Swimmer Greg follows in his father’s strokes

4712090 SSFF greg watson 'Greg Watson (17) - Balwearie HS pupil emulating his dad Derek Watson by being selected to swim for the Scottish Schools Squad - at the swimming pool in Balwearie HS, Kirkcaldy

4712090 SSFF greg watson 'Greg Watson (17) - Balwearie HS pupil emulating his dad Derek Watson by being selected to swim for the Scottish Schools Squad - at the swimming pool in Balwearie HS, Kirkcaldy

0
Have your say

A SCHOOLBOY swimmer has emulated his father by winning his first international cap representing Scottish Schools in the WISE International.

Greg Watson, a member of Kirkcaldy club Fins, travelled to the Sunderland Aquatics Centre on Saturday for the same event his dad, Derek, took part in back in 1983.

Swimmer Derek Watson featured in the Fife Free Press of February 25, 1983

Swimmer Derek Watson featured in the Fife Free Press of February 25, 1983

The WISE international is an annual gala, featuring the top swimmers from schools in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.

Greg, a fifth-year pupil at Balwearie High, managed a fourth place finish in the 100m freestyle and a fifth place in the 100m backstroke, both in the 16/17 year age group.

He also teamed up with fellow Fifers Jordan Lamb and Mark Szaranek to claim gold in the 4x100m medley relay at the same age group.

Dad Derek is also a former Balwearie pupil and he was delighted that his son followed in his footsteps.

“We went over to Ireland with the Scottish team and it was a great experience for me,” he said.

“I’m glad Greg has been able to get to the same event.

“It was quite a big thing for the school at the time as I was the first person from Balwearie to be selected.

“I remember getting tea and biscuits with the head master of the time, Mr McLaughlin.

“It really opened some doors for me, and made me stick in at the swimming.

“I got called into the Commonwealth Games Squad three years later but wasn’t used.”

Derek’s call-up featured in the February 25, 1983 edition of The Fife Free Press.

He recalled: “The cameraman got me to sit in the pool and put my thumbs up - and everyone had a good laugh at that.”

Derek returned to competitive swimming in 2007 after a 21-year absence to win two Scottish Masters titles.

But the confessed: “My son is a far better swimmer than I am.

“It’s difficult for him, training from 5.00 to 7.00 a.m and again from 4.00 to 6.00 p.m, but he doesn’t need any encouragement.

“He’s keen on trying to make the Commonwealth or Olympic games and he knows he needs to work hard to achieve that.

“He’s number two for his age in Scotland in three or four events so he’s doing really well.

“The Fife Performance Squad has really brought him on. Fingers crossed he’ll continue to do well.”

TWO more Fife swimmers won international caps at the WISE International on Saturday.

Jordan Lamb, of Fins Competitive Swim Club, and Mark Szaranek, of Carnegie Swimming Club, were also in action at the Sunderland Aquatics Centre.

Despite being in the 14/15 year age group, Jordan, from Cardenden, had an excellent second place finish in the Open 200m backstroke.

The Dunfermline High pupil was also placed third in the 100m backstroke in his own age group.

Mark, an Auchmuty High pupil, was first placed in the 16/17 age group 200m individual medley, second in the Open 200m freestyle, and third in the 100m butterfly.

Jordan and Mark teamed up with Balwearie’s Greg Waston and a fourth swimmer from Lanarkshire to win the 4x100m medley relay in the 16/17 years boy, with Jordan swimming up an age group.

Jordan is also a member of the Fife Performance Squad.