After a fantastic year of success Sutton Swimming Club said goodbye to club stalwarts Gren and Christine Greaves after 30 years’ dedicated service at their annual presentation night on Friday.
Between them Gren and Christine had voluntarily performed a number of roles including being qualified officials, teachers/coaches and in Gren’s case head coach for many years.
They have both been on the club’s committee for most of the 30 years with Christine being both chair of the club for a record number of years and also the girls’ team manager.
A club spokesman said: “The numbers of hours that both Gren and Christine have dedicated to this swimming club over the 30 years for no financial reward whatsoever is quite staggering.”
To make the evening extra special for them both, the swimming club secretly invited their two daughters Wendy and Sally and their families to join in the celebrations.
Sutton SC’s most famous swimming member, Ollie Hynd MBE, and his family also attended.
Gren and Christine are proud of what Sam and Ollie Hynd have gone on to achieve, so it was a very poignant moment when Ollie, on behalf of the club presented them both with holiday vouchers, some engraved glasses and a signed guest book from members.
Swimmers were very emotional on the night as they said goodbye with many paying tribute to their coaches via social media.
Swimmer Lauren Quinn (16) captured the moment by saying: “Tonight was quite emotional. My head coach has finished. Gren has been a huge and irreplaceable part of my life and has coached me for as long as I can remember. Without you I would not be the swimmer I am today.”
Gren has now handed over the head coach duties to Lee Bunker, who will continue to develop high quality swimmers.
The swimming club enjoyed substantial success over the last year.
Highlights have included winning Division Two of the Sports Centre League in style to get promoted to Division One for 2015. This was a fantastic achievement given that they only secured promotion to Division Two the previous year.
In their first year of the National Arena Swimming League, competing in Division Three East of the West Midlands Region, they won all three rounds to finish clear winners of the league and secure promotion to Division Two for 2015.
Individual swimmers at the club have also experienced significant success.
At the County Age Group Championships, six swimmers finished in the top 10 overall places for their respective Age Groups.
Matthew Woodhall (9) was crowned overall County Champion, pulling out all the stops to pip his close rival to top spot by just three points in a very tense finish to the championship.
Chloe Quinn was runner-up in the 11-years-old category and Russ Golubs finished runner-up in the 14-year-old category.
Neve Fergie was third in the 14-year-old category, Mia Fergie came fourth in the 12-year-old category and Jim Fergie finished eighth in the 12-year-old category.
In May, three swimmers, Lara Prosser, Lauren Quinn and Russ Golubs qualified for the Midland Youth Championships at Corby, while in June, Chloe Quinn, Mia Fergie, Jim Fergie, Neve Fergie, Josh Leeson and Sophie Bunker competed at the Midlands Age Group Championships at Coventry.
Neve Fergie swam superbly to secure three National qualification times in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events - a fantastic achievement from a Sutton swimmer. She went on to represent the elite Nova swim squad in the relay events at the National Championships.
Club chairman Andrew Quinn said: “These continued successes in the pool do not occur by luck or chance and are achieved through a combination of hard work by the swimmers, some excellent teaching and coaching and some fantastic support from parents and volunteers that enable the club to run so smoothly.
“The list of names that contribute to this success is growing year on year, but I must thank all of the teaching/coaching team that are now being headed by Lee Bunker.”
Awards were also made to the club’s rising stars, the main winners being Talitha Oud, Adam Read, Noa Arapi and Evan Hawley.