The top swimmer from Kirkcaldy club Fins, 19-year-old Greg Watson, has changed his first claim club to the University of Edinburgh – but does so with the full support of Fins’ head coach Ian Lewis.
The move means that the former Balwearie High School pupil will be training with GB and Scottish Senior internationalists with top class facilities, including a 50m pool, and under the guidance of a full time professional international coach.
Ian explained: “It is what is best for the swimmer and at 19, Greg is no longer an age group swimmer and must therefore compete against the top swimmers in Britain.” Greg’s goal, and one of the main reasons for moving to Edinburgh University, is to gain a place in the Scottish Commonwealth Games team for 2018, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia.
The good news for Fins is that Greg will still retain his Fins membership and will train with his local club at Kirkcaldy Pool on Friday evenings and occasionally on Wednesdays. He is still able to represent Fins in certain meets.
Ian added that he takes a certain amount of satisfaction in coaching Greg to achieve the standard that he has so far and is pleased that Greg will still be involved with Fins.
Currently Greg has two top 10 rankings in Scotland and a further two in the top 20, long course, plus two top 20 rankings short course. His long course top 10 ranking are seventh in the 50m freestyle and eighth in the 50m butterfly.
Greg was competing for his new club at the City of Aberdeen Swim Team’s Grand Prix meet last weekend where he gained a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle in a time of 22.92 seconds, a time that will elevate him to third ranked in Scotland once the results have been ratified.
Fins have a few more age group swimmers that coach Ian is hoping can follow in Greg’s footsteps.
Six swimmers are ranked in the top 10 in Scotland for their age group including Claire Thomson (12) whose rankings are: 1st – 100m butterfly, 2nd – 200m butterfly, 2nd – 400m individual medley, 3rd – 800m freestyle, 5th – 200m individual medley; 6th – 200m backstroke, 7th – 400m freestyle, 8th – 200m freestyle.
Claire also has a further ranking in the top 20. Her short course rankings include seven in the top 10 and a further four in the top 20.
Greg Turner, 16 years, is another up and coming swimmer whose long course rankings are: 3rd – 50m breaststroke, 7th – 100m breaststroke, 8th – 200m breaststroke. Greg has a further two in the top 20 and he has the same number at short course.
Others include Arran Stowe, 16 years: 4th – 200m freestyle, 9th – 800m freestyle; Thomas Farrell, 17 years: 6th – 50m freestyle, 10th – 100m freestyle, 10th – 50m backstroke; Katie Johnstone, 18 years: 9th – 50m freestyle; and Callum Macgregor, 16 years, who has two top 20 rankings long course but at short course he has one top 10 ranking plus a further one in the top 20.
In addition there are a further five swimmers who are ranked in the top 20 for their age group and they are Rachel Brisbane (17), Kieran Pate (17), Kyle Pate (15), Ben Lewis (10) and Andrew Campbell (14).