A tribute to Don Stanley

Yesterday we received some very sad news.

Swimming Waikato Life Member, long time supporter of swimming in our region, grandad of Olympian Matt Stanley and friend to many of us passed away.

An ex swimmer of some repute himself, Don (with some help from the lovely Jackie) passed on his love of the water, solid work ethic and great genes to his children, and his grandchildren, many of whom swam competitively at a high level.

Over many decades, Don gave back to the sport he loved. He gave hands on and financial support to the Matamata Swimming Club, established and supported the NZ Swimming Trust (supporting hundreds of swimmers with thousands of dollars over almost 30 years), and championed all of his own progeny through their swimming careers.

Don’s positive and constructive contributions have been recognised at both Swimming Waikato and Swimming NZ Board level, and he was a Life Member of both organisations. Don served as Director of Swimming for the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Don was recognised nationally for his contribution in 1991 when he was awarded an OBE for his support of swimming and local government.
Just last year he was named as Swimming New Zealand’s Volunteer of the Year.

Don was a generous man in every sense of the word. He was generous with his time, his money, his expertise, his smiles, and his love. He will be remembered in Waikato Swimming circles as a true gentleman – we will miss him, the Grandad of swimming in the Waikato.

Our hearts go out to Jackie and the whole Stanley family.