‘Endless hours of blood, sweat and tears’ pay off
Musselburgh Marlins have made a big splash after achieving a top swimming benchmark – a first for an East Lothian club.
Already proud holders of a SwiMark certificate received in 2016, they have now been awarded SwiMark Plus in Scottish Swimming’s accreditation scheme which provides a nationally recognised standard for clubs and schools.
Head Coach Danny Kirkham said: “Musselburgh Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) is delighted to have been awarded Scottish Swimming’s highest accreditation, SwiMark Plus.
“This means that Scottish Swimming recognises MASC as a quality programme which is swimmer centred and strives to ensure we provide the best environment possible for our swimmer to reach their full potential.
“This award shows MASC are leading the way in setting new standards for swimming in the community. Through the work undertaken, a development plan which spans the whole club will ensure we keep progressing and moving forward to ensure MASC remains strong and sustainable long into the future.”
The club has come a long way since its origins in 1886 when swimmers used to hone their skills in the local harbour. The pool at Loretto School was used over the years before the club moved to Musselburgh Sports Centre after it opened in 1995.
A year ago, MASC’s management committee and coaches held a planning meeting with Scottish Swimming to establish the steps required to be completed in order to achieve SwiMark Plus.
A small voluntary project group embarked on reviewing, revising and signing off the extensive SwiMark criteria before engaging in the consultative activities across the club, implementing revised and new policies and procedures, analysing data and producing a four-year development and action plan.
Club President and project manager Gill Downie said: “Many thanks to the small project team heavily involved in delivering this huge feat through endless hours of blood, sweat and tears. It really is a remarkable achievement during the transitional year following chairman Jack Calder’s death – illustrating MASC’s resilience, drive and passion to be recognised as a trusted leader within aquatics sport by offering exceptional all-compassing swimming development programmes, coaching education/tuition and volunteer training within the community. In addition, effective club management and robust financial review systems will ensure MASC is a viable family-friendly resource within East Lothian well into the future.”
Alan Reed, Scottish Swimming’s Regional Swimming Development Manager (East) added: “With the committee and other members working hard to gain this award, they have shown that they are a really strong and sustainable club.
“A crucial part of the accreditation is the formation of a development plan – this ensures that the club is making consistent progress and looks towards the future.
“The club has excellent structures that have been put in place through the process and this has been demonstrated by all the engagement and activity the club has continued through this recent period of change. It has been a pleasure working with the club and helping support them to gain their SwiMark Plus accreditation.”
The top benchmark is also held by East Lothian Swim Team which provides a performance training environment for the county’s top talent. The best swimmers from Musselburgh, Tranent and Haddington Amateur Swimming Clubs train together as a single composite team to achieve success at East District, Scottish National, British and International levels.
You can find more about our SwiMark Plus accreditation on our website: http://www.musselburghmarlins.co.uk/swimark-plus/