve one another, I feel also provides me with some further insight into this question of what makes us Grace;

Romans 12 : 3-­‐6

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

Not only does this reading help us understand that despite our differences and diversity we all have an important role to play in the one body, but also eludes to the grace provided to us all through God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. That is, grace being given as a result of sacrifice : an act for the benefit of others as a result of the Grace given to us.  

In the context of our little swimming club, this is parents, and volunteers, all using our gifts and skills, using our knowledge, experience, and time to serve, for the benefits in the improvement of character as well for the success of our swimmers.   All of which is done without self promotion or benefit.  It is the example provided by our volunteers that then permeates done into the behavior and attitudes of our swimmers. 

But where has this come from?  I believe that this culture of service by our volunteer army is deeply engrained within the DNA of Grace Swimming Club.  It’s a result of the work and commitment of all those volunteers that have worked for the betterment of our Club over our 20 year history.  And it’s typified by our Five Life Members, whom we have with us tonight.  Could I call these life members up to the stage please.

Mr Fred Stolz

Mr Peter Diamond

Mr David Gregory

Mr Steve Todd

Mr Paul Chambers.

Each of these life members have all have brought different skills, temperaments, and abilities to our Club body.  These contributions all happened at different stags in the club’s past, ranging in time from before the pool was even constructed, till of course the current day.  But what they all have had in common is to commit to the development of our swimmers both in and out of the water, with a servant heartedness, grace and humility that defines the tone of our club today.

As we prepared to celebrate our 20th Anniversary (for a few years now), we have been delving back into the history of the Club.   Going through all the old photos, chatting to past swimmers, committee members, presidents and teachers about the evolution of our club. The struggles associated with how the facilities came to be delivered, how the club championships evolved and how trophy nights used to be held beside the pool.  How our club developed from being a suburban swim school, to be the only 25 meter pool club in the BSA premiership for 6 consecutive years. During those conversations though, it has become quite evident that our ensemble of Life Members that we have with us here, is not quite complete.

Tonight, we are wanting to acknowledge those that have been instrumental in the development of the physical and cultural foundations of our swimming Club.  But like these people beside me, their own diverse skills and gifts have been used for the benefit of our club, all tempered with humility and a servant hearted attitude.

Mr Graham Rutherford was the college’s P+F president at the time the college began to investigate the possibility of constructing a pool.  So not only was Graham involved with the planning, design and construction of our outdoor pool, but he also oversaw the fundraising efforts to help fund the constructions of our facilities before they even got out of the ground. 

And of course, with a new pool, came a swimming club to train and support the swimmers.  Graham then, pardon the pun, dove right into the role of being our inaugural club president.  For those that of you that were at our Club championships this year, would remember that he undertook this role without one of his children ever being a swimming member of our club. 

His tireless dedication in these early years extended into liaison with the school college council on the management and development of their asset, overseeing the business operations of coaching and squad training that was the clubs responsibility in those days.  This also meant that he was ultimately responsible for the appointment and employment of our coaches, including that of supercoach and life member, Peter Diamond . 

If organizing the construction of the outdoor pool wasn’t enough, Graham a few years later, then moved onto managing the planning, design, funding and construction of the learn to swim pool and baby pool that has lead so many of you here tonight into our club.  It was only after some health concerns that Graham after 7 years in the role, needed to then stand down from the position. 

That was not enough to keep him away from being around the club that he was part of from the very beginning though.  A few years after he resigned, and during a time that was potentially disastrous for our club, Graham returned to serve in an advisory role to help facilitate an outcome that was in the best interest of the club, its members, and the college. 

Measuring not only by the successes of the club in the years after that, but also by the strength of our club today, The Grace Swimming Club Committee have resolved that Mr Graham Rutherford is a worthy life member of the club that he was instrumental in establishing.  Could you all join me with in congratulating Mr Graham Rutherford on the presentation of his Life Membership. 

While Graham was instrumental in the development of the facilities that our club enjoys today, the bricks, the mortar, the pools, our discussion with other past members suggests, that Mr Michael Zande, was just as instrumental by  being the glue in holding the pieces together, and also in contributing to shaping the culture of our club.  A culture, which sought to support the vision of being a competitive club, whilst simultaneously, looked to grow the character of the swimmer. 

