Sixty Years On

The culmination of Dolphin’s 60 year celebrations formed part of this year’s Presentation Night at the Supermarine Club, Swindon where almost 300 club members and guests packed the venue for an evening of celebration and salutation.

With the entertainment provided by the dynamic Skywalkers Disco and a superb buffet cooked by Swindon’s renowned Connies Chinese Restaurant, all attendees were well catered for.

The presentation part of the evening commenced with all Club Championship medallists collecting their awards from Club President Pat Stratford, with swimmers aged 5 to 51 making the proud trek to the presentation area to collect their medals and trophies.

Chief Coach Louise Clayton presented Progress Awards to Victoria Jennings and Adam Coleman and said of the winners “Victoria has progressed considerably last season to become one of the leading female swimmers in the club and was a intergal part of the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle national youth qualifying team.  Adam has improved dramatically over the year.  An impeccable attitude and commitment to training and competition has seen him progress to Performance Squad, and the season’s highlight was his qualification for the County 200m IM final at age 14”.

The Raynes Cup Swimmer of the Year Award went to 17 year old James Clark for reaching the semi-finals of the 17/18 years 50m freestyle at this year’s National Youth Championships, improving on his initial ranking from 21st to finishing 13th.

Joint recipients of the Citizenship Award were Charlotte Pitts and James Clark for their dedication to working within the Learn to Swim programme over the past season.  A special award was also presented by Glenys Lock to Gemma Lucas in recognition of her having returned to a full training schedule following major surgery.

Concluding the awards, a heartfelt and eloquent address by former Club Captain Nigel Masters paid tribute to the recipients of special long service awards who had given so much time to the Club over the past 60 years.  Awards were presented by Wiltshire ASA President Andrea Christmas and went to Brian Davis, Christopher Lock, Pat Stratford, Glenys Lock, Tessa Farr and Tony Stratford.


Tony Stratford, Tessa Farr, Glenys Lock, Pat Stratford, Chris Lock and Brian Davis with their awards


More pictures from the event can be viewed here.

Below is a full transcript of the address for the Swindon Dolphin Outstanding Service Presentation

Anniversaries and special celebrations like tonight, give us the opportunity to reflect on the past and the achievements of Swindon Dolphin over the last 60 years.

It also allows us to recognise individuals who contribute enormous amounts of time, effort & personal sacrifice, usually behind the scenes, allowing the club to function & achieve success.

Often, these behind the scenes roles, go un-noticed. But tonight, we are able to give these individuals a big thank you from all of us, for all their sustained efforts over the years.

The individuals we will be honouring tonight are in a league of their own, in terms of long service & dedication to the ongoing future of Swindon Dolphins. Having amassed almost 300 yrs of membership between them.

The awards we are presenting shortly are in recognition of exemplary service & contribution to Swindon Dolphin and to show our gratitude that their efforts are greatly appreciated.

There are 6 individuals in this league of exemplary members, who we will now honour.

Firstly – This individual was one of the original members of Swindon Dolphins, when swimming was seasonal & took place outdoors at Coate Water.

He has competed competitively for Swindon Dolphins in every year of the clubs existence and continues to do so, helping Dolphins retain the Wiltshire Masters County Trophy in 2012, even having recently turned 75.

Over the years he has been chief coach, coached in both large & small pools, been an active committee member and Club President.

Some say……. he can swim 100m fly in just 4 strokes!!!

Ladies & Gentlemen I give you Mr Brian Davis.

Our next individual, I would describe as a ‘foundation stone’ of Swindon Dolphins on which the club has been able to build and progress.

This individual & ex-Dolphin President was also one of the original members, who braved the chilly Coate Water sessions.

He has served the club and county relentlessly throughout the years, in a quiet & willing manner, always happy to help where needed and has spent endless hours on life guarding duties at training sessions and competitions over the years.

He has represented Dolphins competitively at National, European & World Masters swimming championships and still continues to compete today.

Some say… he is powered by weapons grade plutonium!! Some say… he once had hair!!

