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Colin Walsh 'thrilled and honoured' to be appointed President of the ESSA

Colin Walsh has said he was ‘thrilled’ after recently being inaugurated as the new President of the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA).

Colin, who first became involved with the ESSA 21 years ago, will now take up the position for 12 months and explained how he feels ‘honoured’ to do so.

“I was thrilled,” he said. “I was inaugurated as President last Saturday and really I should’ve been ending my term as President not starting it but it was all delayed due to Covid.”

After initially being asked to serve as President 18 months ago, he said: “It’s an honour for me. An even bigger honour in as much as, at that point, I would become the first President who wasn’t a member of the ESSA council.

“In the past, they’ve [presidents] always come from the council. Obviously, I’m a member now and I’ve been a member with the council for a couple of years now.”

The inauguration was held during ESSA’s AGM on Saturday 15 January and saw council members joining, either virtually or in-person, to welcome Colin to the role.

Build on his long-standing involvement

Speaking on how much he is looking forward to the upcoming ESSA Inter-Divisional Championships in March, he said: “I really am, I’m looking forward to it very much.

“I’m really looking forward to attending all events. ESSA cover all four aquatic disciplines and I’ve no doubt I will be certainly at the finals for the diving and artistic swimming, assuming they do hold those events this year, which I’m sure they will.”

He added: “All the council [members] are teachers, so I’ve become the first non-teaching member to become approved for international trips.

“I’ve become the first non-teacher to be given life membership and that happened a couple of years ago. And then of course the first president who was a non-council member at the time.”

Colin’s term as President will continue to build on his long-standing involvement with ESSA which first began more than two decades ago.

“The first ESSA event I ever attended was 21 years ago. I took my son for a trial for the international team, which was at that stage in Manchester, and then my involvement with ESSA grew.

“I became involved in the management of the ESSA water polo events, especially the finals, and I’ve organised the last three international trips away which have all been held in Malta.”