Whilst never an official motto of the club, Michael always felt that the mantra of “Tenacity tempered with Humility” was an appropriate destination for the club ethos. Remembering those swimmers that have left the club since I have been here, and also looking at our senior swimmers here tonight, I feel that we can fully appreciate the legacy that our club has been blessed with today as a result. 

As mentioned, our committee and club structure these days is very different to the one that started 20 years ago.  They took on so much more fiscal responsibility, but they always had the vision of being a competitive club that also looked to grow the character of the swimmer.  After the first few years of wallowing in the bottom division of the BSA premiership, Michael (with  perhaps the assistance of his wife) developed the idea to target a coach of high standing- the one and only Mr Peter Diamond.  With that decision came the need to develop the learn to Swim facility that would provide the numbers to support such a high level coach, both through the available talent pool and of course through the associated financial benefits. 

Michael with his expertise, and in his role on the committee and as club secretary, then helped prepare the Cost analysis, budget analysis, feasibilities studies, Code of Conducts, memorandums of understanding and constitutions required to garnish the college support to further invest in swimming at Grace.  After 1 yr of Mr D being Grace Swimming Head Coach, Grace had taken out the inter-Lutheran Swimming Carnival.  Within 2 years, we were up within the BSA first division.

Michael served our Swimming Committee and membership over a period of 10 years with Grace and Humility. His focus was always on the swimmers and the environment that best supported them in and out of the water.  At the time of his departure from the club, the committee wanted to acknowledge his contribution with a special award, but he refused saying that it shouldn’t be about him, but about the swimmers, and not him.  Well this time, the committee has not asked him. 

As a result, The Grace Swimming Club Committee have resolved that it is appropriate that we award Mr Michael Zande a  life membership of the club that he so actively served and shaped over a 10 year period.  Could you all join me with in congratulating Mr Michael Zande on the presentation of his Life Membership. 

Thankyou very much gents, you can now take your seats.

The last 12 months thankfully, have not just been about preparing for our anniversary.  Whilst the presentation from our Club captains later tonight will provide a more extensive description of their highlights from the last year, there are a few specific moments that I wanted to mention.

Excitingly, this season has seen us welcome 76 new swimming members to our club, with almost half of these being made up of swimmers 8 years old and under.  The committee is excited to welcome all of those swimmers and their families here tonight.  We hope that you all have enjoyed the season and that it may be the first of many years associated with swimming here at Grace.

Club Nights over the past season as always are a highlight – It’s where we get to see the excitement on their faces for first time swims, or how adamant they were about not needing any help from the big kids to swim their race.  Being around marshaling, you are also aware of how proud they are to get a PB, or qualify for the longer distances.

This club night season has certainly been a success because we got to see a total of 140 individual swimmers (that’s up 18 from last year) compete in 5180 actual swims. That’s an increase of over 20% of swims from last year – which perhaps explains why our club nights may have run a little over time this year…. . Of those swims just under 1550 of those swims were personal bests (that’s about 1/3 of them). And each one of those has been entered into our PB Prize draw to be drawn later tonight, so all you kids, make sure your ready just in case your name is pulled out.  The prizes are awesome once again this year, all thanks to The Rothwell Amart Sports Community Kickback program which continues to provide us great support for these and other prizes through the year.

Now we know our swimmers love PB’s.  And as I just mentioned, there have been plenty this season.  But there are two Club Night PB’s in particular I’d like to single out.  The biggest PB for the season, is a whopping 47.16 seconds, by Tristan Dempster in the 800m Freestyle. The other PB which is a real stand out, was the largest in 50m freestyle - a very impressive 8.24 seconds by young Liam Dwyer. What makes it most impressive I think, is that it was on the first club night of the season – obviously the result of some hard work through winter! Well done mate!

Could I ask the following swimmers to please stand in their places.

TristanDempster,

Ashleigh Duyzer,

Liam Dwyer,

Chantelle Jackson,

Holly James,

Isabella McGaven,

Aimee Norris

Katelyn Woodward

 

These 8 swimmers competed at every one of 18 Club Nights through the season.  Not quite our oldest to youngest members, but isn’t it great to see them turn up each week.  Could I ask you all to put hands together for these guys commitment to our club Nights.

