CARNEGIE Swimming Club are celebrating receiving "fantastic recognition" after they were named Scottish Swimming's Club of the Year for 2021.

On Sunday, it was announced by the sport's governing body that, despite stiff competition from fellow nominees Bon Accord Thistle ASC and Ythan ASC, they had received the prestigious award.

Swimmers with the club, who were competing at a time trial event organised by president Ed O'Brien and head coach Susan Taylor, enjoyed a surprise to remember as Tokyo Olympic gold-medallist Kathleen Dawson, and Paralympic bronze medal-winner Scott Quin, came along to carry out the presentation.

Open to all Scottish Swimming- affiliated clubs, the Club of the Year accolade provides a platform for clubs to showcase how much work and dedication they put in to support their members throughout the last 12 months.

For 2021, the award aimed to not only identify a club deserving of the prize but to act as a celebration of the work clubs across the country have undertaken to engage athletes and volunteers within the sport during a period that has seen restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.

All those who entered were asked to create and submit a short video outlining their club's success in retaining, engaging and supporting members, the culture and atmosphere they have managed to create and sustain, and their top highlights, from the last 12 months.

Carnegie, one of Scotland's oldest swimming clubs, were able to return to the pool earlier this year as restrictions began to ease but kept their members engaged by organising family quiz nights, baking competitions and land training sessions.

Reflecting on their award success, a thrilled Ed said: "Just like all clubs, we had to think outside the box about how to engage club members. Much as it's been a hard time, there are positives to take out of what's gone on.

"If I'm being honest, not everyone in the club was aware that we had even submitted an entry for Club of the Year so, not only has this been a fantastic surprise for many here, to have Kathleen and Scott come along to make the presentation really is the icing on the cake.

"This is fantastic recognition for a fantastic club.

"It was close competition but we're delighted we managed to scrape through."

Susan commented: "I am so proud of everything the club has achieved during lockdown.

"This award is the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance by a lot of people and is testament to the resilience of all our members that they have wanted to stay engaged. I am delighted with what we have all achieved."

SASA (Scottish Amateur Swimming Association) president Colin Kennedy was part of the judging panel, and noted: "Carnegie have demonstrated an ability to retain, engage and support all categories of their membership during the pandemic shutdown that was both innovative and imaginative.

"Their dedication to engage with all club members really shone through and my sincere congratulations to everyone concerned."

Paul Donald, Scottish Swimming's club development manager, said: "Judging was not easy, and it was very difficult to pick between our top three. And, while there can only be one winner, I’d like to extend my thanks to all our clubs for their continued hard work and commitment to getting back in the water."

Euan Lowe, Scottish Swimming's chief executive, added: "Clubs are at the heart of our membership and the community in which they are based. This important award celebrates all the great work that goes on in clubs across Scotland on a daily basis.

"My congratulations to Carnegie on their deserved success."