Swimmers from Tewkesbury Swimming Club had a highly rewarding weekend at Southwold's Level 3 meet at GL1, Gloucester, over the weekend of 23rd & 24th May. Everyone who participated emerged with positives to take away and remember. Congratulations are certainly due to all attending swimmers who, through determination, technique and a friendly spirit generated a marvellous team atmosphere that made the whole weekend look like great fun.
It was wonderful to see a group of young athletes aged from 9 to 16 who all get along famously, support and encourage each other, listen to their coach and team managers, put all their practise into action at the crucial time and do so with smiles on their faces.
The club's Head Coach, Craig Skinner, had a long list of highlights when asked about his swim squads: "For me, the main positives would be the team atmosphere and the mass of PBs across the whole team, from the younger swimmers competing for the first or second time, right through to the seniors who continue to push with all their strength to knock fraction after fraction off their best times.
"I would say a big 'well done' to Abbie, Leif and Keely for their first weekend at GL1 in individual events – even when things looked tough for them they all fought back to do themselves, their parents and their coach very proud. Lewis and Dylan swam really well and it was especially rewarding for me personally to see the established core of the middle section of the club continue to flourish – Eve, Becky, Cora, Tonicha, Jack, Ashleigh, all three Harrys, Sophie, Oli, both Archies, Molly, Lilly, Olivia, Izzy and Amaya all recorded multiple PBs and most walked away with at least one medal. This shows that the future of the club is competitively strong and continuing to grow stronger.
"Our senior swimmers were exceptional examples to their younger colleagues. Jess, Jordan and Bob were magnificent again. Jess is so smooth and elegant in the water and you could see in Bob's eyes that he was absolutely determined to finish with a first place. I loved watching another 50m and 100m freestyle showdown between Chris and Josh – they had previously raced the 50m freestyle at the County Championships and drew in a dead heat time of 26.56, but this time Chris won in 26.23. However Josh won the 100m freestyle in 58.28, so it's nice that both can savour success."
"Even at the end of the day, after several hours in a hot, humid atmosphere, Archie, Becky and Cora were determined to succeed in the 200m butterfly – a tough event – and their efforts paid off.
"I'd like to thank all the swimmers for entering so many races – we had over 170 entries altogether – and for listening to me and their team managers, taking instructions on board and showing to the crowds that they're a highly talented group. I love working with them – their enthusiasm and determination makes me think that they love swimming for their club and that makes the weekend extremely rewarding for me on a professional level. I'd like to thank the club's team managers who were invaluable to me and the swimmers – Cath, Laura, Emma, Tracy and Saskia are always so well organised and supportive that they are a joy to work with.
"I believe that we all represented Tewkesbury Swimming Club very positively and the happy faces, great swims and friendly atmosphere made me proud to lead such an enthusiastic team."
TSC would like to thank Southwold Swimming Club for inviting us to swim at such an enjoyable meet – it was extremely well run and staffed by friendly and helpful volunteers. We look forward to racing with you again next year!