‘Me-time’ means diving in at the deep end for Gala mum

Galashiels swimmer Susan Ormiston competed at the  Scottish Gas National Masters Age Group Championships at Tollcross in Glasgow.
Galashiels swimmer Susan Ormiston competed at the Scottish Gas National Masters Age Group Championships at Tollcross in Glasgow.

A Galashiels mother of two has been making a splash on the national swimming circuit since returning to the sport after a 20-year absence.

Susan Ormiston, 38, gave up swimming at the age of 16 to concentrate on work and latterly to be a full-time single mum/carer to her two sons aged nine and 11.

Two years ago, however, Susan decided to test the water again and has since accumulated an impressive number of titles.

“Looking after the boys is a full-time job for me and I felt that I needed to get back out and do something for myself,” she told The Southern.

That she certainly did, and at the end of April, Susan was awarded the title of Scottish National Age Group Champion (female age 35-39) after a stunning performance at the Scottish Gas Masters at Tollcross in Glasgow.

Competing in her first national competition, she won five individual gold medals, four individual silver medals and a silver medal in a team relay.

She is also current holder of the East District Age Group title and the British Long Distance Postal Swim title.

Success has not came easy, but with the help of her parents, Susan has been able to train three times a week at Galashiels Swimming Pool, once at a Border Sport and Leisure’s Masters swim session and the rest at public swimming sessions by herself.

As there is no Masters Swim Squad in the Borders, Susan competes with a Glasgow-based squad –Ren96 – who came second overall in the team competition at the nationals.

“Masters swimming caters for all ages and abilities, whether competitive or not, and is a fantastic social environment,” she added.

“It helps improve fitness, confidence and mental strength, and I now consider it to be my therapy.

“I hope my story will help encourage other people, whatever their sport or past passion, to get back involved and just go for it.

“I owe a massive thanks to my parents. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to compete and do what I do.”