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Austinmer Otters Winter Swimming ClubPrint Page Print this page

29-July-2017
29-July-2017

Photographs supplied by Peter Williams
A monument commemorates the 35th anniversary of the Austinmer Otters Winter Swimming Club which was founded in 1962. 

Now celebrating its 50th year, the Austinmer Otters club has a healthy membership of more than 70 men and boys, ranging in age from 12 to 80.

The club is four years younger than the oldest South Coast swimming club, the Wollongong Whales, but has a history every bit as inspiring.

Mechanical engineer Joe McGarity started swimming with the Whales in its second year, but eventually tired of the travel and decided to form a local club. "I thought 'there's a perfectly good pool at Austinmer'," he said. So he called a meeting of his surf club mates and, on the first Sunday after Easter in 1963, a small group of men met at the Austi pool for the inaugural swim. They haven't stopped since.

Handicapped races are held over 50 yards - there and back - and organised so that everyone would touch the concrete at the same time. If anyone beats their personal time by two seconds or more, they are disqualified from the race but their handicapped is adjusted nonetheless.

"It stops anyone cheating," McGarity said.

The Illawarra is a hot-bed of winter swimming with eight clubs that make up the South Coast Winter Swimming Association - the Bellambi Blue Bottles, Bulli Sea Lions, Coledale Oysters, Corrimal Marlins, Stanwell Park Sea Eels, Wollongong Whales and Woonona Ockies.
Excerpt from Illawarra Mercury(NSW), August 2012. 

Location

Address:Lawrence Hargrave Drive, adjacent Austinmer Surf Life Saving Club , Austinmer, 2515
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.307611
Long: 150.934543
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Sub-Theme:Community
Actual Event STart Date:23-October-1962
Actual Event End Date:23-October-1997

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1997
Front Inscription
AUSTINMER OTTERS WINTER
SWIMMING CLUB Inc. 

Founded 23rd October 1962

AUSTINMER 
OTTERS

CLUB AIMS
1. To encourage winter swimming
2. To promote the physical and social welfare
    of members
3. To help those in need within our community


" This stone was laid to commemorate
the club`s 35th year in 1997"
Dedicated by: Mr. J.F.McGarity
Foundation and Life Member
 
Back Inscription
AUSTINMER OTTERS WINTER SWIMMING CLUB Inc. 
In Honour of Past Members
[Names]
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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