Hello there! So, what is there to say about me?
Well, I first became involved in Halliwick in around 1982 when my foster parents brought my brother and me to the club and we joined as swimmers. I have not been able to escape since! If I remember rightly, my first “job” in the club was as a Swimmers’ Representative and then a few years later, as Minutes Secretary (why did I ever learn typing and shorthand?!). A few years later, our then Chair, Paul O’Byrne (whom many of you will remember) suggested that I might like to become Chair of the club. To be honest, at the time, I was rather hesitant as I thought everyone else on the committee had far more experience than I did, but luckily for me, they were all very kind to me (and still are!).
I have been Chair of the club ever since and I love every minute of it (mostly!). We have a great executive committee who all do a fantastic amount of work to keep the club going behind the scenes and at the weekly swimming sessions, and it is great to see swimmers come along each week and progress both in the water and as individuals.
As well as being Chair of this club, I have been involved in Halliwick in various other ways, regionally, nationally and internationally. I am also Chair of Halliwick AST (the UK national association for Halliwick) and I am Secretary of Halliwick ASTRA One (our region, which covers Halliwick clubs in London north of the river Thames). From 2000 to 2011, I was also Secretary of the International Halliwick Association (IHA) which took me to many countries, helping to organise swimming competitions and conferences on Halliwick.
It is amazing to think that our club, which was the first Halliwick Club started over 70 years ago by James and Phyl McMillan in Enfield, is now just a small (but important) part of Halliwick, which now has clubs not only throughout the UK but, throughout the world. It is also amazing that, from our small beginnings, the Halliwick Concept is now taught and practised by professionals and organisations worldwide for teaching swimming and water safety to countless people. We should remember that our club is an essential part of Halliwick’s history and be proud of the fact that it is still as strong today as it was all those years ago. Well done everybody!
It is my privilege to be a small part of that as Chair of Halliwick Penguins Swimming Club.