Rollinson wins NZ swimming volunteer award

Swimming Canterbury West Coast chairperson Wayne Rollinson won volunteer ofthe year at the Swimming New Zealand Awards in Auckland. Photo: Swimming NZ

Lincoln’s Wayne Rollinson believes his national swimming award is a testament to everyone in his organisation.

The chairman of the Swimming Canterbury West Coast earned the Swimming New Zealand volunteer of the year award in Auckland last week.

“You certainly don’t get into this sort of thing for recognition like this but it reflects the hard work of everyone within our organisation,” he said.

Mr Rollinson has been involved with the organisation since 2007 and chairman since 2011.

“My focus at the time was more about rugby but my three kids all swam at that time and I looked at it like many parents probably do in terms of how I could give back to the sport,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to a sport in some way and I felt the time was right.
He said, while swimming numbers have been on the increase for many years, the February 22, 2011, earthquake changed his role as the head of SCWC in an instant.

“I learnt a lot about swimming in the region in a short space of time,” he said.

Mr Rollinson said the prospect of a 50m pool in the Metro Sports Facility as well as the emergence of the QE II pool and developments in Linwood, would make swimming more accessible and more affordable.

“There is a financial strain on parents at the moment getting to and from events,” he said.

“Even getting to regional events like South Island meets is an added cost at this point because we’re having to go to Nelson or Invercargill.”
Rollinson said the emergence of top swimmers like Hannah Bates, Sophie Pascoe, Celyn and Ieuan Edwards, had pleased him immensely because they’d done it in their home pools in Christchurch.

“There’s a perception that to make it (internationally) that you need to go to Auckland and we’re producing swimmers in our facilities.

Mr Rollinson has 12 months in his role before his term finishes and he is eager to ensure the Metro Sports Facility, which is scheduled for 2021 will deliver an impressive space for swimmers to excel.

“I really think with the Metro, we’ll have a facility that other areas are envious of and will make them want to travel to compete here,” he said.