Gropers gather to
GLADSTONE Gropers Masters Swimming Club is celebrating its 30th anniversary and President Rod Porteous extends an invitation to past and present members to join in a dinner evening at the home of Rosemary Fredricksen at Benaraby on the 24th of September.
Mr Porteous joined the club 28 years ago and has seen many changes and achievements by the club and members.
The club started at the small grounds of Gladstone South State School, then to the John Dahl Pool for 20 years, to currently being based at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre year round.
The latter allows for a full year at the same venue with a 50 metre outdoor swimming during Summer and indoor 25 metre heated swimming during Winter.
In prior years, the club only swam indoors over the winter period.
Three of the biggest achievements of the club have been hosting the State Titles in 1990 and the combined State / National Titles in the year 2000, the first time held away from a mainland capital city.
The club has also put $41,000 as sponsorship into medical research, hospital equipment, ambulance services, during the 2011 fundraising event members swam 167 kilometers and raised over $8000.00.
Throughout the years, the Masters Swimming motto of Fun, Fitness and Friendship has been practiced.
Fitness has been obtained via the 3 weekly swim sessions, Tuesday, Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings covering distances in the 2 / 4km range.
Sundays have always been followed with a morning tea, part of the fun and friendship along with an array of non swimming socials and outings.
As one of the club's five coaches, Mr Porteous has seen many good swimmers as well as strugglers that belly flop when diving yet remain enthusiastic about there swimming. Coaching non elite level swimmers to achieve is rewarding for Coaches
One funny anecdote was the swimmer that set the first world record by a Gropers member.
During the World Masters Swim at Brisbane in 1988 Ken Onions touched the wall first, the Chandler Aquatic Centre timing board lit up WORLD RECORD. The final result was different as Ken had swum the incorrect stroke, disqualified.
A source of much mirth at the time, Ken did achieve notable results during the rest of his swimming career.
The club caters for members up to Octogenarian age of all abilities, that keep up with the, at times challenging swim sessions and enjoy the swim meet also. Swimming is a sport that keeps participant active whilst enjoying the company of like minded people.
If you are a past, current or prospective member call Mr Porteous [President Rod] 49786099 work or 49781912 ah to join in the 30th year anniversary of the Gladstone Gropers.