JOIN THE CLUB: The Vikings Swimming Club has celebrated its 80th anniversary.
JOIN THE CLUB: The Vikings Swimming Club has celebrated its 80th anniversary. Inga Williams

Senior Matters: Vikings going strong after 80 years

ONE of the oldest swimming clubs in Ipswich, the Vikings Swimming Club, is continuing to make a splash after celebrating its 80th anniversary.

The club marked the milestone with a swimming carnival at its home pool, Bundamba Swim Centre.

The Vikings Swimming Club is closely linked to the Currumbin Vikings Surf Club located on Elephant Rock at Currumbin on the Gold Coast.

The surf club was formed by the original members of the Vikings Swimming Club in Ipswich as many of them travelled to Currumbin to surf. Four generations of the Gardiners have been members of the Vikings with Jim Gardiner being one of the founding members.

Another founding member, Charles 'Digger' Murphy, is club patron.

Julie Langlands said it was a family-orientated club, although it did have a Masters club attached.

"Many of the children currently swimming in the club are children of parents who themselves swam for the club," she said.

She said there were many older people swimming at the club for various reasons.

"Some swim for recreational purposes while others swim for fitness and all swim for the camaraderie of mixing with others who enjoy swimming," she said.

The club currently meets on Wednesday evenings but this wasn't always the case.

"There is a story that has been circulating throughout the club for years that the club used to meet on Thursday evenings as the water was changed on Thursdays," she said.

"This was when the club met at the original pool under the main town bridge.

"However, once Thursday late night shopping was introduced in the 1970s the club shifted its meet to the Wednesday nights."

She said the club was all about having fun and encouraging sportsmanship in a non-threatening environment.

If you are interested in joining Vikings, contact Julie on 0411 959 793.


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