Report by Gary Stutsel, Technical Officer
On Saturday afternoon, 3 September 2022, five Vikings members and one honorary member assisted with the running of the Greater Canberra Special Olympics Meet at the Stromlo Aquatic Centre.
The meet was held in a 25-metre course format and the Vikings masters provided the core of the technical roles with Greg Gourley starting and judging places at the 50m end of the pool, Ann Reid working as Inspector of Turns and judging for 25-meter events along with honorary member Paul Bailey judging and working hard as Chief Timekeeper. Gary Stutsel was Referee/Judge whilst Suzie Gunning and Max van Gelder took on timekeeping as well as helping Paul mentor the other volunteer timekeepers. It should also be noted that several other club members volunteered to help out, but were unable to make it due to sickness or other commitments.
The bulk of volunteers for the event were parents and friends (13) from the Greater Canberra group with 6 others from the group’s sponsors, Gallagher Canberra: the worldwide risk management, consulting and insurance broking company.
All volunteers were delighted to help the swimmers who ranged in age from 12 years to 55 to contest 25 heats of 12 events. The events ranged from 25 to 200 metres with swimmers’ ability ranging from one first-time competitor who was limited to 25 metres dog-paddle to a male freestyle swimmer who completed his 100m in just over 60 seconds.
It was great to see competitors travel from the South Coast, Illawarra, the Hunter Valley, and Sydney’s Northern Beaches, South, and Inner West to support the locals, Greater Canberra.