Double the fun at Mearnskirk with swimming memories and award-winning exercise.

Our Club at Mearnskirk in Glasgow was alive with the memories of Govanhill Baths and an inspirational young exercise guru recently during an action-packed session!

The story of Govanhill Baths

Govanhill Baths is a Category B listed Edwardian public bathhouse in Glasgow, Scotland, designed by the architect A.B. McDonald and opened between 1912 and 1917. The building itself is currently closed for refurbishment works until 2023.

One of our members, David Baumann, presented on his lifelong swimming connections during a fascinating talk which sparked the interest of members of the Mearnskirk club.

David was an early founder member and team manager of Zenith Swimming Club at Govanhill Baths. The Club ran at Govanhill Baths in Glasgow from 1955 until 1974. He recounted early races against a young Bobby McGregor before he became famous. He shared his coaching and then administrator adventures which took him across the world and included a meeting with Tito in Yugoslavia!

From bygone days of swimming glory to post Covid plaudits

After David’s presentation, it was then the turn of 10-year-old Heather Bryson from Robroyston, Glasgow, who spoke brilliantly to our club members about her journey through lockdowns to creating new exercises for older people.

Heather explained that during lockdown she had struggled with her mental wellbeing as well as being faced with other issues such as changing schools and suffering two close family bereavements during that time. However, Heather found focus in recycling pre-loved cups and saucers, turning them into bird-feeders, and broken necklaces into Little Lockdown Angels. She sold her crafts to raise money for dementia services.

This led her to develop with help from her dad, chair exercise videos (NHS-approved) for older people. She held live Zoom classes for care homes and individuals, especially people living with dementia.

All of this hard work didn’t go unrecognised and she was given the British Citizen Youth Award which she received at the Palace of Westminster in October 2022. Each medal of honour bears the words “For the Good of the Country” and is presented to only a small number of exceptional young individuals annually.

Not content with sharing her inspirational story, Heather then launched into one of her exercise routines for members who took part most enthusiastically, with some of the members commenting that they enjoyed the exercises more than the usual sessions!

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