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Beneath The Surface Of Masters: Verity Dobbie

The Masters Hub continues to look deeper into the lives and personalities at the heart of the UK Masters community through our ‘Beneath The Surface’ feature.

Look out for video interviews as well as some fantastic underwater photos courtesy of GB Swimstars.

Our tenth feature is with Masters swimmer and Masters Technical Committee Chair Verity Dobbie who is a self-proclaimed binge swimmer and reveals her favourite memories from the pool.

How long have you been involved in swimming?

I’ve swum since I was nine years old. I swam through age groups, through university and I couldn’t wait until I turned 25 and could get into Masters.

Why were you so excited about starting Masters swimming?

I just loved the competition, the challenge, the camaraderie, all the people. It just seemed great fun and it gets me out of the office!

Have you appreciated different things from Masters swimming over the years?

Yes – I used to be very competitive and now, I’m still competitive, but just not as good! I stopped swimming as seriously to have a family and now my daughter is looking to go off to university in September so I’m looking forward to getting back into it a bit more seriously.

It’s a bit like riding a bike, though perhaps a bit more painful.

Over the last 18 years or so, I have been able to pick it up and put it down. There are times when I haven’t swum and then I’ve been able to get back into it quickly. It’s a bit like riding a bike, though perhaps a bit more painful.

How often do you train?

I’m known as the binge swimmer so I can train for short periods quite a lot – maybe 60 to 90 minute sessions four or five times a week – then I can go a couple of months not swimming at all.

How do you spend your time when you’re not in the pool?

Supporting (very occasionally) a triathlete husband and being taxi and bank to a teenage daughter. I am also heavily involved in Masters administration and write the Masters column in the Swimming Times magazine.

To pay for all this, I am the managing partner in a law firm where I specialise in divorce and family law. To relax, I love to read crime and legal thrillers and I am addicted to computer games!

What are your favourite events?

50m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle.

What is your favourite meet?

The ASA Nationals is brilliant and any World Championship.

What is your highest accolade in swimming?

I was a national standard swimmer in my late teens and 20s (I was 35th reserve for the 100m Breaststroke at the 1988 Olympic trials!). In Masters, I think I was the first female British swimmer to win five World titles at one meet. That was at Rio 1990 (it was a very weak field!).

I think I was the first female British swimmer to win five World titles at one meet. It was a very weak field!

What do you love about swimming?

Pretty much everything! The physical and mental challenges it provides but, most of all, the people.

What do you hate about swimming?


What are you most proud of in your swimming career?

My role (a small one) in persuading the ASA Board to employ a full time Masters Development Officer, and then being involved in the selection procedure to put Sharon in post.

What are you most proud of out of the water?

Apart from my brilliant but infuriating daughter… my family, and surviving the recession…

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