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The Club has no patron but our past Patron's comments still apply
A Quarter of a Century!“And you run and you run to catch up to the sun, but it’s sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time…”
These lyrics were written by Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd fame) some 40 years ago. The words were for a song called Time in the dark side of the Moon album. He was reflecting on how time gets away from you. Well so it is when I reflect on the beginnings of Gladstone Gropers. The beginning is now part of history for this Club. But rather than reflect we must look forward to the future.
Masters’ swimming has changed since 25 years ago as has society. We must now be correct and proper politically and sometimes the “fun” part of our motto can be a bit distant on occasions.
On the State scene, Queensland Masters has come under the administrative wing of Swimming Queensland. This was a State Government directive. We had no choice. When I say we, I have been Treasurer and Director of SQ for the past 6 years as well as being associated with Masters, so a foot in both camps.
There are pluses and minuses of this arrangement. One of the major problems is that the government lump up both organisations into one basket as far as funding is concerned but have not increased the total amount of funding. This is a cost saving measure for them but for us there is a decrease in separate funding for both organisations than what it was.
The positive side is that there is more professional help in the administrations of QMS. One of the recent initiatives is the introduction of the MXP program (Masters Excellence Program) This is based on the Junior and Youth Excellence Programs which Swimming Queensland have. It is basically a program where rewards are there for performance, especially improvement in performance.
As you know, competition is not the only aspect of Masters’ swimming. Participation is the keyword as far as the Australian Sports Commission is concerned. The next step for Masters’ swimming, especially on a National basis, is to secure Federal Government funding to ensure participation of our branch of the sport. Masters’ swimming desperately needs this in view of falling membership.
Clubs are the key to any program which is introduced. The members’ willingness and determination to improve their lot will always win through on the day.
Many clubs would do well to model themselves in the way that Gladstone Gropers as a Club is organised.
I wish you all well on your Silver Anniversary and time will go even faster until your Golden one.
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