Hard work pays off for swimmers

PUBLISHED: 09:06 04 January 2013

Marcus Gardiner.

Marcus Gardiner.


Weston Swimming Club have enjoyed considerable success recently, with most sections thriving.

INSPIRED by a guest training session from Team GB silver medallist Michael Jamieson, underpinned by hard training and top coaching, all sections of Weston Swimming Club has produced some outstanding achievements.

Weston’s water polo section has made a blistering start to the season. The seniors recently won Division 2 of the Bristol & West Water Polo League, winning nine of their 12 games and scoring 160 goals in the process, 47 more than their nearest rivals.

The juniors have also been in fine form. Most recently, they demolished Harlequins Colts 13-3, with hat-tricks for Reece Trapani and Harvey Reynolds. Scott Bradley, James Gahame and Tom Simpson each netted a brace, with James Bramwell completing the rout.

Reece has been selected to represent the South West Region Under-16s at a competition in Liverpool early in the New Year.

Meanwhile, the whole of the Weston junior girls’ team (Emma Simpson, Charlotte Bowden, Jess Dadds, Charlotte Bradley, Katy Watkins, Esme Bird, Emily Watkins and Beth Fisher) recently represented Somerset at the ASA South West Region County Championships at Gloucester.

After a heavy defeat to Devon in their first game, the girls rallied superbly, narrowly losing their other two games to Dorset and Gloucestershire, to finish a hugely creditable fourth.

Top scorer for Somerset with six goals was Charlotte Bradley, with Emily Watkins and Charlotte Bowden close behind in the scoring stakes.

The recently established masters section at the club is thriving under the watchful eye of Chris Knight, with a dozen or so members training hard at Hutton Moor.

In the main swimming squads, progress has been superb, both collectively and individually. After promotion last season, Weston recently competed in the Premier Division of the National Arena League (Western).

Against all the odds, awesome displays in rounds one and two meant Weston had it all to swim for in round three at Bath, where a top two finish would ensure survival in the top flight for another year.

Despite swimming against much larger clubs and spurred on by the deafening support from the club’s purple support army, wins from Esme Gullick, Lucy Davies, Evan King, Becca Lucas, Bradley Lucas and Rachel Anderson, coupled with some fantastic relays and top three placings, the necessary second position was achieved.

At an individual level, Lucy Davies, Esme Gullick and Evan King have once again attained a number of national qualifying times to compete against the cream of British swimming in Sheffield in the summer.

A fantastic 800m freestyle swim by 12-year-old Immy Moroney at Stockport ensured that she will join them, her first qualifying time for nationals.

With several swimmers knocking on the door of NQTs including, among others, Marcus Gardiner, Jas Moroney, Millie Dadds and Rachel Anderson.

Just below national level, many swimmers have achieved South West Region qualifying times, some like Hannah Anderson for the first time.

The junior swimmers have been in fine form, warming up for the challenges of 2013 in style.

Personal best times and medals were won by Ruby Soper, Ben Jones, Jackson Harper, Maddy Soper, Freya King, Bethan Rees, Alicia Pollard, Ben Bradley-Wilson, David Hoskin, James King, Evan Brunsdon, Chloe Knight, Oscar Rogers, Sarah Carr, Immy Moroney, Rachel Anderson, Will Daniel, Hannah Anderson, Jas Moroney, Millie Dadds, Evan King and Marcus Gardiner, with relay medals on top.

Weston members also performed superbly at Clevedon ASC’s Splash and Dash event in late October, with top three finishes for Bethan Anderson, Rachel Anderson, Lucy Davies, Hannah Vallance, Amy Lance, Hannah Anderson, Alysha Wilmot, Jess Knight and Connie Ballentine.

Medals and stiff competition were the order of the day at the club championships, sponsored by Powells with Chawner Grey Solicitors.

Club records were demolished by Rachel Anderson, Immy Moroney, Evan Brunsdon, Bradley Lucas, Will Daniel, Evan King, Lucy Davies, Marcus Gardiner, Calum Lynch and Esme Gullick.

Noah Statter won his first medals and having gained a bronze in his first championship event (200m freestyle), Noah went on to collect another five medals including two golds.

The sale of programmes and raffle tickets at the championships raised £237 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.

The club’s Learn to Swim co-ordinator, Zara Gardner, reports a fantastic start to the new season, with an increase in numbers to 100. This has necessitated adding extra lessons on Wednesday evenings, to those already taken on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Lessons are led by enthusiastic, qualified teachers, working with very low teacher-child ratios and supported by top senior swimmers.

LTS currently has a number of spare places, so if you wish your child to learn to swim as part of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming (from four years upwards, with a waiting list in place for three year olds) and be part of a successful junior swimming club, then please contact Zara on 07980 294434, e-mail - ltswsmsc@hotmail.co.uk or visit the club’s website - www.weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk, which provides full information about the club.

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