Lightningbolts Say Farewell to Long-Time Head Coach

Lightningbolts coach retirement with athletesAt their year-end barbeque at Memorial Park, members of the Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club reluctantly said good-bye to their retiring head coach, Lesley Molyneux.

Lesley was born in Manchester, England and started swimming at ten.  She started competing for the Tyldesley Swim Club at 11 and was selected as a member of the English National Youth Squad between the ages of 13-16.  Molyneux represented Great Britain as a junior international swimmer between the ages of 14-16.  At 16, her family immigrated to Canada as a result of her father’s job transfer.  After swimming briefly with a swim club in Scarborough, Lesley entered the work force.

She worked in the financial industry for 18 years before moving on to aquatics at the Lindsay Recreation Complex for 20 years.  When her three children (now aged 27, 29 and 30) started swimming, Lesley coached for the Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club from 1995-1999.  Molyneux returned to coaching in 2007 and has been the head coach of the team until her retirement.

When asked about her experiences as an elite swimmer, Lesley reflected, “I learned to prioritize my school work with my training schedule, how to work hard……yes I did puke and yes I did get right back in and swim. I learned that winning does not always mean a medal. I learned how to be patient as desired results do not happen every meet. Consequently, I learned how to accept both success and disappointment. I made life long friendships that have lasted to this day, not only with swimmers but with officials too, one of which became president of the English Amateur Swimming Association.”

Molyneux reflected that her coaching career was not unlike her swimming career: “I still have to make priorities, arrange schedules, work hard and be the best that I can be. I am constantly learning. I have to be patient and learn to accept success and disappointment, but this time it is not for myself but for the swimmers in the pool. I again have made friendships that I hope will last for years to come. The most important lesson that I have learned is that not everyone is going to be a World Record holder or Olympic Medalist. Winning is always putting your best effort forward, being the best you can be, and having no regrets.”

Finding a head coach to replace Lesley is proving to be a challenge for the LLSC Board.  Unlike larger city clubs, the head coaching position is not a full-time job. The team practices from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 6:30-8:00 a.m. on Saturdays. Ideally, a head coach would be a local person who has a passion for coaching swimming and is looking for a part-time position. More information is available at the Lightningbolts website.