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The start of something extraordinary

One of Waikato’s finest

ACE Swimming Club has renamed their ACE Novice Swim Meet to the Bill Grey Short Course Meet in honour of their most recent Life Member, Bill Grey.

Grey was presented with his Life Membership Award at the newly named meet which will be held on the last weekend of June each year.

Grey began his association with ACE Swimming Club in 1994 when his twin sons Michael and Stephen began competitive swimming.

Throughout his time with ACE he helped on many fronts as masseur, land trainer, motivator, bongo drum player and assistant coach.

Among Waikato circles he was often referred to as Mr ACE due to his passion for the club.

Grey’s specialty was the development of younger swimmers, treating each swimmer like his own child with a seemingly unlimited supply of patience.

Commonwealth and Olympic Swimmer Alison Fitch remembers Grey as a constant support and fixture at ACE Swimming Club when she was growing up.

“I swam with his twin sons Michael and Stephen. He set up and initiated our team land programme and was a key person in building the team culture in the club when I was there.

“He was at every meet supporting the swimmers and helping keep us mentally and physically ready to race in our pre race warm-ups.

“A massive volunteer and contributor in our community, involved in most of our regular training sessions each and every week, he was very giving of his time. He listened to everyone and had a unique sense of knowing when to speak to you and when you needed more time or more support.”

Fitch credits Grey to helping her set down good racing and training habits and developing the leadership skills that she still maintains today.

Grey retired from coaching and mentoring at ACE Swimming Club in 2012 but will always be remembered warmly for his massive contribution to the club.