Today we're diving into - Hornsby SC
In 1962 legendary Olympian Murray Rose AM dove into the pristine pool at the newly built Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre – the first person ever to do so! That same year would see Rose claim four gold medals for Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Perth, and the establishment of Hornsby Swim Club in Sydney’s Metro North West area. Hornsby SC will celebrate their 60th anniversary next year.
A dramatic turn-around from their 44 members two years ago, Hornsby SC has grown dramatically to 107 members with a range of ages (seven years old to 60+) and abilities.
To find out a bit more about the club, we spoke to Head Coach Matt McSorley and Club Captains Mia Ryan and Oscar Cullen.
Hornsby SC in Depth
Hornsby Swim Club currently has four squad programs they’re running in conjunction with Barker Aquatic: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Red Squads, along with their Adult Squads. Head Coach Matt McSorley is employed by Barker College but also coaches Hornsby at their council-run pool. This is Barker’s way of giving back to the community, where they hire lane space for squads. This has been an ongoing relationship for two years and was particularly beneficial during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, as squad members who weren’t enrolled in the school were able to continue training.
Hornsby SC swimmers are lucky enough to be able to train year-round, the club itself hosting club nights every Friday night from October-April.
Races include rotating programs of 25m events up to 800m events. There is also a BBQ involved – according to Head Coach Matt only a privileged few are allowed to man the BBQ in order to ensure that top quality cooking is provided to club members at all times!
Supporting charities and giving back is of high importance to Hornsby members who regularly participate in events to aid various causes. One of Hornsby’s senior members swims 12km of butterfly twice a year to raise money for mental health, whilst other club members participate in events such as 50x100ms, and the ‘Head Above Water’ 24 hour swim-a-thon, held at Collaroy Rock Pool in March each year.
Club Captains Mia and Oscar both emphasise that Hornsby SC is more than just a club - it’s a community. Their weekly Friday night club nights enable the swimmers to get together to race and socialise. Oscar says that Hornsby SC, his second home, is that first club he’s ever felt actively involved in. Mia is quite comfortable to ask older swimmers for help in improving her turns, and once the favour has been asked, Mia knows she will have help from other members to get her all the way to the goal post.
What next for Hornsby SC
Hornsby SC are proud to see their community continue to grow and adopt new people into their family, particularly coming out of this long COVID lockdown. Their goal over the coming year is to build up the club to reach the 150 member mark.
The club has also taken part in Swim League for the second year in a row. Head Coach Matt McSorley encourages both the Hornsby and Barker programs to participate in the fun, exciting competition format. Club Captain Mia is a converted Swim League supporter, having made lots of new friends from last year's competition.
Find and contact Hornsby SC
Club pool: Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre, 203 Peats Ferry Rd, Hornsby
Club website: https://hornsby.swimming.org.au/