Redlands Bayside Masters swimmer Dot Simmons finishes in FINA world top 10 for 2019

MEDAL WINNERS: Redlands Bayside Masters Swimming Club coach Trevor Green with swimmer Dot Simmons at the New Zealand Masters Games in February.
MEDAL WINNERS: Redlands Bayside Masters Swimming Club coach Trevor Green with swimmer Dot Simmons at the New Zealand Masters Games in February.

REDLANDS swimmer Dorothy Simmons, 78, recently learned that she is in the world's top 10 swimmers for her event and age group, but what she is most excited about is getting back in the pool at Cleveland.

Ms Simmons made world swimming body FINA's list of the top 10 times for each Masters age group and event in 2019, coming in at number eight for the 200 metre breaststroke.

She was one of 117 Australian Masters swimmers to make the list.

"I only found out about it last month, and that was a real surprise because I only started with the (Redlands Bayside Masters Swimming Club) in 2018," she said.

Ms Simmons said she joined the club after her husband died at the Cleveland aquatic centre two years ago.

"That's when I decided to join the club, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten back in the pool," she said. "After he passed away I was at a loss.

"I didn't know what to do so I joined the swimming club here and they are absolutely fantastic.

"Before I'd just pottered around the pool with my husband. I hadn't raced since I was 16 but the coaches are absolutely great, they're so encouraging and very patient."

With the Cleveland aquatic centre currently closed for maintenance, Ms Simmons said she was eagerly awaiting the moment when the pool reopened.

"(Taking time off) you lose fitness and you feel it too," she said. "I think (what's special) is the companionship as well. We all get along so well."

When the pool reopens, the club will meet twice a week. It is open to people aged over 18 and no swimming or competition experience is necessary.

"A lot of people think they need to be a swimmer to be in the club," Ms Simmons said. "You don't, and you don't have to compete.

"Our youngest member is in their 20s and we've got people right up to their 80s."

This story 78yo Dot lands world top 10 result first appeared on Redland City Bulletin.