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Making waves in Weston!

A 28 strong team from Swindon Dolphin's County, Regional and National Squads headed to Weston-super-Mare on 26th and 27th March 2022 to take part in Soundwell Swimming Club's 60th Birthday Celebration Open Meet. Following the club's fantastic medal haul at the recent County Championships, this outcome in Weston would be no different as they came away with an impressive 26 gold, 30 silver and 48 bronze.

Left to Right (front row): Molly, Alex, Josh, Oscar, Irvin, Thomas. Left to right (back row): Eliza, Olivia, Caitlyn, Zara, Max, Riley, Evan, Phoebe, Jacob, Betina, Etta, Amelia, Dora, Kelsey, Lucie

The meet was a chance for all swimmers to gain valuable race experience. For many it would be their first meet outside of Swindon, and for some this would be their very first taste of open meet competition. First timers Alexandra Horne, Emma Spinks, Dora Todorova, Irvin Gurung, Hugh Mason and Yahia Said showed great confidence in their abilities and had some excellent swims. Alex Naisby, Mistral Lyons and Thomas Doel produced great technical swims, full of positives to take away from their first away open meets.

For the rest of the contingent, the meet was a chance to build on their performances at recent Swindon based Open Meets and the Wiltshire County Age Group Championships. With an understanding of the process goals that they aimed to achieve in their events, many had a good learning experience through experimenting with their race plans and strategies. For their efforts, everyone came away with new personal best times, which is always a great achievement. In particular, Amelia Naisby, Eloise Foster, Oscar Crowley, Alex Naisby, Lucie Prior, Eliza Nunn, Caitlyn Hillier, Kelsey Hillier, Harriet Matthews and Molly Hunt all showed fantastic improvements in their swim times.

Left to Right: Alex Naisby, Josh Newton, Oscar Crowley

However, personal best times were not the only measure of success for the developing swimmers. The importance for age-groupers to maintain variety and take on new events outside of their comfort zone cannot be overestimated. Rising to the challenge admirably at the meet were Max Paton and Olivia Hamlett competing in the 200m butterfly, and Josh Newton and Yahia Said competing in the 100m butterfly.

Swindon Dolphin aims to develop swimmers into independent, well-rounded individuals. With the skills to manage their own challenges, successes and failures, and to support each other, this inevitably leads to success in the competition pool. Although still relatievely young, the more experienced swimmers in the team; Betina Puszkarska, Etta Crowley, Amelia Naisby, Gethin Jenks, Evan Kane, Jacob Burton, Phoebe Kerley, Riley Watts, Zara Halpin; are all starting to show maturity gained from their exposure to the competition arena. They are all displaying the early signs of becoming great role models to the others coming up through the ranks.

Left to Right: Phoebe Kerley, Amelia Naisby and Etta Crowley


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