Scottish Swimming has singled out Midlothian swimmers for praise following a report from recent good sportsmanship.
Richard Bennett, a coach from Broxburn Amateur Swimming Club, took time to highlight an incident at the Midlothian club’s recent Spring gala.
He said: “Our team included a few young swimmers and we had asked each of them to stretch themselves and prove they could step up to the mark. A number of them tried events they had never attempted before.”
Ten-year old Euan Jones was one such swimmer, who, having never swum a 400m event, surprised his coaches by choosing to swim the 400m IM.
Euan swam his heat in 7.29 minutes in a consistent swim and he received a rousing reception from swimmers, coaches, officials and spectators as he finished.
What happened next touched everyone. Midlothian swimmers Fraser Wilson, Euan Edmiston and Jamie Ferguson who swam the same heat, walked round to Euan (Broxburn ASC) and shook his hand with congratulations and encouragement.
The 400 IM was an open event, so there was to be no age group medal, however, 14-year old Fraser (Midlothian) who had won gold, stepped off the podium, walked round the pool, straight up to Euan, took his medal off and placed it round Euan’s neck telling him the medal was his to keep as he deserved it.
Broxburn coach Bennett said: ‘‘I was stunned, and if I’m honest, Frasers’ kindness took my breath away and left me with a vision and memory I will never forget and filled me with so much emotion. Euan was also in awe when I told him Fraser was a Scottish national age group champion.
“If this is how Midlothian inspire their athletes to encourage and support young athletes, then I tip my hat to everyone involved. It was absolutely magnificent to witness. Fraser is a credit to the club, his parents, himself and he now has a massive fan club from Broxburn ASC.”
Scottish Swimming often highlights the importance of role models, when it comes to inspiring younger athletes to carry on with their training in a bid to become better.
It is often assumed that these role models have themselves achieved great success on the international stage, but this is not always the case.