Grey-Bruce mentor receives prestigious award

At an event on September 24 in Toronto that was celebrating 100 years of Canada’s largest provincial swim organization, Swim Ontario, Stewart Nutt received the Elizabeth Collins Ralph Trophy.

(L)Trevor Cowan, Co-Chair Swim Ontario Officials Committee, presents Stewart Nutt with prestigious Elizabeth Collins Ralph Trophy

There is only one of these given out each year and the trophy is dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Collins Ralph, a Master Official, who strove for “the highest standard of officiating in Ontario”.

Stewart (Stew) was nominated by fellow Officials in the Huronia District for competitive swimming. The recipient must be a Master Official and have made outstanding contributions to competitive swimming in the field of officiating for several years.

Said Stewart, “Being nominated for this award is very humbling. I have worked with and been mentored and supported by many others to whom this award could have been given, and to have these other officials nominate me…well I can only say that I am very honoured.”

Stew began volunteering and officiating over 23 years ago after his only child, Kailyn, started into competitive swimming at the age of 6. He has strived for higher levels of officiating ever since. Stew currently is a Level 5 Master Official and has taught, mentored and encouraged parents and others to volunteer at swim meets and to move up the officials ladder.

“If you don’t have the parents and community involved on deck, you don’t have a competitive swim team,” says Nutt.

Stew’s focus has always been the well being of the swimmers and ensuring they have as successful a swim meet as possible. He is also encouraging to the coaches and the other officials and volunteers on deck.

Initially starting out volunteering with the Breaker’s Swim Team in Port Elgin where his daughter swam Stew also officiated in many other pools in Ontario and in Canada at local, regional, Provincial and National swim meets.

Stew says his greatest pleasure has not only been the other volunteers and officials he has met and become friends with over the years, but also seeing the sheer joy on a swimmer’s face when he or she does a personal best at a swim meet.

“That is why we are there. That is why we volunteer,” said Stewart.