ODT Sports editor Brent Edwards pays tribute to Duncan Laing here.
Predictably they concentrate on the man and his contribution to sport but he also made a huge contribution to the Duendin economy. Edwards recalls Laing teaching his children to swim and says:
“Come on champ, just one more try,” he would say. It could have been his catchcry. Hundreds (or is it thousands?) of Dunedin families could tell a similar story.
But it wasn’t just Dunedin families. Oamaru didn’t have a covered pool when our daughter was young so I used to take her and one of her cousins to Laing’s swimming school in the May and August holidays.
While watching at the poolside I met parents from all over Otago and futher afield doing the same thing.
It wasn’t just the money we spent on lessons, we were also paying for accommodation, food, entrance to other city attractions like the movies and museum and of course some retail therapy.
All those country children learning to swim over all those holidays over all those years must have poured a lot of money into Dunedin and we were all there because of Duncan Laing.