National – Centenary Year (1988) – National & Age Group Swimming Championships
Centenary Esso Age Group and National Swimming Championships
21/26 June 1988
DoIlan Baths East Kilbride
These two events had in previous years been held separately but in this Centenary Year it was decided to combine them into a six day long Festival of Swimming, in which the high degree of excitement created by the Age Groups would mix well with the high quality of performance from the Nation’s finest swimmers.
National squads and teams were selected immediately following these events and the National Championships also formed part of the selection procedure for the 1988 Great Britain Olympic Team.
Age Group Swimming was introduced in Scotland in 1966 with age groups from 10 years to 16 years, the range in 1988 was from 12 years to 24 years.
Don Schollander the Olympic 100m Freestyle Champion who pipped Bobby McGregor for the gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was a product of the United States Age Group Programme which commenced in 1952.
It must be considered as one of the most significant developments in swimming, without being a magic formula to success. Age Group Swimming brought many problems until coaches and administrators learned from the experience.
East Kilbride was Scotland’s first long course pool (50m) and we have enjoyed a happy relationship with the District Council and the Pool Management.
With the exception of the Commonwealth Games, this was probably the most ambitious event contemplated by the Association to that date and should indeed been a “Festival of Swimming”.