Saturday 14th January saw Great Yarmouth Swimming Club host its 83rd annual presentation evening, dinner and dance. The evening was held at the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, and swimmers, coaching staff, parents and guests enjoyed a 3-course meal before the speeches and prize giving began.
Club chairman Nigel Utting opened the proceedings with a thoughtful and uplifting speech that reminded club members of the long history of the club throughout the last century, and the many links and historical connections to the families of the area. The club was delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Shirley Weymouth, who spoke of how happy she was to see so many children involved with the club and enjoying their evening. She also took the time to speak to many of the club members between courses of the meal, which was greatly appreciated.
Head coach Liam Harvey then thanked the swimmers for their effort, parents for their support but also the committee, who volunteer their time, and work so hard to ensure the club is able to run, with specific thanks going to Chair Nigel Utting, Secretary Jo Smith and Treasurers Adrian Pearce and Jo Gordon. He said he was proud of the way the club had put on its first open gala – the Winter Wipeout – and looked forward to the year ahead and the future achievements of the swimmers. After raising a toast to Great Yarmouth Swimming Club, he welcomed the President of the ASA, Jean Thompson, and also Chris Maloney who was to speak on her behalf. The guests also included Reverend Grant Bolton-Debbage, and all were warmly welcomed by the club.
The trophies that had been competed for at the club championships in November were then award to the swimmers, with a great team atmosphere and celebratory feeling being displayed by the whole squad, as each swimmer was presented. Whilst many swimmers came away with silverware a few of the most notable awards were: Finley Coman and Jenna Utting sharing the Hughes T.V. and Audio trophy, which is presented to the overall age group winner. This year, Jenna and Finley won every race in their age groups, and also both broke a club record, so the award was shared. Emma Gordon was presented with the Althorpe Starling Cup for outstanding service to the club, having competed for the club since the age of 8, currently being ladies captain and also regularly coaching younger squads and helping in the club. The Stadium Power trophies are awarded by the coaching team to the male and female swimmer who has shown the most consistently positive attitude and unquestioning effort throughout training during the year. This year they were awarded to Abbey Secker and Oliver Grimmer.
The celebrating then continued late into the evening, with a disco at which the DJ was head coach Liam Harvey, where the swimmers were able to put their stamina and endurance to good use on the dance floor! Huge thanks must go to the social and fundraising committee and the trophy officers for organizing such a successful and enjoyable evening.