Former Scottish Labour MP wins masters swimming event despite recently undergoing heart surgery

A former Labour general election candidate for the Borders triumphed at the Scottish Swimming Masters Championships in Glasgow at the weekend – just weeks after undergoing heart surgery.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 2:23 pm
Ian Davidson, right, with Ron Hood.
Ian Davidson, right, with Ron Hood.

Ian Davidson, 71, sporting a new beard grown during Covid, won seven freestyle and backstroke events to land the overall Scottish age-group trophy for men aged 70-74.

The achievement was even more remarkable as he underwent a stent insertion at the Golden Jubilee Hospital at Clydebank in July.

Jedburgh-born Mr Davidson was an MP in Glasgow from 1992 to 2015.

A beardless Mr Davidson.

He also stood as his party’s candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk at both the 2017 and 2019 general elections and at the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections.

He said: “I’m glad to be well on the way to recovery, the longer events, particularly the 400 metres, were hard work but I was able to pace myself to success.”

Mr Davidson, now a member of the Western Masters Swimming Club in Glasgow, said that “hundreds of years ago” he swam and played water polo for Jedburgh, Gala, Edinburgh University and Jordanhill College swimming clubs.

He added: “This new success proves there is life after elections and that I am still alive.

”​​​​​​I used to play rugby but my back and legs are so shot that I couldn’t do that anymore and swimming has the advantage of being weight-bearing and therefore I was able to return to swimming having done it as school and college. I would encourage others that had been a swimmer in their youth to return to it.”