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Synchro stalwart Elizabeth Bowman receives Mary Black Award for 2018

Elizabeth Bowman has been presented with the Mary Black Award for 2018.

But despite having more than 50 years experience in synchronised swimming, Elizabeth said it was still a ‘complete shock’ when she was presented with the award at the Swim England National Age Group Championships in Gloucester.

The Mary Black Award is given annually to a person who has provided outstanding service to synchronised swimming.

And, in fact, Mary is a good friend of Elizabeth, having guided her along the synchro pathway.

Elizabeth said: “I did not expect it. It was a complete shock but an absolute pleasure.

“People in the background just get on with it because they love the sport so it’s nice to be recognised for all the things you do.

“Mary is a very personal friend of mind and she is a character who has done so much – she’ll be delighted and over the moon.

“She is very supportive of Scottish synchro as well and is an absolute mentor to me. She is why I started in synchronised swimming.

“It’s lovely to receive this award as it’s Mary’s award – that’s more of an honour to me.”

Elizabeth a worthwhile winner

Elizabeth started her career in the sport 53 years ago as a synchronised swimmer before gaining her teaching qualifications.

She went on to become a judge and then qualified as a referee.

She became a judge and has officiated at local, national and international events as well as the European and World Championships.

Within her home country of Scotland, Elizabeth has held various roles including district convenor for 10 years and Scottish National Chairperson for 15 years – and she also sat on the GB Synchronised Swimming Committee.

She has also played a key role at her club, Clydebank, where she has been a swimmer, judge and now coach.

Currently, Elizabeth is still involved at national level as she assists in the upskilling of judges and other officials, is also an appointed supervising judge and is a highly-effective championship organiser.

She was selected as a volunteer at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and is also a life member of Scottish Swimming.

Maria Ramos, chairperson of the Swim England Synchro Leadership Team,  said: “We had a record number of nominations this year.

“They were all incredibly inspiring stories which made the decision by the Synchro Leadership Team incredibly difficult.

“Elizabeth has been dedicated to the sport for a lifetime and continues to promote our sport wherever her travels take her. She is a very worthwhile winner of the Mary Black Trophy.”