Have your say - Join our Online Community and help make a difference

Verity Dobbie steps down from Masters Working Group after 27 years

After 27 years of service to masters swimming, Verity Dobbie has stepped down as chair of the Swim England Masters Working Group.

Verity was appointed to the then-ASA Masters Technical Committee as a ‘specialist’ in 1992 and has proved a valuable member of the masters community since then.

She was a crucial advocate in the centralisation of the Swim England National Masters Championships, which now brings together the country’s best masters swimmers at Ponds Forge every year.

Verity proposed the masters newsletter and introduced the masters rankings system, which was initially a manual task.

She was also a driving force behind Swim England’s decision to employ a dedicated Masters Officer and committee – known as the Masters Working Group.

Tom Baster, Chair of the Swim England Swimming Leadership Group, said: “I would like to thank Verity for her extraordinary contribution to Swim England and to the discipline of masters swimming within Great Britain.”

Verity has long juggled her demanding career in law with her voluntary roles, which has often meant sacrificing her own swim training.

Despite this, she has enjoyed success at national and international level, breaking a national record in the 60-64 Years 50m Breaststroke at the 2019 British Masters Championships, before winning bronze over 200m at the 2019 FINA World Masters Championships.

A new chapter

Verity will now be able to focus on her own swimming and will be competing at the Swim England National Masters Championships later this month. 

She said: “In 1992, the late Tony Holmyard chaired the Committee and his test for whether a particular proposal was worthwhile pursuing was to ask if it was in ‘the spirit of masters’.

“Back then, I was perhaps more focused on the competitive side of masters and didn’t really think too much about this, but over time I’ve realised that for me this has been what it’s all about.

“Our strap line of ‘fitness, friendship and fun’ encapsulates Tony’s ‘spirit of masters’ and it has been great fun and an absolute privilege to work within this sport with fantastic colleagues who have supported, inspired and encouraged me at every turn.

“Going forward, I hope that the next generation hold ‘the spirit of Masters’ sacrosanct, because if they do, I can’t wait to see where they take us.”

Swim England would like to wish Verity well in all of her future swimming adventures and would like to thank her for her tireless service to masters swimming.