In just over 2 years after leaving school, Scotch has witnessed one of its swimmers, Matt Welsh (94) move from a casual swimmer to an Australian Champion, with a world top 7 ranking.
Matt, pictured right, scorched the pool in Brisbane to secure himself a position in the Australian team to compete in the World Swimming Championships in Perth during January 1998.
Matt had an amazing butterfly kick. When he was a member of the Scotch swimming team, he played tricks on the spectators when he would dive in and stay under the water for a long time. At about the 20 metre mark he would explode out of the water in the lead. The spectators' jaws dropped, while the Scotch swimmers cheered.
After leaving Scotch, Matt joined Ian Pope at Surrey Park Swimming Club, where he worked on his technique. The two spent hours watching videos, poring over statistics, and improving his stroke. The swimmer is so enthusiastic that Ian has had to hold him back, to prevent him overdoing it.
Ian, a coach with the Scotch swimming team, noticed Matt's strength in his legs and utilised them in the backstroke. During the Australian Championships Matt broke the Australian 50m backstroke record by 0.13 seconds, positioned himself to be the 7th fastest 100m backstroker in the world, the second fastest in Australia, and 20th in the 200m backstroke in the world. His rise to a world ranking in just over 2 years is an example that it's never too late for any person to start a sport.
The two began working with each other at Scotch after training, where Matt refined his swimming basics before joining Surrey Park. Ian is often seen after training, with the other coaches Rick Berry ('78) and Teacher in Charge Richard Kleine, working with individual swimmers, or talking tactics for the next school meet.
Ian Pope has also worked at Surrey Park with Old Boy Scotch swimmers Danny Jacobson (Swim Capt 1991), Bryce Kidd (Swim Capt 1992), Talbot Henry (Swim Capt 1993), Ben Jesse (Swim Capt 1994), Matt Evans ('93), Andrew Bowen ('94), Chris Daley ('94), Jason Glaun ('94), Jason Chin ('94), Jonathan Knight ('95), Gerard Tuck ('95), Tim Paterson (School Capt 1997 and Swim Capt 1996); and present students Jonathan Denby, Simon Tanner, Leon Sher, Eric Lee, Edward Holmes, David Pendleton, Robert Hunwick and Jason Bond.
With the successes the Scotch swim team has had over the years, a reunion will be held for all swimmers on Friday 13 March 1998 at the Richmond Club.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)