BY MARGARET McGAWN
MAYBOLE Amateur Swimming Club was formed in February 1976, by a handful of interested local people and from then on the Club has gone from strength to strength.
We rent the pool for three hours each Tuesday from 7-10 pm and anyone who has visited the Club realises how busy we are, with our membership of approximately 200. We have five sessions - two for width work; two for length work and one adult session. To help us on our way we had, and still have, Mr Jack Rodger, our Swimming Convener and Coach. Without Jack's guidance and help we would not be the successful club we are today.
To start with some of our members could swim, but only just, and most of them could not swim at all. Now with all the training and coaching they receive they are ready to take on most of the clubs in the area.
We have a "swim squad" who train regularly in the mornings between 7-8 a.m. weekdays and between 9-12 on Sundays. This training goes on from September till June and despite the weather these boys and girls and Mr Rodger turn up for their morning training. Their stamina has to be seen to be believed.
We have a lot of good competitive swimmers and they have travelled to competitions and galas at places such as Stirling, Coatbridge and Gourock and many more places too numerous to mention.
It would be unfair to single out any particular swimmers because all our children give of their best in competition and we are very proud of them. They have proved them-selves worthy opponents of some of the larger clubs.
Two swimmers who must be mentioned are firstly - Karen Paterson, who at the age of 14 years, became the first woman to swim the two miles between Kilcreggan and Gourock since 1936. This swim took place on 19th August, 1978. Karen took second place in the race which was swum under very difficult conditions. She was accompanied in a boat by her life-saver, Gordon White. The swim was completed in 1 hour 20 seconds. In recognition of her success, Karen was awarded Life Membership of the Swimming Club and is the first person to receive this. At Dunoon on 8th September she won a gold medal for her back-stroke.
Secondly - Joanne Boden (10 years) who has qualified as a member of the Western District team.
We have a very good membership at the club and we now have our own qualified teachers. Men and women who have given up their spare time to take teaching courses and pass exams. The children are in very capable hands.
We are a very friendly and happy club and are willing to take part in activities outwith swimming. The highlight of the adult's year is the Annual Dinner Dance, and up till now it has always been a success.
It's not all hard work for the children either. At Christmas we have a "Fun Night" with water games and favourite of all "diving for pennies".
President: Jimmy Drennan. Vice- President: Jim McColm. Secretary: Margaret McGawn. Treasurer: Catherine Laidlaw. Committee: Jack Rodger Pat McLellan, Vera Lothian, Marjory McCulloch, Dallas McGawn and Alex Meek.