In the early '70's, Hud Stewart was instrumental in starting Masters Swimming in Canada. For more than 25 years, he was an enthusiastic swimmer, organizer and competitor. In recognition of Hud's contributions, the Hud Stewart Award honours a member of Masters Swimming Canada who demonstrates:
About Hud Stewart
Originally a Track & Field athlete (he was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team), Hud Stewart was bitten by the Masters' bug in 1971, after attending the 2nd US Masters Swimming Championships.
Enthused about getting Masters swimming started in Canada, he formed the first official Canadian Masters Swim club, the U of T Masters. And, as one of the first volunteers and members of Masters Swimming Ontario, he was instrumental in establishing and expanding our sport across Canada.
Hud Stewart was a constant presence at Canadian, USMS and World Masters Swimming Championships until a couple of years before his death at age 88 in 1997. As he moved through his 50s, 60s and 70s he set many World and Canadian records.
- Exceptional dedication to the betterment of our sport
- Contributions to further the objectives of Masters Swimming in Canada
- Club and individual accomplishments
- Long term commitment to Masters Swimming Canada
How to nominate someone for the Hud Stewart Award
If you know someone who deserves the Hud Stewart Award, please download a nomination form and return it to the Administrative Office by March 1, 2010.
The postal address is given on the contacts page.
Nominations are accepted from MSC Registered Clubs, Coaches, Athletes and PMOs. We'll notify the recipients and their clubs by April 15th. Award recipients are honoured each year at Nationals. Next year's event will take place in Nanaimo, BC from May 21st to 24th 2010.
Mary Lou Whittwill, 2010 Hud Stewart Award Recipient
In 1979 Mary Lou Whitwill founded the Cowichan Aquannis Masters Swimming in Duncan, BC with a total of five swimmers. Over the next twenty years her enthusiasm helped grow the club to over 50 swimmers and inspired many of her swimmers to compete. She accompanied club swimmers to meets where she coached her swimmers while also competing hereself. At the provincial level Mary Lou served as President of MSABC for four years between 1993 and 1997.
Mary Lou represented BC on the Masters Swimming Canada board of directors from 1993 through 1997 and served as chair of the MSC Rules Committee and Vice President and then President between 1996 and 1999.
Mary Lou also developed the Hints for Coaching Masters document published by MSC in the mid 90s.
Christian Berger, 2009 Hud Stewart Award Recipient
If there's a statistic, record or ranking in Masters Swimming, chances are, Christian knows it. A Masters Swimmer since 1981, Christian has been the visionary and leader behind tracking our statistics for the last 25 years.
An avid swimmer, Christian held Provincial Records in Relays and ranked in the top 10 in the 1980s. But with his computer specialist background, he also made his mark on Masters Swimming by developing unique software, including the Aquabec program, a Meet Management tool that was used at all Quebec meets from 1985 to 2003. He also wrote the Aquaplus program in 1991, which is Team Management software that keeps Quebec's registration, swimmer and performance information.
Christian has used all his programs to produce Club, Provincial and National rankings, statistics on Swimming and Masters Swimming. He's also moved along with the times, developing and maintaining a website full of stats on Masters swimmers and hosting a Masters Forum, favourites of many of our members.
Quite simply, without the efforts of Christian, we would not know where we stand. His work has enabled Masters swimmers everywhere to set goals, and recognize their achievements. A huge thank you and congratulations to Christian, the 2009 recipient of the Hud Stewart Award.
Beth Whittall, 2008 Hud Stewart Award Recipient
After retiring as an elite swimmer (Beth swam at the 1954 British Empire Championships, the 1955 Pan-American Games and the 1956 Olympics), Beth coached age group swimming in Montreal and, in 1973, started the St Laurent Masters Club. At the same time, she started the Quebec Masters Committee and co-hosted the first Masters meet in Quebec in 1974.
A move to Ontario meant the Ontario Masters Committee got to enjoy Beth's considerable talents, and she served as its President for two years. Beth then went on to become the Rules Chairperson for the MSO and was instrumental in creating the first Canadian Masters Swimming Rulebook. She also found time to assist in managing the 1987 Canadian Masters Championships.
Another move, and another new club: Beth started the Georgian Bay Masters in 1997 and initiated the annual 1 and 3 kilometre open water swim there. And throughout it all, Beth has written, edited and published Wavelengths, a quarterly Masters magazine, for 16 years. Her work was critical in bringing together Masters swimmers and providing an information source long before the advent of the internet.
And of course, Beth is accomplished in the pool as well, setting numerous Ontario and Canadian records in multiple age groups. Thanks to Beth, who has been so pivotal to Masters Swimming on so many levels.
Catherine 'Cay' Kerr, 2006 Hud Stewart Award Recipient
At Winnipeg's Sherbrooke Pool, Cay Kerr is somewhat of a legend. Since dipping into its water in 1931, Cay has been a swimmer, synchronized swimmer, lifeguard, teacher and even a water polo player there. A leader and inspiration to generations of young Manitoba swimmers, she also founded the Winnipeg Swim and Masters Swim clubs there in 1975.
Cay's accomplishments in the pool are truly impressive. She won her first Canadian championship in 1935 and, in 1940, set three Canadian records on her way to winning five national titles. In 1959, she switched to synchronized swimming. Cay was five-time provincial champion before turning her talents to judging, coaching and organizing.
As a Masters Swimming competitor, Cay has also been a force to be reckoned with. As of 2005, she held 39 world records, including the 50m free record of 37.53 seconds in the 70-74 age group. Through the years Cay has contributed to swimming outside the pool as well, generously offering her time as a Board member of Masters Swimming Manitoba for 25 years. Thank you Cay. Masters Swimming Canada and countless swimmers at Sherbrooke pool have truly benefitted from your tireless passion for our sport.
Kay Easun, 2005 Hud Stewart Award Recipient
Kay joined Masters swimming in 1977 at North York Masters, and has been contributing to the sport ever since. In her early years, Kay served as a Director and Registrar at Masters Swimming Ontario and went on to be elected Chair there in 1982. Soon, she was named Ontario Delegate to the MSC Board of Directors.
A talented organizer, Kay then turned her energies to meet management. She was Meet Manager for the North York Pentathlon for 5 years, was Co-Meet Director for the MSO Championship in 1982 and Meet Director for both the 1985 Aquatics portion of the First World Masters Games and the 1987 Canadian Masters Swimming Championship. With more than 1200 swimmers, the 1985 event is ranked the second largest Masters Swim Meet ever held in Canada.
Kay has also contributed her enthusiasm and spirit to the fitness and social sides Masters Swimming. She established the Swim the Ontario Waterways (STOW) programme to offer swimmers an alternative way to set goals and measure progress. And, in a partnership that is still reaping benefits today, Kay created the Heart Fitness Swim to benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation. A leader through organization and innovation, thanks to Kay for her countless contributions to Masters Swimming Canada.