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Cliff Lumsdon Award

Cliff Lumsdon Award of SSO

Awarded for Outstanding Achievement in the sport of Marathon Solo Swimming and for Meritorious Service in Association with



  • The Cliff Lumsdon Award of Solo Swims of Ontario was instituted in 1993 in memory of Cliff Lumsdon who was one of Canada's most outstanding marathon swimmers and contributed so much to the success of the swims of others.

  • The award, when warranted, is presented at the Annual Awards ceremony of Solo Swims of Ontario which is typically held in November.

  • Except for an exceptional circumstance (to be determined, when needed, by SSO), the DEADLINE for receipt of nominations by SSO is September 15.

  • The funds to establish the plaque and support it for its first 17 years were donated in 1992 by Jack Ramsden - a founder of SSO and a Swim Master, Jack was a friend of Cliff's and was closely involved with many of Cliff's swims.



  • To recognize the most outstanding and/or exceptional achievements in, or contributions to, solo marathon swimming in Ontario and to provide a vehicle for public recognition by the peers of those so honoured.

  • To honour the memory of the late Cliff Lumsdon, a world class swimmer and coach who contributed greatly to the sport of swimming and, in particular, to the promotion and development of marathon swimming.


Factors Considered for The Award

  • The recipient may be a Swimmer or Contributor who has made a significant achievement or contribution to the sport in association with SSO.

  • A successful crossing of a major lake in, or bordering on, the province of Ontario. This definition may include Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, but does not include lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water in other provinces or countries.

  • The citation must involve a singular accomplishment of great noteworthiness, something unique which can distinguish the individual from all others.

    • As a minimum, it should also be special in some sense.

    • Outstanding recipients meet a number of these criteria, as both a Swimmer and Contributor, and so truly achieve the ideals set by Cliff Lumsdon.

    • Examples of such achievements and contributions are shown below:


A record distance or time for a distance on a recognized course.

Oldest or youngest swimmer for a particular crossing.

Multiple swims in the same year.

Multiple continuous crossings (2-way, 3-way, etc.).

Disabled swimmer.

A unique stroke (Other than Front Crawl).

Successful major crossing under unusual or challenging conditions.


A contribution to marathon solo swimming with SSO in Ontario that made a singularly significant impact on the development/organization of this sport.

Establishment, or significant development, of Safety regulations to improve the efficacy and efficiency of SSO safety regulations.

The creation of incentives (e.g. an Awards scheme) to promote participation in open-water swimming with SSO.

Long-term meritorious service with SSO as a Board Member, Swim Master, Boat Captain or Coach.



Submissions should be submitted by e-mail to the Cliff Lumsdon Awards Coordinator using the Official Form.


Recipients of The Award

1993 Cliff LumsdonMarilyn BellGus Ryder

1994 Carlos Costa

1995 John Scott

1996 Bob Weir

1997 Colleen Shields

1998 Joan LumsdonJack RamsdenTed Roach

1999 Cindy Nicholas

2000 Vicki Keith

2001 No Recipient

2002 James Salter

2003 Marilyn Korzekwa

2004 Bryan Finlay

2005 Kim Middleton

2006 No Recipient

2007 No Recipient

2008 John Potocska

2009 Brian Keith & Neville Lewis

2010 Paula Stephanson

2011 Greg Taylor

2012-2022 No Recipient


Cliff Lumsdon

Jack Ramsden

Awards Ceremony: Greg Taylor & John Potocska

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