For those swimmers looking at progressing on from competing at Club Nights, the next step is competing at Outside meets. This often starts with  Development Meets , and then progresses to Qualifying Meets, Brisbane Swimming Championships, Qld State Titles, all culminating in the recently completed Australian Titles. In total we saw 63 swimmers compete in 54 different meets over the past 12 months.

All of this competition concluded in the recent Australian Open and Age Championships in Brisbane.  This year though, our stars were not only in the pool during these championships.  Grace Swimming were invited to provide some swimmers to be basket handlers and medal bearers for the first night of the championships, and got be part of the amazing atmosphere.

Those guys that represented us that night, need to make sure you see Cathy before the end of the night because she has a gift from Swimming Australia for the great job you all did.  The reports coming back from pool deck was that these guys did an amazing job representing our club, and I think we should put our hands together for them now.

And speaking of gifts, to celebrate our 20th Season of Grace Swimming Club, along with the trophies presented for the sprint awards tonight, each swimmer will also receive a commemorative 20th Anniversary towel.  They are not named, so make sure you look after them…..

With that, I would like to conclude by thanking you all once again coming along not only tonight, but also throughout the season as we all share in the privilege of watching these kids chase their dreams in the pool.  I feel truly blessed to once again, be part of Grace.

Please enjoy the festivities of the night.

 

Aimee's #AusOW17 Blog

This week saw 10 of the senior swimmers compete in Adelaide for the open water nationals 5 and 10km events. Thankfully, while in Adelaide the weather graced us with sunshine and great conditions for some ocean swimming. The venue at Brighton Beach had absolutely beautiful water that allowed all swimmers to see the sea bottom the whole race and also some marine visitors that included friendly dolphins, stingrays, crabs but also the unwanted jellyfish. Unfortunately for Ben, he received more stings than anyone on the beach, but didn't let that slow him down during his race. However, the weekend wasn't all swimming, as the team had loads of laughs in our 'lit' beach house, only 50 metres from the water. The endless card games and ping pong made everyone crash to sleep each night, after watching the stunning sun-sets, and thanks to Laura and John's yummy cooking, we never went hungry. After all, we had to be fuelled for our great game of beach cricket once all the hard work was done, which saw some impressive and some not-so impressive hits. Entertainment during the trip was also found in Hayden's clumsy two left feet, Lauren's not so excellent cheat skills in a card game of cheat and Ash's endless laughing. But not all the swimming was competition, as Tyler's diving skills found him a decent fishing rod on the ocean floor, reeling in a nice big seaweed-fish, and the water was so nice it even tempted coach Chris to join us swimmers for a dip in the hot sun. The trip ended with a delightful team dinner at a small Italian restaurant on the beachfront and a morning walk around the local area, looking (or should I saw drooling) into the famous chocolate shop, Bracegirdles. Even though swimming was tough at the time, the results from the weekend and the feeling of accomplishment from finishing the race leaves everyone excited and thinking about the trip for next years nationals, wherever that may be. Well done team Grace, and thanks for all involved for a great weekend! 

Aimee

 

President's Report - November 2016

15th November 2016

Welcome all,

Good evening once again,

49 swimmers.  Ranging in age from 8, to 22.  Some competing in relays for the first time. This was our weekend at the Brisbane Swimming Association Relay championships. 

Other swimmers were competing in a 50m pool for the first time and some at Chandler for the first time.  Swimmers got to seeing Ash, their coach, in full flight for the first time over 50m and noticing that she only takes one breath in those 26.5 seconds. They got to see our oldest swimmer competing at the meet be disqualified because he left the blocks too early, but come back in his later swims to smash his PB’s doing a blistering fast 24.1second 50m Freestyle.  Hearing the older swimmers yell out the names of their younger team mates as they are standing on the blocks to spur them on, and give them a lift.  Seeing our junior swimmers fall in behind the club banner as they paraded around the pool deck displaying pride in their team.  The bus ride, where swimmers outnumber parents 45 to 2, saw swimmers extremely well behaved and excitedly prepare for the day of racing (and apply their tattoos).  Warmup was a challenge, but #TeamGraceSc still stuck together, laying claim to a few lanes in the outside pool, but at the same time sharing it with swimmers from other clubs facing the challenge of finding some clear water.  The Grace Team spirit was evident all throughout the day, and certainly something we can proudly say makes us Grace.

