Anya Pool at Tulip Luke Elliott Tulip meet 2016 Daisy or Millie Esther Skells Sam Fovargue

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Club History

On 8th October 1976, George Gaunt, the founder of the South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club wrote to the local paper in his capacity as a Committee member of Spalding Swimming Club, replying to criticism by the paper of the poor results that the club was achieving in Galas. He pointed out that the paper should direct these criticisms to the Spalding Swimming Pool and not the Club, suggesting that the pool should close each night at 6:00pm to let specialist groups ie, Scouts, Guides, Canoes etc run their activities and requesting anyone connected with any water activity in the area to contact him regarding possible useful utilisation of the pool.

These comments served their purpose and raised the profile of swimming in Spalding and the surrounding district and the following weeks saw much activity in the press with local people getting more and more involved

As a result of the above, South Lincs CSC was born on 1st January 1977 purely for competitive swimmers and for training “future champions” with Ian Turner of Lincoln Pentaqua the official coach. The times for training offered at Spalding were alternate Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:00pm and 10:00 pm. It was felt that these times were too late for young swimmers and after another meeting the pool offered the club limited pool space on Thursdays 4:30pm-6:00pm and Saturdays between 6:00pm- 8:00pm, subject to the pool not being used by any other organisation.

On the first Saturday in1977 over 100 swimmers drawn from Spalding, Deeping, Stamford, Grantham and Boston were put through their paces and Ian Turner brought members of the Midland District team to Spalding so that the swimmers and parents could see the standards he expected to reach.

By 8th July 1977 , South Lincs were competing in their second Gala and annihilated Kings Lynn and St Ives. By the end of the year the South Lincs team began to establish itself in the Speedo League climbing from Division 3 to Division 1 by 1979 when the club was regarded as one of the top clubs in the Midland District.

In 1978 the Club completed in its first international event when the team visited its twin club Speyer N V. This was to be the first of two visits with members entertaining the Speyer team in Spalding. The Club also visited Hannover on a couple of occasions. In 1981 the aim of the club was to provide a club room for its members, one of the reasons being to have some where to entertain a return visit by Hannover and Speyer ( both in the same year) after the successful visits to Germany. During the year local builders Allison (Contractors) donated the present club room to the club and a band of willing helpers set about building it from scratch. After lots of effort the finishing touches were made for the visit of Hannover in October.

As fees for pool hire spiralled it became apparent that unless some fundraising was done, the club could not continue and a hastily convened meeting of parents was called. This meeting took place in the reception of the swimming pool and a Fund Raising Committee was elected and so the club was able to continue.

By 1980, two South Lincs swimmers, Haden Greeves and Karen Sanderson, had been called up for an England youth trial and swimmers were travelling to Spalding from Deeping , Peterborough, Stamford, Boston, Kings Lynn and Wisbech, to train with the fast developing squad.

In 1984 the seeds were sown for an Open Meet to raise much needed funds for the Club and the first Tulip Time Open Meet was held in May 1985. It was decided that any profit made from the open meet would be separate from the clubs normal running costs and act as a buffer for emergencies etc.

This is still the Clubs policy today. South Lincs Tulip Time Open Meet has become a regular and important part of the South Lincs Calendar, welcoming swimmers and officials back year after year.

This was written by Hilary Perry and is a potted history of the Club giving an insite into where the Club is today.