The evening started with the new Chairman Paul Catherall welcoming everyone and presenting one of our original members Joe O’Dea, with a Lifetime Members Award. Joe has been swimming with the club for over 30 years and has represented the club at numerous galas. He was last swimming with 24 other members at this Saturday's morning session - there’s no stopping him!
The annual award of top male and female swimmers are decided by points accrued when entering galas. This year we were not able to award a trophy for the top lady - let's hope next year we see some ladies enter galas. For the men, third place went to Chris Smith, second to Paul Catherall but the winner was Martin Appleby, very well deserved.
The committee felt the Challenge Cup should be awarded to a swimmer who puts sustained and maximum effort into training sessions. This was awarded to Wayne Hirst, a long-standing member but a swimmer whose motivation and work ethic at every session never diminishes and has earned him this prize, well done.
The final award of the evening is a new trophy for the club and will be the Chairman’s Award. As many older members will know, our ex Chairman David Dines, sadly died unexpectedly last year. It was a lovely surprise to learn he had left a modest bequest to RNSC in his will. Part of this money has been used to create the David Dines Memorial Award and this will go to someone who has made a significant contribution to the club. This year the Chair of 2022 Chris Rowley, awarded the trophy to Penny Cooke. Penny has recently stepped down from her role as secretary, a post she held for the last 10 years. Her contribution to the running of the club has been enormous and this recognition is very well deserved.
A few more thank-you’s go to… Jill for much of the work in liaising with the venue (and buying the lovely fruit), the behind the scenes support crew Jez and Paddy and Karen on the raffle. It was a great opportunity to meet up socially and we look forward to more events in 2023, in and out of the water.
By Chris Rowley