A teen swimming coach with an “incredible” eye for detail and passion to be the best instructor he can be has been nominated for one of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.
Matthew Scott, a coach and swimmer at Bridge of Don Amateur Swimming Club, has been shortlisted for Coach of the Year – Junior, ahead of the ceremony on October 4.
The 18-year-old, who is at college after finishing his studies at Bucksburn Academy, said family connections started his journey with the club.
He said: “How I got started is that my older brother used to swim with Bridge of Don.
“My folks brought me along as well, so I’ve been swimming since I was eight years old.
“I still swim all the strokes now but my favourite would be the front crawl over 100m.”
Matthew added: “My brother did a bit of coaching as well and I’d come to his work sometimes to watch him.
“Then, last year, I was doing volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I decided to volunteer as a coach at Bridge of Don.
“The kids are primary school age, primary seven or primary six.”
Matthew’s approach to coaching has been lauded by those inside Bridge of Don Amateur Swimming Club.
He gives his time to run sessions and help out at competitions several times each week.
Other coaches note his keen interest in discussing the methods of the sport, often studying top swimmers to see if he can apply what he learns from them to his students or give advice to team-mates.
Matthew, who has a learning disability, is aiming to go on to study sports and science, with the aim of progressing to becoming a full-time swimming coach. He is also due to sit his UKCC level 1 swimming exam next month and has been preparing for it.
His encouraging demeanour and ability to relate to those he coaches have also been praised.
Asked about this, Matthew said: “Having experience of swimming myself is really good, as it gives me knowledge of how it feels in the pool. I can get in their heads by thinking back to what it was like when I was younger.”
He added: “The most rewarding thing is teaching the kids something they didn’t know before and improving their times.
“When I see the times go down, it feels great.”
Matthew will head to the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in a couple of weeks to see if he’ll be the nominee to win the award, but his nod wasn’t something that was on his radar.
He said: “I was quite shocked. When it came in my emails I thought: ‘what is this?’
“When I showed it to my dad he wanted to come along to the ceremony.
“It would be fantastic to win.”