Wednesday, October 5, 2016

#WSW16 Celebrating Women in Sport – Margaret Riach

Launched in June 2015, Women’s Sport Week featured original and curated content across local and national media, supported by Government and the wider sport industry, as the nation looked ahead to an exciting summer for women’s sport.

Women’s Sport Week was designed and launched to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK. Focusing on media coverage, elite competition, grassroots participation and workforce, the week featured original and shared content across local and national media, supported by Government and the wider sport industry, as the nation looked ahead to an exciting summer for women’s sport.

This year Women’s Sport Week runs from 3rd to 9th October and each day we will be sharing a news story celebrating Scottish Swimming’s Women in Sport. Today we meet Marg Riach, our National Swimming Championships Convenor.

How did you get involved in swimming?

I first became involved in swimming when my children joined their local swimming club. Both of them swam with Milngavie and Bearsden Swimming Club for around 10 years. Once they started competing it didn’t take me long to realise that time would be better spent helping out rather than sitting in the gallery, so I became a technical official, qualifying as a referee in 2000.  I also began to help out with the organisation of the M&B Graded Meets and eventually became Gala Convener for the club which I did for about 5 years.  My husband was also a masters swimmer so I helped as a technical official at Masters events as well.   

I was invited to become part of the National Events team in 1999 and after 2 years working and learning as Deputy Meet Director for National Events, I took over as National Championships Convener in 2001 when the then National Convener retired.  

What is your greatest achievement in swimming and what has made you most proud?

Working as Swimming Technical Operations Manager at my home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 - a fantastic experience.  I was seconded by Scottish Swimming for 12 weeks prior to the Games and worked with G2014 towards the delivery of the event.  It was such an experience to see what is involved in these big competitions from the management of a huge amount of volunteers, to the delivery of ice and towels!  I will always remember getting ready to begin the first finals session and the noise, atmosphere and excitement in Tollcross Pool.  Memorable and unforgettable.

How important are female sporting role models in encouraging girls to participate in swimming?

Very important as young women can then see what can be achieved and aspire to that goal

What transferable skills can girls gain from swimming, and what are the wider benefits of these?

All swimmers need to manage their time well to juggle school/university and leisure time with their training schedule.  It is not easy to do this and they need to be very disciplined.   This type of discipline/organisational skill base should stand them in good stead throughout their studies and into adult life.

Who is your female sporting hero and why?

Katherine Grainger, Striving so hard for so many years to achieve that illusive Olympic gold and finally achieving her dream in 2012.

What are your ambitions for the future?

To continue what I’m doing at present but always looking for ways to improve the Championship competition experience for the swimmers.