He is an inspiration to us all…..ladies and gentlemen I give you the unrelenting…. Mr Christopher Lock.

I am not sure where the club would be without this next individual.

This person has served Swindon Dolphin for over 40 years in so many ways, visually, but more often than not behind the scenes, quietly doing roles and jobs vital to the ongoing success of the club.

Without this person there would be numerous swimmers who would under perform at competitions, or not be rewarded after a good training session.

She has stocked and run the sweet table for many years bringing in a substantial amount of revenue, allowing the club to subsidize many activities and projects over the years.

She is also responsible for preparing and serving all the food and refreshments for officials at our club championships, open meets and county events.

She has preformed numerous administrative roles and duties, is always willing to help whenever necessary, has been Dolphin President and continues to be a dedicated supporter of Swindon Dolphin.

Some say………….. She is best friends with Willy Wonka!!!!

Ladies & gentlemen I give you …………….. Pat Stratford.

This next individual has been a volunteer at the club for almost 40 years and has been key in the success and achievements of Swindon Dolphins, both in the pool and on poolside.

She has taught and coached in both small and large pools and continues to do so, passing on her knowledge and expertise in a tireless fashion.

She is a very knowledgeable and accredited official, turning out for dolphins whenever needed, in addition to officiating at county, district and national events.

In addition to her coaching abilities she has encouraged many parents and poolside helpers to participate in the sport as officials. Arranging training courses and exams, providing the club with a pool of qualified officials to run our championships, galas and open meets, whilst ensuring the future of the sport, because without officials there would be no competitions.

She has assisted on training camps, been Dolphin President and an active committee member for many years and is always willing to turn out and lend a hand whenever needed.

Some say ….. She can read lady Ga Ga’s pokers face!!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…………. Glenys Lock.

I think this next individual can easily be described as the backbone of Swindon Dolphin.

She has represented Dolphin tirelessly from a national standard teenage swimmer right through to the current day.

Her unrelenting dedication and self sacrifice over the years is undisputed.

She is a knowledgeable and popular swim teacher who has taught countless numbers of children and adults to swim.

She was Swindon Dolphin chief coach from 1991-1997, leading the club in promotion to the western premier division of the national Speedo league in 1996.

After stepping down as Chief Coach she continued to maintain her poolside commitments as Assistant Chief Coach.

She has been an integral part in organising and helping to deliver many overseas training camps from Isle of Wight to Lanzarote.

She has been Dolphin President, and a key participant in the running and development of the club.

She is a well known, well loved and respected character within the club, county and district, and we salute her unwavering dedication to the club throughout her life time.

Some say……… she has got the x-factor, and that’s what makes her scher –mazing!!!

Ladies & gentlemen I give you the one and only…………Tessa Farr.

Finally, we have already mentioned people who have been foundation stones and backbones of the club, but the next individual, I believe, is definitely ‘The Voice’ of Swindon Dolphin.

His words of encouragement and instruction have been echoing around the poolside and surrounding streets at Milton road for more than 40 years.

He was Chief Coach from 1972-1991 and still continues to coach and encourage up and coming dolphins to the present day, helping swimmers realise their swimming potential.

He has organised and supervised many training camps over the years creating many happy memories for all those who participated in them.

In addition to his poolside commitments, this individual has been extremely active in the management of the club, holding key committee positions over the years.

He is also a very active and knowledgeable official and turns out wherever needed by the club, county and district.

He has been Dolphin and Wiltshire County president and is a true ambassador for the club.

Some say…….he is a highly advanced cyborg sent back through time on a mission to develop swimmers for the future

We know him as ‘The Terminator’

Ladies and gentlemen I give you…………. Tony Stratford.

We are honoured to have these six individuals as part of Swindon Dolphin and it has been hard to summarise all their efforts into a few short lines.

I would now like you all to be upstanding and show your appreciation for all their hard work and dedication over the past years.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you ‘The League of Exemplary Members”. Written & Presented by Nigel Masters – Former Club Captain

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