Posted on Thursday 24th August, 2023

The Mighty Ipswich City Masters

Ipswich City Masters (QIP) may be small but they are mighty. This is especially true when it comes to winning the E1000 trophy for small clubs division. In fact, QIP has been winning this category since 2008! So what makes the small club of just 24 so successful? QIP Secretary, Maureen McGregor Palmer reports.

On any given Sunday, you’ll find QIP doing what they do best: The E1000 program. Swimmers trickle in through the gates at half past eight. Pool covers are taken off as steam bellows out from beneath. Tables are wiped down. The hot water urn is filled and turned on. Locker rooms are opened. A table and chairs are placed in front of the pool and stop watches set out. Timing sheets are placed on clip boards. This kind of clockwork efficiency helps make the most of the morning.

Some members take their seats, ready to time, as the first batch of swimmers fuss with their caps and goggles, ready to dive in. And then, the swimming begins. Timers call out splits to the recorder in between conversation. Swimmers and timers swap. What are you going to swim? is the million dollar question. Only the bravest attempt the 800 Fly, endeavoring to complete the entire E1000 program worksheet. Others push themselves in other ways.

After everyone has had their swims, showered, and the pool and block covers are replaced, everyone pulls up a chair and gathers around for tea. High on endorphins, the conversation is light and jovial. It’s the perfect time to catch up on upcoming swim meets and the latest team successes over a hot cuppa. It’s also the perfect time for one of Dot’s famous sandwiches or a bite of Annabelle’s delicious homemade cake.

QIP members may not be currently breaking any state records but they still have a competitive spirit at heart, which what drives members to complete the E1000 program each year. QIP also owes its continued success to the fact that they have an entire 10-lane pool to use on Sunday mornings. “Most clubs have pool use but there’s often limited space. We’re lucky that we have the entire pool, stop watches, and members devoted to timing so that we can focus on the E1000 program,” explains E1000 Program Coordinator, Jonathan Patterson.

Whether its fitness, friendship, fun or food you’re after, QIP’s Sunday morning sessions has it all. If you took any of these components away, would QIP still be as successful? We’ll probably never know. For now, completing the E1000 is the focus of QIP’s Sunday sessions and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. “We are proud to have won the small clubs E1000 trophy for the past fifteen years,” states President Eric Edgeworth, “And we hope to continue our legacy for many years to come.”