Thursday, September 01, 2016

Swim Social Blog: Scott Gauld - Volunteering in Masters Swimming

Volunteering to support your club/discipline can really make a difference

In my last blogs I’d summarised the prep for the European Masters Championships in London, it feels like it was much more than 4 months ago.  Since then I’ve stayed on in London but had certainly had my fill of swimming for a while and I’m now only beginning to find my rhythm getting into training routine.

Re-locating to London has been tough from a swimming perspective with my focus shifting to my new role and adjusting to new surroundings and getting engaged has meant swimming fell down the pecking order. However, I wasn’t fully detached from the Masters scene as I was the meet convenor for the 2016 North District Masters Open Championships held in Inverness on the 20th August. Being involved in the running of a meet is not something I’d ever imagined I’d be involved in when I took Masters swimming in 2011.

My involvement in Masters swimming out of the pool (other than the heavy social schedule) started in 2012 when I became the treasurer of Silver City Blues, at that time there was a sea of new blood coming into the club which had previous been relying on a small group of hardy volunteers with one member of the committee holding three separate roles. I had been tapped on the shoulder and asked if I’d be interested in getting involved, which I was, but having only been a member of the club for 5 months or so I didn’t expect to leave that AGM as the treasurer. It was a stellar year for the club and as an organizing committee we did a number of things to improve the club and put on a strong footing for the future.  At that time, I couldn’t keep up with the demands of the role and decided to step aside and started to regret that decision soon after. At the following AGM in 2014 I was elected president of the club which was great honour and experience. It was during this role that I then became involved in North District/National Masters Committee. This then spun off into organising the LC training camp with the support of Scottish Swimming staff and the inception of Scottish Masters TV.

When I first volunteered, I would never have thought that I’d have been involved in any of the above let alone all of it. Volunteering to support your club/discipline can really make a difference and fresh face getting involved means that new areas of improvement can be identified, so if you ever have the opportunity to get involved, DO IT!

Any way back to the meet in Inverness, it had mooted for a while the North District had been interested in hosting a Masters Championships and it was also apparent from the lack of meets on the Scottish calendar that there was an opportunity to put a new meet on the calendar.  It is not always the case that the swimming “authorities” understand Masters as we found out with the European Championships in London, but the North District had been very open to listening to the requirements of Masters and in the end with the support of the North District and the district masters committee we delivered a successful event at Inverness Leisure.  Jane Asher coming to the competition and smashing her own world record was a great advertisement for not only the meet but Scottish Masters competitions in general. The reach of social media also meant that we picked up entries from Manchester, London and Moscow.  Moscow All-Stars had a swimmer enter the event and under take the 4674 mile round trip to compete at the event.

Scottish Masters TV – ND Masters Open Championships

I’m looking forward to getting back in the water and seeing where I’m at and setting targets for the year ahead, it’s safe to say I’ll be focussing on less events which means training more butterfly, I don’t know if this is good or bad.

Upcoming Masters Events




Inverclyde Masters Meet

9 – 10 September


Midlands Masters Meet

1 October


ASA Masters Nationals

28 – 30 October


Scottish Masters 1500

4 November


East District Masters

19 November



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