Local Legends

We’re excited to again launch our volunteer recognition program - Local Legends. The program will run from December 2016 to August 2017 and recognises stalwarts of our sport who dedicate their time behind the scenes to ensure our sport remains one of the most popular past times in Australia.


It only takes 5 minutes to nominate your Local Legend. Your Local Legend could win the prestigious SAL Local Legend of the Year awarded at the 2017 Gala Dinner and $500 in prize money.

This year, all nominations will be uploaded to our website at the end of each month (December – August). In September 2017, all nominations will be sent to their respective states where a State Local Legend will be selected. The State Local Legends will then be put forward to be awarded the 2017 SAL Local Legend of the Year.
All State Local Legends will receive return flights for two, one night’s accommodation and two tickets to attend the SAL 2017 Gala Dinner (date & venue TBC).

To make it easier to reward the volunteers in your club, download our *editable certificate and present these individualised certificates to your Local Legends. 
Nominate your Local Legend and celebrate those who continue to inspire and promote volunteerism throughout swimming. 
The editable certificate can be found here
To edit the certificate, please save it to your computer and open the document with Adobe Reader)

2016 Local Legend of the Year

Congratulations to Wayne Gadd from Norwood Swimming Club, South Australia. Wayne was presented with his award at the 2016 Swimming Australia Gala Dinner.  Wayne's nomination read:

Wayne Gadd from the Norwood Swimming Club is not a glamorous, attention seeking type of person. Wayne Gadd is the guy who sorts through the club’s entire policies, he updates your constitution, he provides membership stats, he does all the research for the redevelopment of your website and sometime in between his full time, pressure filled job, he watches his daughter swim. He is perhaps a somewhat unlikely local legend but he is the club’s ‘go to’ guy when a good idea is born and can be relied upon to see it through. He is the epitomy of the Norwood Swimming club’s culture and is a worthy winner for this award.


Local Legend 2016 - 2017 Nominations

April 2017

Pip Brown, Corryong, VIC
Pip Brown is the heart and soul of our rural and remote swimming club in Corryong. Her dedication and service for the past ten years has seen the club expand and thrive to the benefit of the whole community. Her clever knack for researching funding grants and detailed applications have provided our isolated club and town with access to equipment, coaching and facilities locally. This is an invaluable service as the nearest regional centre is located 120kms away. Just recently she was successful in a bid for the Holden Australia's home ground advantage grant which will provide $13000 worth of funding to update much needed lifesaving equipment, resources and training to benefit whole community. Pip Brown has secured the proud tradition and future of swimming in Corryong, and continues to inspire the club and the wider community in her dedication to the sport. The Corryong Crocs truly value her work; she is a complete local legend, role model and hero to her club and town.


March 2017

Brian Buckley, Byron Bay Swim Club, NSW


Brian has been dedicating his time to the community for over 10 years, 6 days a week coaching swimmers in our shire. Brian is dedicated to technique and strength training and has always had a large pool of his swimmers compete at State level every year. Not bad for a small town and small swim club. His guidance, support and enthusiasm never wavers, rain, hail or shine. What an asset to our community both Brian and his wife Helen Buckley are. I am grateful that my kids have had them in their lives.

Anne Gilmore, Marion Swimming Club, SA


Since having the role thrust upon her just over 12 months ago when the clubs President, Vice-President, Registrar, Nominations Officer and Social Media co-coordinator all abruptly left the club Anne has worked tirelessly to build a new committee, re-write the clubs constitution, improve our relationship with our Swim Center Management and turn our Club back into a family.  The enjoyment and sense of community has come back to our club.  Anne spends 20 plus hours a week on running our swim club and does an exceptional job.  For someone who was only taking over for an interim period until someone else stepped in, she is now our President and will continue to be hopefully for many more years.

February 2017

David Kuerschner, Broken Hill Aquatic, NSW

Two years ago our club Broken Hill Aquatic was on the verge of folding. We didn't have a coach and not many swimmers. However, David Kuerschner was so proud of our club he was determined to rebuild it. Dave took on many committee positions just so we could have a club. He organised fundraisers to help the club.When we got a new coach, Dave recognized one coach would not be enough, so he also took on the role of a coach as well, and he now has his bronze coaching accreditation. Through word of mouth of what a great club Dave was building, our  membership increased and we now have 3 coaches including Dave, who also is the coaching coordinator. When he is not on  pool deck, Dave spends his time at home analyzing data and doing spreadsheets for us all to see where we can improve. He also has the role of club secretary and maintains all our club information. When we go away for carnivals and he cant be there he is always texting us, keeping us positive and making us feel good about swimming.He makes us want to go to training and inspires is to reach our goals. He continually juggles his passion for swimming with his family and work. He is the heart and soul of our club. He is a total legend.

Tamie Sweeney, Boondall Barracudas Swimming Club, QLD


Our club President has gone above and beyond to make sure kids have every opportunity to enjoy their swimming thrive with their swimming. And when we couldn't use our pool because of major electrical problems she gave up her time family time, to find us a pool to continue our club night swimming.

Tracey Phillips, Boondall Barracudas Swimming Club, QLD

Boondall Barracudas Swimming Club would like to nominate Tracey, as she has gone  has gone above and beyond this season as Canteen coordinator she has not only organised a variety of meals to be served at the canteen each week made sure snacks are delivered through the week. But when we lost access to the pool due to major electrical fault and I ran out of time to go back into the canteen to clean it up she got together with another parent Sonia Abbott and went an emptied the freeze which had freezer had been switched off since the power issues with the pool.  Unfortunately there were a few remaining food items in the freezer that spent a few weeks in the very warm freezer and had turned to sludge.  We are very thankful that these two amazing volunteers that braved the biological hazard to clean up.

