By Chris Marchand
If you were to rise into the sky above the Australian neighbourhood where Matt Taylor grew up, you’d see a landscaped marked by more swimming pools than you could count.
While Aussie Rules football might be touted as his homeland’s national sport, you need only watch a few Summer Olympic Games to see how competitive swimming is a mark of pride for the Australian national identity.
Yet, how does one commune with that part of their nature in an adopted land where ice and snow dominate the landscape for seven months a year? There are only a few places where one can move from a dry wintry -30C to a humid jungle-like +30C by heading through a few sets of doors.
When you think about it, The Dryden Pool and Fitness Centre is a pretty natural place to find someone like that.
Earlier in October, Dryden Dolphins Swim Coach Matt Taylor received Swim Ontario’s Lea Bredschneider Volunteer Coach Award to mark his tremendous contribution towards developing the sport of competitive swimming in Dryden and Ontario.
“It’s pretty cool to be recognized by your peers,” said Taylor. “It’s 13 years of four to five sessions in the pool per week. It keeps you doing what you’re doing, but even if I weren’t recognized the drive and the passion to do it would still be there. I mean, shorts all winter? It’s not a bad place to be.”
Taylor says he’s always approached coaching from the perspective of an athlete.
“I’d never coached,” he said. “I’ve always been a swimmer, so when I started I coached as I was coached and I’ve been able to evolve since then. It’s been fun.”