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Special Interest Clark Hammond Swimming Offi cial Extraordinaire Editorial Note: Your editor solicited from Bir- mingham Bar member Clark Ham- mond a biographical sketch regarding his involvement with swimming com- petition and rather than re-write it, it was decided that we would run it in the fi person. Clark is to be congratulated swimming was only as a TV observer, blocks holding hands. It was a lot of fun. for his civic involvement with the youth Olympics or other major competitions. I then volunteered to be a timer. Th was is of America. When my daughter Margaret was 7 or something my mother did at my meets so 8 years old, she decided she wanted to I felt it was the appropriate “parent” ac- My involvement in swimming start- swim “year round” and not just during the tivity for me. Little did I know what it ed in the 60s. My mother and two sis- summer. She joined a local swim club, meant to time 25 yards events one after ters moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. from Birmingham Swim League, and my wife, another. It was like a tsunami coming Toledo, Oh. I cannot recall exactly how Kelly and I began the adventure of being right at you wave after wave. It was then I started swimming competitively, but I swim parents. We took Margaret to prac- that I thought being an offi might be cial think it was because my mother needed tice both morning and night. We spent the place for me. After all, I was a for- to wear me out. I was an average swim- weekends sitting in the stands watching mer swimmer. I knew the strokes and the mer on a very good AAU (Amateur Ath- her compete in meets. We participated in basic rules. Offi got to stand on the cials letic Association, which later because the various parent activities with the club. deck with the best seat in the house. Th ey USA Swimming) swim team. My coach At various points, I was president of the did not herd cats and did not have to ice was a national caliber coach and over the club and on the board of directors. their hands after timing waves of heats. It years was very successful. One of the club activities was work- sounded like the perfect place for me. I swam year round until the 10th ing at swim meets. Based on how the So in 1988 or 89, I began my trek as grade when I moved to Connecticut to club based its dues, parents were required a swimming offi for USA Swimming. cial live with my father. I decided at that to “give time” working so many hours at Sometime in the mid 90s, I was asked to point to try other sports: football, basket- meets or pay a monetary amount. Since be a member of the Offi Commit- cials ball and track. I continued to swim, but I was normally going to be at the meets tee for Southeastern Swimming, which is only at high school meets. anyway, I decided I would work. First, I the local swim committee (LSC) of USA When I graduated from high school, worked in the clerk of course area, which Swimming that oversees competitive and I returned to Florida and attended the is more like herding cats. Most of our learn to swim programs in the northern University of Miami. I returned to the meets were B/C meets, which means panhandle of Florida, all of Alabama and pool as a water polo player. I was the goal- your beginner to novice swimmers. In most of Tennessee. From 1998 to 1997, I ie and we competed as an AAU team as order to make sure the swimmers got would not only offi at swim meets in ciate well as a University of Miami club team. to the blocks, we would call them to an Alabama, but my daughter and I would After college my involvement with area and then literally march them to the travel throughout the southeast where she 32 Birmingham Bar Association


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