Dawn Zajac29 June 2022
- Born: 27 February 1917
- Died: 6 April 2012
Dawn Zajac was a pioneer of artistic swimming in Great Britain.
Without her initial vision and infectious enthusiasm, many thousands of women and girls would not have had the chance to enjoy the sport.
Originally a trapeze artist as part of a circus act which travelled across Europe and the United States, Zajac established the first artistic swimming club in Great Britain.
She became interested in the sport during a visit to California and, upon her return to London, formed Seymour Synchro Swim Club in 1960.
From 1964, Zajac coached the Great Britain team who were champions in Europe and ranked third in the world.
They performed in front of the Queen who enjoyed the routine called ‘Beefeaters’ and asked for photographs for her personal collection.
After a decade in the role, she became the Austrian national coach before ‘retiring’ in 1984.
However, Zajac had consultant roles in Norway, Egypt and Ireland while continuing to coach with Seymour right until she was 92.
She was also a keen judge and provided support and mentoring to young volunteers.
Her ambition and determination to succeed were an inspiration to so many and she followed her dreams regardless of the stereotypes which existed during the early part of her career.