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New Swim England President praises work of volunteers in first speech

The East Region’s Ian Mackenzie has praised the role of volunteers in his first speech as the new Swim England President.

After almost 40 years involved in voluntary roles at club, county, regional and national level, Ian said it was a ‘huge privilege’ to be named the 127th President of Swim England.

He succeeds Liz Sykes, from the West Midlands Region, and will hold the position until May 2021.

Ian said: “It’s a huge privilege to be made Swim England President for the coming 83 weeks – not that I’m counting!

“But thank you very, very much for all your good wishes and thank you to Joan and the East Region for nominating me in the first place.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting volunteers in all our sports.

“A number of Swim England staff also volunteer, not only at our events but also other sports. That’s really important to us because the expertise they have gained can be fed back into Swim England.

“So I’m looking forward to saying thank you to our volunteers.

“You cannot present awards to everyone but you can always say thank you as what they do is really important.”

Ian had been nominated for the role by the East Region’s Joan Wheeler.

She told delegates at the Swim England AGM: “Ian’s commitment to all levels of the sport has been outstanding.

“His commitment and passion to the sport will be much in evidence as he serves as Swim England President.”

Ian’s first task as President was to present Liz with a certificate and badge to mark her year in office.

Liz said one of the highlights of her year had been meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

“We had a very interesting conversation about teaching children swimming,” said LIz.

“It’s been a very memorable year. It’s something I never imagined I would do but it’s been fantastic.”

East Midlands’ Doug Whitlam will take on the role of Vice-President.