Club Chairman: Alan Capstick

Alan CaptickAlan first became involved in swimming when 16 years of age, 50 years ago, when he became a member of South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club. During his membership he was involved in a number of sea rescues off the long beach and at Marsden Bay, where on one occassion he was involved in the rescue of the mother of the then mayor of South Shields, Councillor K Scrimger, himself a member of the club.

At the time Alan was also area organiser for the Royal Life Saving Society, and was honoured with the President’s Certificate for services rendered over the years. This was presented by the Duchess of  Kent at a ceremony in London.

He was also a member of the senior men’s team which reached the finals of the National Lifeguard Championships held in Bognor Regis in 1977.

Alan’s involvement in competitive swimming officiating started when Joanne his oldest daughter became involved in the sport in 1990. He took his ASA Timekeeper, Judge and Starters exam in the same year, and was successful in his referee’s examination 2 years later. Since that time Alan has spent almost all of his spare, and holiday time, becoming involved more and more in the sport.

Over the years he has been promoted to the world officials list as a starter, having officiated at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester, the European Championships in Seville and European Short Course Championships in Valencia. He is still the only English Official to have held a senior position at an event outside the country and still officiates at the majority of National events.

Pool swimming is not his only involvement in water sports, as he is also a referee within Open Water, as well as Safety Officer.

One of the most outstanding events in Alan’s swimming career was when at the end of 2005 he was invited to represent North East Counties ASA at a volunteer’s dinner in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at St James Palace, London.

Alan was N&D President in 2001, and is still an executive member of N&D. He serves on the ASA Safety Forum, and was one of the original team in the major restructuring of safety within Open Water swimming, the ASA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee, ASA Open Water Swimming Officials Project Group, North East Region Open Water Committee and is the North East Region Safety Officer. Finally, 2006 sees Alan as the first full term President for the newly inaugurated ASA North East Region.