Aileen Boyle (Haddington and District Amateur Swim Club, Chair) writes
"As Chair of Haddington & District Amateur Swimming Club, I get to do a lot of great things. The role is varied and interesting, and I get so much from watching the club grow and thrive.
Last week, I returned from France following a 10-Day Cultural and Sporting Exchange between Haddington & District Amateur Swimming Club and Serres Castet. Serres-Castet is a town in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, 10 km north of Pau.
The French Exchange differentiates HDASC from other clubs in the county; it is one of the best things the club offers.
The trip this year commemorated 40 years of the exchange, and so it was doubly brilliant to be able to make the trip after the last two years. Haddington & District has a mantra of "Be The Best You Can Be", and the swimmers proved that to themselves and each other on this trip.
The programme was full, varied, and fun and offered the swimmers activities such as an inflatable obstacle course & zip line ropes course over a re-purposed quarry lake. They swam to and jumped off a pontoon in the sea. They visited caves, shopped in local Pau, and visited chateaux. An integral part of the exchange is the joint training sessions and competitions against each other and other clubs in the District. It provides the clubs with an opportunity to learn from each other, as well as stay with a host family for ten days.
During this exchange, I watched previously shy swimmers find their courage. I watched teenagers grow and flourish and find an inner strength they didn't know they had. I watched friendships renew and new friendships being made between the swimmers of the two clubs, making memories that will sustain them.
And the best bit is we will be hosting Serres Castet next year. We can't wait.
Let the planning (and fundraising) begin."