LGBT Masters Aquatics Club

IGLA 2016 Edmonton Canada

Added on by Emily Chong.

 OTS member Christopher Preston is currently in New Zealand and training with TAMS (Team Auckland Masters Swimmers) Teaming up with Ron Judd (founder of TAMS)

I entered seven events over four days. Edmonton has clean air, great cafes, bars and eateries. The organisation by Making Waves club was superb and Canadians are super friendly. They organised yellow school busses leaving every 15 mins to take us to the Kinsman Sports Centre pool. Entries were down this year with 246 swimmers from 44 clubs from 10 countries. Most were from the US and Canada. There were 11 Water Polo teams, a diving competition and open water distances of 4K & 1K in Lake Summerside.

No PBs this time but I seem to be holding my ground, having just gone up an age group.

800m Free 14:24:33 Silver
400m Free 07:02:55 Bronze
100m Free 01:24:15 Sliver
200m Back 03:48:76 Silver
100m Back 01:42:14 Silver
50m Back 00:46:17 Gold
100m IM 01:49:45 4th

My team-mate Ron (an age group above me) ended up with 4 Golds 1 Silver & 1 Bronze – most impressive! We were both exhausted after swimming seven events wit warm-ups and swim downs over four days.

It was fantastic to see a team from Uganda Kuchus Aquatic Team here. Two men, three women and a trans man competed, winning the best small team award. They were loudly applauded for their bravery and may suffer serious consequences on their return to anti-gay laws and attitudes in Uganda.

Making Waves organised Happy Hour at a different bar each evening and there were parties – too late for me but ideal for the Water Polo guys who played in the afternoons. One of the highlights was the Hosted Dinners. This is a feature of IGLA meets where local LGBT individuals host dinner parties in their homes. Guests are a mix of ages, clubs and disciplines so it’s a great introduction to other competitors.

I’m looking forward to swimming for OTS at the Miami Out Games May ’17 on my way back to London and will look seriously at IGLA ’17.

Chris Preston