LATEST NEWS - JULY 2022 - OPEN WATER
3 swimmers (Stansie Crowe, aged 11, Aimee Aly-Weston, aged 12, and Evelyn Muldoon, aged 13) attended the South West and Midlands Regional OPEN WATER championships in the Cotswolds. All 3 swam amazing, gaining fantastic times and Top 3 placings for all in the East Midlands and 2 swimmers with placings in the Midlands Region. They were accompanied by our Head Coach, Ericka Willis, who took part in the Masters 2k event.
Aimee and Evelyn (pictured below) both qualified for the NATIONAL Open Water Age Group Championships to be held at Thrybergh Country Park in August.
Our Story -
From young club to the challenges of the pandemic and then to the future
When the pandemic started we were only in our fifth year as a club and were just beginning to see all the hard work than had gone into those years pay off. Early in March 2020 we won our first club trophy at the Doncaster Dartes meet and had just had our best performance at the County Championships. The year ahead looked very promising – little did we know 2 weeks later all that would come to an end or least on hold.
We stopped training in March 2020 and reopened in August of that year. We could only offer half the pool time we did previously due to reducing numbers to allow for social distancing. We did, however, adapt and found a new way of working. Then came November when the pool was shut once again. We did open briefly in December but yet to be shutdown again for January, February and March 2021. The good news came when in April we were able to restart and were also able to offer our normal training sessions for our swimmers.
You would think that that missing all this amount of swimming would have had a very noticeable impact on swimmers’ overall performance. Surprisingly not as much as we thought! Yes, we had to take things easy to start with as fitness was affected; yes - we had to go steady not to cause injuries, but the swimmers soon adapted and were back last year producing personal bests. This was mainly down to the fact that our swimmers are highly motivated and when they couldn’t get in the pool they kept fit in other ways eg online fitness, walking, cycling, running, gym work at home and open water swimming. Our Coaching and support team mirror this motivation and did everything they could to help them when they were back in the pool.
We have over the last year slowly started getting back into competing. The club has continuously improved year on year and this year looks set to be the best yet. Early March saw our younger swimmers taking part in their first gala where they produced fantastic swims and times but more importantly, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Our competing aged swimmers took part the day after in the Doncaster Dartes meet at Adwick. An outstanding number of personal bests, medals and speeding tickets were achieved, along with several times qualifying for entry into 2023 County Championships.
Earlier in the year we qualified in the most events we ever have at the County Championships. Those that attended swam fantastically achieving personal bests, improving positions, making several finals and achieving medals.
Our relay performance at the Counties was also the best we have had based on placings with 2 events making the finals. One of our swimmers, Stansie Crowe aged 11, also finished in the overall top 5 of her age group in the County.
The next big step for our club was taking 8 swimmers to the East Midlands Regional Championships in May.
The improvements made can further be seen in the rankings, where many of our swimmers feature in the Top 10 in Nottinghamshire over various events and age groups.
As a club we have not only been focussing on the swimming but the overall benefits to our members. One way is how we provide the opportunities for the older swimmers.
Last year 5 qualified as lifeguards and you may have seen them in the various Bassetlaw leisure centres (Abigail Foster, Liam Willis, Seb Wilkinson, Holly Foster and Jake Askin. Abigail also became a qualified swimming teacher and as well as helping the club on poolside she is working at Bircotes Leisure Centre. All these swimmers are gaining valuable life skills and helping support themselves financially whilst still studying. We have also just appointed our 2022 Club Captains - Liam Willis – Club Captain, Hannah Samuel – Vice Club Captain, Hannah Croker – Senior Club Captain and Abigail Betts – Junior Club Captain.
We are always finding ways to help improve our swimmers and at the time of writing we have just started land training for our older swimmers with personal trainer, Liam Browne, and reintroduced our extra High Intensity Training Squad on a Sunday. We hope to see the benefits from this at our upcoming home time trial and at our various upcoming away galas over the next few months.
Another exciting opportunity is our return of the club attending Open Water swimming sessions which are due to run through the summer months.
For further information about our club please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook.
Bircotes Swimming Club © 2019