SW Service to Aquatics Winner

Pat being presented the award by Regional President Paul Robbins
Pat being presented the award by Regional President Paul Robbins

Congratulations to Pat Pusill for winning the South West Service to Aquatics award. 

Pat is a worthy nominee who has shown outstanding volunteering services to aquatics at Club, County, Regional level and to the local community of Burnham-on-Sea spanning 37 years.  

She is just one of Swim England's many dedicated volunteers, carrying out her duties quietly for the benefit of the swimmers and love of our sport.  Living in Burnham-on-Sea she was introduced to open water swimming by her father, this was a tradition passed on to her own children.  Pat's brother Michael excelled at swimming and later swam for Kelly College.

Pat's volunteering journey began in 1980, when like so many other parents her children joined Burnham-On-Sea S.C.  Her passion for swimming was reignited, stepping up to volunteer on poolside, completing her Level 1 and Level 2 teaching awards to develop her technical knowledge of the strokes and competitive skills required for the swimmers to enjoy the sport and compete at the highest possible level.  When her children started competing Pat became the Team Manager and Competition Secretary, in addition to Membership Secretary and playing an active role on the Committee, duties she continued to perform many years after they left the club.  

Pat's enthusiasm and passion to support the swimmers and club activities encouraged many others to volunteer over the years, including 2016 Aquatics Young Volunteer runner up Nathan Clarke and 2016 Youths Sport Trust Coaching Academy candidate, whom she mentored.  Transferable skills gained have been used for the benefit of the local community.  Pat continues to teach swimming as a volunteer for three primary schools and has supported Somerset/SW Sea Cadet Corps swimming activities. 

Pat's outstanding service was recognised in 2010 when she was awarded Life Membership of Burnham-on-Sea S.C. and 2011 Burnham & Highbridge Civic Award for Services to Swimming.  Not content with helping at club level she began volunteering for Somerset ASA in 1983 marshalling at events, (continuing to date), and performing these duties for SW ASA 1985 - 2008.  Pat's friendly smile is welcomed by the swimmers, helping to settle their nerves and ensuring they compete in the correct heat.  She takes great pride in this important role within the events team and has mentored many volunteers, including Somerset/ SW Young Volunteer candidates over the years.  

Pat continues to follow the achievements of Somerset swimmers, taking pride in the pathway created to produce Olympians Stacey Tadd, James Guy and Siobhan Marie O'Connor, all of whom she remembers well.  Pats outstanding contribution to aquatics within Somerset was rewarded with a Somerset County Badge in 2000 and Somerset ASA Wyvern Plate for Services in 2004. 

In 2016 Pat left Burnham-on-Sea and joined Norton Radstock S.C. A club in which she had made many friends over the years, acting as a critical friend when asked for advice, acknowledging her wealth of experience in all club matters.  Pat joined the poolside team, teaching on a Tuesday evening for 2 1/2 hours, making a round trip of 54 miles. She is a well-respected, popular, supportive colleague, a great addition to our volunteer workforce, increasing moral and lightening the work load.  Pat has been especially supportive to our Head Coach, attending events with the team. She still enjoys the excitement of attending competitions, witnessing the swimmers put into practise the skills acquired at training, celebrating their achievements and managing disappointments. 

Posted by Swim England South West on November 16th 2017

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