ECSC Member History Feature No.8 - August
This month's featured member is Sue Walker, but many from the club will remember her as Sue Shrimpton.
Sue joined ECSC as an adult after moving down to Exeter from Bristol. She joined as a Masters swimmer and had great success. Even swimming in Masters competitions with her Mother Doreen. Swimming truly is a family affair! Sue's love of swimming started many years before when she started competitive swimming at the age of 8 in Bristol, when she was Sue Cope.
Her success in the pool moved from being a Gloucestershire County winner on to the Western Counties championships winning 100m/200m/400m Freestyle events in record times. There wasn't the abundance of open meets back then, as there are now, so making those times to qualify for National meets and International meets was not easy.
Sue made her first impressions in 1963 at the Nationals in Blackpool, making the 110 yards Freestyle final. After a disappointing year in 1964, she unfortunately missed out at the Olympic trials through illness and never really caught up again until 1966, when the Commonwealth Games opportunity presented itself! The time trials for the Commonwealth Games were held at the newly built Crystal Palace pool and Sue managed to scrape in and an exciting trip to Jamaica followed! The team were fitted for two sets of uniforms – one for travelling and one for the opening ceremony and they even had daily pocket money in addition to all the swimming gear, costumes, track suits and towels.
As an international swimmer, over the next three years, Sue was lucky to visit Holland for the Six Nations, Germany, Spain, the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, Holland for the European Championships, the World Student games in Tokyo and the World Student games in Italy.
After all her successes in the pool, Sue married a Water Polo player and they moved to Devon. As well as Masters swimming with ECSC, Sue had two children and once they were old enough to join the club, Sue was able to put a lot more time into coaching and the next ten years involved both coaching young swimmers and many hours poolside! Sue spent up to 12 hours a week coaching and travelling with the various teams to open meets and competitions, assisting the Head Coaches, including John Gilpin, Peter Gilpin, Jon Randall and Colin Trudgeon.
Pictured below - Sue (Right) with her Mum Doreen proudly holding their Masters World Record Certificates
Sue says "I have many happy memories with Exeter City Swimming Club, both as a swimmer and as a coach over a 12 year period and for that I thank all my friends in the Club. Good Luck in the future!".