For this week’s article on getting to know our club volunteers, we interviewed Life Member, Race Secretary and former Club President, Duncan Lyon.
Q: Duncan – how many years have you been a club member?
A: I first brought my three daughters down to swim at the club in 2006, 13 years ago.
Having grown up in England, I wasn’t a very strong swimmer and had absolutely no intention of racing myself. However, it’s such a welcoming and supportive club that I was persuaded to jump in at the deep end and, after lots of encouragement, I now swim most days of the week!
Q: What motivates you to volunteer each week?
A: Primarily because I enjoy spending Saturday mornings down at such a beautiful pool with my family and a great community of swimmers and I would like to see this successful and historic club continue for many years to come.
I’ve gained a lot of satisfaction in applying my skills to automate races on Saturday mornings and in promoting the Club to new members through our web site and social media during my seven years as Club President and four years as Race Secretary.
Q: What is your favourite memory?
A: Winning the largest trophy at the club in my first season – the Tom Williams 50m Freestyle Handicap!
Never in my wildest dreams as a child in England would I have contemplated winning a trophy at one of the oldest swimming clubs in Australia!
Q: What’s the best thing about Swim Club?
A: The handicap racing format gives everyone a chance to win and makes the club very family-friendly. It’s one of the few sporting clubs in the world where children can race their parents and grandparents every week, with all of them striving to beat each other!
Q: What is your favourite stroke?
A: My most competitive stroke is breaststroke.
In my entire time at the club I have only ever scored a single point in the Club Championships (where there are no handicap starts) and it was in breaststroke!
Q: Who is your favourite swimmer?
A: Australia has lots of talented swimmers, so it’s hard to pick, but one of the gutsiest swims I remember watching was Kieren Perkins win gold in the 1500m freestyle at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta from lane 8, after nearly missing the final due to illness.
Q: What is the next PB (Personal Best time) you are aiming for?
A: I recently attended a swimming clinic which made major improvements to my stroke, taking 20 seconds off my 200m freestyle time! My goal is to qualify for the 400m freestyle by swimming 200m in less than 200 seconds. I’m still some way off but am newly motivated to get there!
Q: Do you have any tips for other swimmers?
A: I’d highly recommend that juniors and seniors attend morning squads. It’s free for members and a great way of maintaining your fitness and endurance for Saturday races.
Other than that, my tip is not to take a swimming tip from a Pommy!