National recognition for Border stalwart

BORDER swimming stalwart Don Alchin has received a national award for services to the sport.

The life member of Ovens and Murray Swimming and the Wodonga Swim Club was named the Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year at the 2013 Swimmer of the Year Awards hosted by Swimming Australia at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre recently.

Alchin said it was a great honour.

“I’m really chuffed, I was surprised when I got the invite to the awards and a little shocked to get this award,” he said.

“I’ve been around swimming for 30 years but his is very important for us in the country — recognition for the hours and travel we all put in.

“For me it started when we put in an in-ground pool and the kids needed to learn how to swim.

“The local swimming coach said they had a bit of talent so they joined the squad.

“I was in the stands and getting agitated so I put my hand up to help out — it started out as a timekeeper and in the end I became a referee.”

Alchin said he had refereed at more meetings than he cared to remember, including a youth Olympics and four Oceania championships.

“Once the racing is under way the referee runs the meet,” he said.

“The referee blows the whistle to bring the swimmers onto the blocks and puts them in the starter’s hands.”

Swimming Victoria said the commitment and enthusiasm Alchin had shown to the development of swimming was admirable, “the various roles he plays has seen him develop as a strong role model for many volunteers coming through the sport”.

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