A lifetime of community volunteering, South Australian Darren McLachlan has contributed to our sport from grassroots level all the way up to national events.
His journey started in 2007 when his daughter began swimming at Marion. The club was in desperate need for a club secretary, so McLachlan selflessly put his hand up and so his path in swimming began.
After many years as secretary, McLachlan also spent time as club president, recorder, bus driver, team manager for the junior championships and announcer for club and school meets – not to mention a brief stint as interim coach!
If that wasn't enough, McLaughlin also began officiating in 2009.
"Sitting in the grandstand gets a little boring at carnivals, and I got a little sick of other parents knowing all of my children’s times etc, so in 2009 I became a technical official and continued through to becoming a starter and referee," he said.
Fast forward ten years and McLachlan is now the current chair of the South Australian technical committee and has notched up officiating duties at state teams, Australian Championships – both age and open meets – as well as Open Water Championships.
"I love the opportunities to assist the development of swimmers and the comradery with other technical officials and those in the swimming fraternity."
McLachlan has been described as “dedicated” with an excellent ability to solve problems as they arise. His cool head under pressure was on show when he hosted one of the biggest South Australian swimming carnivals – the Short Course Championships in June this year.
"In June we had our short course meet and it coincided with the implementation of the new online meet entry system. Needless to say, with just under 400 swimmers and around 1,700 nominations, there was a fair bit to process.”
“In the end everything is all made possible by the great people you work with and for this meet it included our MSC Carnival Director, Bel Laird, and club stalwart Michelle Whitaker – it’s a wonderful team to work with.”
As one of our valued contributors, there’s no doubt McLachlan has always helped out wherever he could and has benefitted from making lifelong friends and connections in swimming.
"I have loved meeting a wide range of people from very local to all around Australia,” he said.
“One of my favourites was meeting the first President of the MSC at the clubs 30th birthday in 2009 and he brought along his old original manual stopwatch.
You still could see the enthusiasm in his eyes as he recounted stories from days gone past. That is what is always great to share – the enthusiasm to help the sport and all involved. It is this enthusiasm and positive energy that is infectious and drives you on further."
Congratulation and thank you for your contribution to swimming, Darren – our June local legend!