Top swimming coach Mary Clark just can't wait to attend special date
MARY Clark is preparing to rub shoulders with some of GB's Olympic swimming stars after being shortlisted for the Kellogg's ASA Swimtastics Top Swim Teacher Award.
The Pilgrims Swimming Club coach was crowned Volunteer of the Year at the 2010 North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Awards.
And Clark is on the awards trail once again, reaching the final three in her category for the 2012 event after being nominated by Immingham pool manager Danny Phillips and some of the young Pilgrims' parents.
The coach is heading to Sheffield's Ponds Forge on Saturday for a glittering 'Oscar-style' awards ceremony to see if she has won the top prize.
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The cream of British swimming, diving, synchro and water polo will join unsung stars from across the UK in a celebration of swimming.
And Clark can't wait for the event, and accompanying 'Swim with the Stars' session where nominees get the chance to make a splash with some of GB's Olympians.
"I'm really looking forward to the event," she said.
"You get to play all these games with the Olympic stars in the pool, and then you go back for the gala in the evening.
"On every table there are two of the GB Olympians, which is really nice, and former Olympian Steve Parry is the compere for the evening.
"Even if I don't win, to get in the top three is something to be proud of – but it would be the icing on the cake to win.
"It's a nice accolade and like anything in life, if people think you're doing a good job and are happy with the way you teach their children then that's nice to know."
Clark admitted that her nomination for the Top Swim Teacher gong didn't come as a complete surprise.
She added: "We were nominating people from the pool and were having problems with the voting on the website.
"I told the pool manager this and he admitted that he had the same problem when he was putting me forward!
"Some of the parents had nominated me as well.
"And a lot of parents fight to get their children in my class – I suppose because I'm a more mature teacher.
"I'm quite a well thought-of teacher at Immingham Pool.
"And it was really nice to think that people were interested in nominating me."