General News:

Aberdeen teens swim their way to the top


Fourteen years ago, Calvin Macdonald and Kieran Lennox met during their weekly ‘Duckling’ swimming lesson.

Much has changed since then, the class is now called ‘Adult and Child’ for one, but what has not changed is the bond those two-year olds formed in that class all those years ago. Now sixteen, the pair are the shining example of why it is beneficial to start young.

Progressing from ‘Ducklings’ to joining the Bucksburn Amateur Swimming Club, they became training partners and used their friendship to drive their training sessions. It was not long before the pair were competing at a National level, winning medals both individually and as part of a team.

Today, the teens are part of the University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team, continuing to challenge and encourage each other, but most importantly, having fun! Kieran has found his specialty in Butterfly and Sprint and is the proud owner of the Scottish short course record for sixteen-year-old males in the 50 metre Butterfly.

Calvin’s success is equally impressive, he is a backstroke and Individual Medley specialist, recently winning Gold in his age group at the Scottish Summer Championships in the 400 metre Individual Medley category.

The pair’s ambition, work ethic and dedication to swimming is something to admire, the lessons learned through club swimming will be sure to benefit them throughout their careers as they progress to even greater heights.

L-R: Calvin Macdonald and Kieran Lennox at the Scottish National Age Group Championships

The same opportunities that faced Calvin and Kieran are offered to all through Sport Aberdeen’s Aquatics Aberdeen programme, with swimming lessons available for all ages and abilities across six city-wide pools.

For those who wish to follow in their footsteps, Aquatics Aberdeen sticks to the Scottish Swimming Framework, which allows for progression through the stages designed by the national governing body for swimming.

Calvin has since progressed through Sport Aberdeen’s Training Academy, starting off as a volunteer Aquatics Helper and since becoming a qualified Swimming Teacher, passing on his skills (and love of the sport!) to the next generation. Sport Aberdeen’s teaching programme has been recognised for the success of its Aquatic Workforce Development Pathway, both by Scottish Swimming and by Community Leisure UK (CLUK awards finalist 2019).

The benefits of club swimming do not end in the pool, however, the confidence that comes from being part of a team and the friendships made along the way are sure to help shape any youngster into a well-rounded adult.

It is more important now than ever to promote the importance of swimming as a key life skill, hobby and competitive sport – as local community pools are under threat like never before due to rising energy costs.

Friday 24 February is Big Swim Day – a national campaign providing an opportunity for everybody to show their support for their local pool by taking a dip and enjoying the great feeling that comes with a good swim.

Sport Aberdeen is delighted to take part and wants to encourage those who have not tested the waters in a while to head down to their local pool on 24 February.

The list of six Sport Aberdeen swimming pools can be viewed here and further information about Big Swim Day can be accessed here