Jeff Phillips – the man, the myth, the legend!

August 07, 2021

Jeff Phillips, a long-time member of Kells Swimming Club and Aer Lingus Masters Swimming Club and the life and soul of Masters Swimming on the island of Ireland, has decided to hang up his recorders hat and focus on his ‘early’ retirement.

Jeff has held many positions over the years from coach, committee member, athlete, official, record holder but most importantly, mentor to young and old.

The love Jeff has for aquatics is plain to see from the extent of time he has volunteered over the years. He is efficient, organised, meticulous and has turned his hand to any task as required of him.

Peter Conway, Swim Ireland Chairperson, and fellow Aer Lingus Masters member speaks fondly of Jeff remembering the years gone by.

“In the couple of decades during which I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeff," he said. "He is someone who has always demonstrated great knowledge, across a wide range of subjects, whether as an official on poolside, as a colleague in conference or as a friend in conversation.

"As time has progressed, many have also noted a degree of wisdom growing within him. While difficult to prove conclusively, I firmly believe this onset of sagacity is due to the influence of his constant companion in all things aquatic, his lovely wife Sue.

"I wish both Jeff and Sue all the best, as they move to the next stage of their journey together and I look forward to sharing some good times with them, as Jeff moves ever onward through the age-groups in Masters competitions around the world.”

Another fellow Masters member and committee colleague Harry Harbison reflected: “For as long as I have been a Masters swimmer Jeff had a presence on the bank or in the water at gala events.

"He almost went hand in hand with Masters swimming. I joined the Irish Masters Committee in 2015. Jeff was present during all our deliberations, although he had retired from a formal position he continued to give an invaluable amount of time to the public face of the Irish Masters, managed all the communications to the membership, and the social media effort from its infancy - and provided plenty of thoughtful contributions to the committee and to the formation of the Masters Development Plan.

"He has for as long as I can remember been present at galas and events up and down the country and has always been a social and engaging personality at the side of the pool.

"I have no doubt that his retirement will not apply to his endeavours in the water, and we will see plenty more of Jeff and wish him a continuing lengthy swimming career.”

Jeff Phillips and Masters Swimming go hand-in-hand, and without his invaluable contribution over the years Masters Swimming in Ireland would not be where it is today.

The Board and Staff of Swim Ireland would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff sincerely for his years of service to our community and look forward to seeing him grace our waters for many more years to come.