The future’s Dolphin
Event: Swindon Dolphin Learn to Swim Race Night Venue: Link Centre, Swindon Date: 25th May 2013
Over fifty swimmers from the Swindon Dolphin Learn to Swim programme took part in a Race Night event at the Link Centre on Saturday. Competitors as young as five took part in the event that primarily aims to give the youngsters and their parents the experience of a competition environment which includes a full complement of officials.
Swimmers had the opportunity to compete over either 25m or 50m in all four strokes and the 100m individual medley. Notably several swimmers stepped up to the challenge of entering all the 50m events plus the 100m individual medley including seven year olds Abby Birchall and Madeleine Maysey and eight year old Sophie Preece who all looked particularly impressive in the 50m butterfly.
There are already some friendly rivalries starting to emerge amongst the youngsters. Nine year olds Tyler Hillier and Noah Parker enjoyed titanic battles in the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle events with a dead heat between the two in the breaststroke and Parker just having the edge in the freestyle.
The girls 100m individual medley also produced some interesting encounters. The challenging event requires swimmers to balance their focus between the technical aspects of the strokes and turns whilst maintaining speed through the water. Seven year old Lyra Sheppard and Madeleine Maysey spurred each other on to finish within a second of each other whilst ten year old Cerys Baker could not quite match Olusola Deinde on the final freestyle leg as Deinde recorded the fastest girl’s medley time of the evening.
Anthony Clark who manages the Learn to Swim Programme was delighted with the event. “It is a privilege to see the progress all of the swimmers have made and a testament to all the hard work put in by the teachers and young helpers within the scheme. Whilst it is also interesting to see the results and times from the event, given the ages of many of these swimmers, it is the participation and enjoyment of the evening that for me is far more important. Most of the swimmers here tonight will not be embarking on a full competition programme for another one or two years and this experience is a major part of their preparation in working towards this.”