Sonia Abbott, Boondall Barracudas Swimming Club, QLD

Boondall Barracudas Swimming Club would like to nominate Sonia, as she has gone  has gone above and beyond this season as in assisting out Canteen coordinator to organised a variety of meals to be served at the canteen each week made sure snacks are delivered through the week. But when we lost access to the pool due to major electrical fault and I ran out of time to go back into the canteen to clean it up she got together with Tracey and went an emptied the freeze which had freezer had been switched off since the power issues with the pool.  Unfortunately there were a few remaining food items in the freezer that spent a few weeks in the very warm freezer and had turned to sludge.  We are very thankful that these two amazing volunteers that braved the biological hazard to clean up.

Glen Hobson, Swimming Gunnedah, NSW


Glen is the current volunteer coach of Swimming Gunnedah, a rural community 500kms north west of Sydney. He is passionate about swimming and helping young people achieve to the best of their ability. He began venturing into the coaching field in 1987 when he had four children in the club at Gunnedah and coaches came and went on a regular basis. He was first accredited as a Level 1 coach in October 1991 and updated in October 1999.
He achieved the Level 2 Coaching Principles accreditation on July 1, 1996, and became a member of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association that year.
Glen was district coach of this region for five years and was invited to assist at a number of state camps, including the 1996 Sunrice Australia Swimming Development Camp at Gunnedah with Stan Tilley and Roger Whitmore. He coached country, state an national qualifiers as well as paralympians Sarah Jane Schulze and Nicole Davey.

His final swimming coach’s accreditation expired on September 30, 2003, after he retired from coaching.
Since 2014, Glen now retired from his position as a Commonwealth Meat Inspector, has “filled in” as interim coach at Gunnedah when needed. In August 2015, he was asked by the committee to fill an urgent need for a coach with Swimming Gunnedah (NSW) and he has been there ever since. He is now 71 years of age.

Glen is a life member of the club and district  with extensive experience as district coach.
Starting with a fragmented squad in 2014, he has produced a NSW Country medallist and a number of finalists since 2014. His swimmers have also performed with distinction at NSW Regional Country, state school events and area championships.

He has 8 Country qualifiers this season and his dedication to his squad is admirable. He is pedantic about correct technique and racing skills and the squad is showing the benefit of his expertise, which comes at no cost to the club. He has also refreshed his bronze level qualifications and travels to carnivals with his squad at  a time when he could be kicking back and following his own interests.
Glen was a popular coach before his retirement and he is admired around the district for his dedication. He is a local legend.

John Moore, Muswellbrook Amateur RSL Youth Swimming Club, NSW

Mr John Moore is always at our club nights cheering everyone on and giving advice to all our upcoming children. John always comes to carnivals to help, be our official starter but mostly to help our children. Mr Moore gives children 5 -19 inspiring and helpful advice but most importantly he makes the children feel good about how they swim. Everyone in our club admires and reveres him.

January 2017

Debbie Parmenter, Murwillumbah Swimming Club, NSW

Debbie is an exceptional person who is totally committed to grass roots swimming.  In November 2015, Debbie was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery and ongoing intensive treatment for her cancer BUT this has not stopped Debbie from regularly attending Friday Club nights to referee and be there for the kids. She can't always be on pool deck but she will always be there each Friday night to support and encourage our young swimmers.  Debbie is an inspiration to every one of our members and parents.

Ben Choo, Galston Swim Club, NSW


Ben Choo has been a member of the Galston Swim Club since 2004. Ben has held various Committee positions including that of Vice President. He has been the Club's Representative to Swimming NSW for many years now. Ben served as the President of SMNW for two terms from 2012 to 2014. He became a referee in 2009 and remains active in all Club and State level competitions.

Whilst he is active at our Club, Ben kindly often offers his assistance to many other local Clubs.

Ben's children no longer swim competitively, however every Friday race night he is always available for our Club. In addition to our Club, Ben if often officiating at most major meets. This is an enormous commitment and dedication to the Official role.

Ben is always there to offer advice and guidance to all of our swimmers and he does so in a way that encourages our swimmers to learn in the most positive way.

It is a pleasure to nominate Ben Choo as a local legend as the Club would love to see him recognised for his dedication and love of the sport.

December 2016

Mark Laidlaw, Nunawading Swimming Club, VIC


Like many parents, Mark Laidlaw became involved with swimming when his oldest daughter joined the club. He couldn't sit still and wanted to help out. It all started with cooking pancakes for the young athletes on a Saturday morning and timekeeping at the local swim meets. Mark's love for the sport grew and he enjoyed helping others too. Mark became interested in becoming an official and this has resulted in spending up to 30 weekends a year over the past 7 years walking up and down the pool at district, state and more recently National level meets. Mark's three daughters have all swum for the Club and each one has moved onto other sports or activities. Most parents would move on too, but not Mark.  Mark has become even more committed to supporting club activities and officiating. Recently Mark cooked a BBQ for the Club Christmas party and catered for 380 persons and then the next morning rolled up at 5:00am to cook pancakes for 120 squad swimmers. He is relentless in his pursuit to help others and loves supporting athletes of all ages. Mark is now the Head Referee for Metro East district in Victoria and can be found on pool deck at all the State and Club meets at MSAC. He has encouraged many other parents to join him as an official and has grown the number of Nunawading Club officials to have the most officials from any club at the recent Victorian Age Championships... and then signed up two more parents to get started with officiating! Mark exemplifies everything to do with giving back to the community and his attitude and commitment to the sport and its people is second to none. He is a Local Legend.

Tips from the top

What you do in life echoes in eternity

James Magnussen

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