On a personal level, it was also great to be able to sit (and cheer) the kids on as they swam their hearts out.  On Wednesday nights, I love engaging with he kids in marshalling, but being able to watch them swim and seeing how good their techniques actually are, is also as rewarding.  So a big congratulations to all of Team Grace, for doing yourselves and your club so proud.

With our future team trips already in the pipeline for Gympie later this month and Adelaide for next years National Open Water Championships, team experiences in what is known as an individual sport is just one of the ways that what we as a committee believe our swimmers are provided with memories and a framework for the passing on of attitudes and lessons learnt to one another.  It is also what we think goes towards what makes us Grace – the pursuit of individual goals in the water whilst committing to the selflessness of promoting the interests of the team.  The role and the support of the college in the organisation and delivery of these occasions should not be under estimated.

With this years state champs only a month away, and nominations closing in a week, the focus of our swimmers and coaches is well and truly on them.  Currently, we have one swimmer nominated (Mr Adam Wilkie).  Whilst I am sure this number will increase over the next few days, I suspect that we may not get to the 21 swimmers we had last year.  It may be premature to discuss this in any length, I would certainly be interested in everyone else’s thoughts on this.  A toughening up of some of the qualifying times, only 1 qualifying Meet before State Champs, the retirement of some of our seasoned swimmers, and a shift in focus of some of the younger squads may all be influencing factors. Something to dwell on over the coming month perhaps. 

With this being the final week that some of our swimmers as they complete year 12, I’m sure that I speak on behalf of everyone at Grace swimming, that we wish Tyler, Braedyn and Maegen all the best for them post school and pray that they always know that they will be part of the Grace Swimming Family.

Yours in Swimming

 

Garth

President

President's Report - September 2016

11th October 2016

Welcome all,

Club Nights have kicked off since our meeting, and if the smiles on the kids faces at the marshalling gate (at my gate anyway…) are anything to go by, then they are all having a blast.  Without stealing Paul’s thunder too much, this season has excitingly seen 33 new swimmers join our club so far this year.  This in part is of course because we are an awesome club, but probably has more to do with the Junior Dolphin program with Swimming Australia, a close working relationship with Grace Swimming Operations, and the efforts of our volunteers to encourage, educate and inspire those people to be part of what makes us Grace. Last week, we had 99 swimmers nominate, this week we have had 104 nominate, + any that may walk in.  This season, the club night record of 107 certainly looks to be in danger. 

As we move through our club night season, I encourage you all to keep your eye out for the Grace that helps define our club as it is freely offered by all those regular volunteers who offer their time to help out, as well as these guys and other senior swimmers jumping in to make sure that all those nervously smiling first time swimmers will get to that 12.5m rope and feel like Olympic champions.  As the clubs committee, it is also important that we also demonstrate and encourage these attitudes of servant heartedness to the new crop of parents and swimmers that have joined us in recent years.  This will mean that the culture that has built up over the past 20 years continues into the future once we have all hung up our goggles. 

Since our last meeting, our swimmers have certainly thrown themselves into the competitive season in the preparation for the QLD state Titles in December.  These championships, for many of our swimmers is the penultimate part of their swimming season.  The years worth of hard work, commitment, and often sacrifice is all rewarded by qualification at this event.  Consequently, the work of our coaches at this time of year should also be acknowledged, working tirelessly to get the best out if each individual, preparing them as best they can, depending on their preferred stroke, their rate of recovery, their event program. 

The last month has also seen our swimmers represent our club at the BSA Open water Meet. We had 19 swimmers competing, and with the successes achieved, saw us finish in 5th place in the premiership division, seeing us bump up to 8th.  The BSA season will certainly throw some challenges at us and we will need to continue to encourage our members to compete where they can.

The next big adventure for our club members will be the junior swimmers heading to the East Brisbane Development Meet with our coaches as a lot of them get their first taste of competitive swimming at an outside meet.  As a club, our role is to assist our coaches in whatever way we can as they are the ones looking after this event.

These sort of days are certainly a great way to inspire our swimmers to continue to work hard, and make dreams in and around the water.  They also typify what makes us Grace.

 

Yours in Swimming

Garth

President