This year marks the 125th anniversary of DU Swimming and Water Polo Club (DUSC). Founded in 1897, it is one of the largest and oldest sports clubs in Trinity and one which is “very fortunate to have an amazing alumni presence who are still actively involved” according to their Men’s Captain, Niall Costello. On Saturday, November 11, DUSC held a day-long event to celebrate the historic occasion, consisting of a swimming gala and water polo matches, followed by an awards ceremony at the Pav.
The swimming gala began with a few words of encouragement from DUSC alumnus Dr. Brendan P. Mac Evoy, who first joined in 1981. His touching speech was met with a large round of applause from fellow alumni and students who were evidently eager to see what the day had in store. Mac Evoy then went on to compete alongside 11 other in the first race, the Men’s 50m freestyle, with Senior Fresher Aran Keating coming out on top. Next up, the Women’s freestyle saw the club’s Women’s Captain, Isabel Kilty, give a strong performance and scoop up first place. Speaking to Trinity News after her win, Kilty echoed Costello’s sentiment saying, “It’s brilliant to have current students and alumni swimming and playing polo together and getting to know each other over a sport we love.”
Soaking up the atmosphere, I watched in suspense as the referee’s whistle repeatedly pierced through the air and one race after another took place. A rapid succession of splashes followed as hopeful competitors dived in and cheering and clapping from onlooking members reverberated around the room. The winners of the remaining Men’s races were Kenneth Woodsum on backstroke, alumnus Ryan Bartlett on breaststroke, and friend of the club Andy Ni on butterfly. Taking first place in the outstanding Women’s races were Aoife Davitt on backstroke and Laoise Murphy on both breaststroke and butterfly. A series of riveting relay races wrapped up the swimming gala and the pool was swiftly reconfigured in preparation for water polo, which saw students narrowly beat the alumni in a tense match.
Talking to Costello after the event it was clear that DUSC is thriving at the moment. “This year we have really seen the club bounce back after covid and grow exponentially. We had one of the largest Fresher’s sign up rates that the club has ever seen, near 300 members,” he said proudly. Costello continued by expressing his thanks to all who took part on Saturday: “I’m delighted to captain the club during such a historic year. Our anniversary event was a massive success and I’m so grateful to everyone who attended and made the day so special.”
Competitors swapped out swimsuits and goggles for their finest formal attire and hit the Pav, concluding the momentous occasion with an awards ceremony and a night of drinking and dancing.