Alan Clarkson, A True Treasure In The World Of Swimming

Alan Clarkson, A True Treasure In The World Of Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

He was such an influence on our sport it is hard to know where to start.”

Alan Clarkson, one of the backbones of British Swimming with significant influence in the global swimming community, passed away this weekend. His presence, good nature and his expertise will be sorely missed.

Clarkson, who was 73 at his passing, was a long-time British Swimming board member who helped set in motion the current success that Great Britain is enjoying today. He was the first person to receive the British Olympic Association Service Award, awarded by by HRH The Princess Royal.

Always a man of vision committed to the athletes and the sport of swimming, Clarkson was the Amateur Swimming Association president and an Honorary Trustee who also represented England at the 1958 Commonwealth Games and against Australia. He served as a team manager at three Commonwealth Games (1970 to 1978), the 1976 Montreal Olympics in 1976 and the 1873, 1975 and 1978 World Swimming Championships. He also served on committees for LEN (1990-2004) and FINA in both pool and open water swimming. An accountant by trade, he served on the FINA Technical Open Water Committee between 1992-2005 including a stint as its chairman during a period when marathon swimming was added to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Alan was never far away from the water, whether as a volunteer or at home. His wife was a former Olympian, his son played water polo and his daughter swam and is a coach.

When Clarkson received his prestigious British Olympic Association Service Award, British Swimming CEO David Sparkes said, “I can think of no one more deserving than Alan for this award. Alan has devoted his whole life to swimming, as a competitor, coach, team manager and administrator. Having been fully involved for 21 years as swimming’s representative, his contribution to the Olympic movement and swimming is beyond parallel.”

He was such an influence on our sport it is hard to know where to start, he will be missed by everyone who knew him from wherever they came. He was a giant of our sport and a true friend of swimming, it is a great loss.”

The entire global open water swimming community will miss this wonderful man and remains thankful for his commitment, passion and years building the sport to what it is today.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones