The City of Greater Geelong congratulates the Geelong Swimming Club (GSC) on being named Swimming Victoria’s Club of the Year for 2020-21.
The club’s success over a strong field of nominations from across the state was announced at the Swimming Victoria Awards held at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Saturday afternoon.
The club, which is based at the City-managed Kardinia Aquatic Centre, was recognised for its strong performance in financial and club management, membership growth, and inclusion.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the GSC increased its membership base by 78 per cent in 2020 while offering reduced fees during the period of forced closure.
Sam Ashby (Head Coach) and his coaching team continued to work with athletes five days a week via Zoom, before the Council’s decision to open Kardinia Aquatic Centre during its usual off-season (as a COVID-19 support initiative) allowed swim training to resume as soon as possible.
The Council has since funded the year-round opening of the centre via its 2021-22 budget.
GSC swimmers went on to achieve outstanding success at the Australian Age and Open Championships in April this year, highlighted by gold medals to Hayley Mackinder in the 13-years 100 metre breaststroke and Dylan Logan in the Multiclass 17/18-years 100 metre backstroke.
The 18-member team was the club’s largest ever for the championships.
GSC president Glenn Benson said the club aims for swimming to be a sport of choice in the Geelong region, and its success would not have been possible without a strong relationship with the City of Greater Geelong.
“We are honoured to have received this award, which recognises the vision and dedication of our amazing committee and coaches, particularly through the challenges of COVID,” Mr Benson said.
“We’re also very thankful to the Council for its ongoing support.
“We’re fortunate to have access to high quality facilities, and the year-round opening of Kardinia Aquatic Centre has been particularly beneficial for our athletes.”
Mayor Stephanie Asher said the Council and GSC were united in their aims of developing a healthy and active Greater Geelong community.
“Geelong Swimming Club is a great example of the benefit a community sporting club brings to the community,” Mayor Asher said.
“The club is very inclusive, giving swimmers of all abilities the opportunity to achieve their sporting goals, while being active and forming long-lasting friendships.
“The Council is absolutely delighted to support swimming in our region, demonstrated by funding the year-round opening of Kardinia Aquatic Centre in 2021-22.
“We congratulate Glenn, his committee and all club members on their success, which has brought state-wide recognition to Geelong.”
The award adds to a growing trophy cabinet for GSC, after it also won Club of the Year, Coach of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year at the 2020 Disability Sport and Recreation Awards.
The club has a 139-year history and has been based at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre since 1970.