It’s a team effort as Banbridge ASC is named Irish Club of the Year

Swim Ireland Club of the Year 2015 winners Banbridge ASC.
Back row: Graham Knox, Geraldine Hill, Doretta Rippon, Mark Wilson Fiona Cleland, donna Burke, Mary McGeown
Front row: Patrick Dougan, Stephen Farson, Marty Daly, Ruth McQuillan (Swim Ulster) Olivia Knox, Julia Knox, Gina Quinn
Swim Ireland Club of the Year 2015 winners Banbridge ASC. Back row: Graham Knox, Geraldine Hill, Doretta Rippon, Mark Wilson Fiona Cleland, donna Burke, Mary McGeown Front row: Patrick Dougan, Stephen Farson, Marty Daly, Ruth McQuillan (Swim Ulster) Olivia Knox, Julia Knox, Gina Quinn
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Banbridge ASC is a club where everyone plays their part.

That was evident at the Swim Ireland Awards, when five of the club’s coaches and five committee members picked up the top Ulster and Irish awards.

Geraldine Hill and Doretta Rippon with their 20+ year service to aquatics and Swim Ireland awards

Geraldine Hill and Doretta Rippon with their 20+ year service to aquatics and Swim Ireland awards

Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club knew beforehand that they were off to the Titanic Centre on Friday 25th May to pick up the title of Swim Ulster Club of the Year 2015.

However, there was a huge added bonus on the night as Banbridge ASC were astounded and honoured to be awarded the top accolade for any club; Swim Ireland Club of the Year 2015.

To add to that, they also received the Swim Ireland Clubmark Accreditation for the first time AND coaches Geraldine Hill and Doretta Rippon received awards for 20 plus years of service to swimming.

Bann’s Graham Knox attended the ceremony as a representative of Swim Ireland and Fiona Cleland was a representative of Swim Ulster. That duo have contributed a lot to the club, as have the other coaches in attendance Davey Wilson, Patrick Dougan and Stephen Farson. The committee members in attendance were Mark Wilson, Mary McGeown, Donna Burke, Marty Daley and Gina Quinn.

Geraldine Hill, Stephen Farson, Julia Knox, Doretta Rippon, Patrick Dougan, Olivia Knox and Mark Wilson.

Geraldine Hill, Stephen Farson, Julia Knox, Doretta Rippon, Patrick Dougan, Olivia Knox and Mark Wilson.

“Being the best swimming club in Ireland is undoubtedly due to the joint efforts of a super bunch of people,” said a club spokesperson. “As other clubs commented on the night, Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club is a family club.

“We are a small club in comparison to many but nevertheless we are a force to be reckoned with. At every gala our presence is noted.

“All our parents try to pull their weight doing poolside duties and we always have coach and white official representation at every gala.

“We also have warmth and friendliness when we compete because after all swimming is a sport in which we all enjoy and it is a life skill which benefits everyone.”

Marty Daly, Mary McGeown, Donna Burke, Gina Quinn.

Marty Daly, Mary McGeown, Donna Burke, Gina Quinn.

The Awards ceremony involved the Swim Ireland governing body giving out awards to swimmers who had made their mark in international swimming. It also awarded recognition to clubs who have strived to succeed.

“It is a prestigious event and an honour to be invited to be among Ireland’s best swimmers and coaches who have strived for European and Olympic times,” continued the spokesperson, who was keen to outline the contribution of all the club’s committed members.

“Our club chairperson Mark Wilson deserves recognition as he has been a tower of strength and a sheer force of nature in what he has done for our club in only two years.

“He pushed through the clubmark accreditation and has greatly enhanced recognition and our visibility in the swimming world. He has our Facebook page up and running and together with our unspoken heroin Edi Doyle has regularly updated our website on a weekly basis.

Geraldine Hill, Mark Wilson, Doretta Rippon and Graham Knox.

Geraldine Hill, Mark Wilson, Doretta Rippon and Graham Knox.

“Edi does all the swim entries to galas which is a mammoth task. Other clubs turn to our website for regular information.

“Lorraine Allenby is our hard working secretary as well as turning her hand, along with Gina Quinn, to refereeing and doing starter at Swim Ulster level and volunteering as official in Leinster and Munster events. Gina also writes the reports.

“Mary McGeown and Marty Daley have organised club fund raising events and outings for our deserving swimmers.

“Donna Burke is our efficient treasurer who keeps us on our toes. Our up and coming coaches include Lee Galloway, Jenny Wilson, Jodi Doyle and Ross Johnston.

“Other unsung heroes of our club include Jackie Wright and Angela Knox who have the hectic task of recording results at team galas.

“There are also our caterers, time keepers and other committee members, Alison Lennon, Oonagh King, Judith Blemmings, Lorna Bigley, Alison Calvert, Alistair Pinkerton and Rodney Bingham. Rodney is a newcomer to our club and his children have excelled with us.

Swim Ireland Club of the Year presentation. From left: Fiona Cleland, Graham Knox, Davy Wilson, Geraldine Hill and Mark Wilson.

Swim Ireland Club of the Year presentation. From left: Fiona Cleland, Graham Knox, Davy Wilson, Geraldine Hill and Mark Wilson.

“He also has undertaken the task of sorting out new kit.

“To everyone in our club, swimmers, coaches and volunteers, huge congratulations for all our achievements in the last 25 years, which has culminated to our rise to the top.

“To join our club or simply to find out more, see our website, contact us through Facebook or follow us on Twitter.”

Team Banbridge ASC are all smiles after picking up their awards. From left: Mary McGeown, Davy Wilson, Fiona Cleland, Donna Burke, Marty Daly, Mark Wilson, Dorreta Rippon, Geraldine Hill, Graham Knox, Patrick Dougan and Stephen Farson.

Team Banbridge ASC are all smiles after picking up their awards. From left: Mary McGeown, Davy Wilson, Fiona Cleland, Donna Burke, Marty Daly, Mark Wilson, Dorreta Rippon, Geraldine Hill, Graham Knox, Patrick Dougan and Stephen Farson.

Mark Wilson (Banbridge ASC Chairman) along with Michael Angus (Swim Ireland President) and Ruth McQuillan (Swim Ulster).

Mark Wilson (Banbridge ASC Chairman) along with Michael Angus (Swim Ireland President) and Ruth McQuillan (Swim Ulster).

Davy Wilson (coach), Geraldine Hill (coach and founding member) and Mark Wilson (chairman) pictured after receiving the 2015 Ulster Region club of the Year Award

Davy Wilson (coach), Geraldine Hill (coach and founding member) and Mark Wilson (chairman) pictured after receiving the 2015 Ulster Region club of the Year Award