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Young talent on show at the Regional Champs

South West Regional Championships – May 2019

The hard work was over, but the challenge had only just begun. A total of 24 Swindon Dolphin swimmers swam in this years Regional Championships, 5 of these coming from Platinum Squad (formerly Performance Squad), 8 from Silver Squad (formerly Junior National Squad) and 11 swimmers from Bronze Squad (formerly Regional Squad).

From a total of 93 events swam across Plymouth, Millfield and Hengrove, the following 5 swimmers reached 15 individual finals in their events / age groups:

Katie Stratford, 11/12yr Girls : achieved 5th place in the 200m Fly, 6th place in the 50m Freestyle, 7th place in both the 100m Freestyle and 200m Backstroke and 9th place in the 200m Medley.

Megan Watts, 11/12yr Girls: achieved 1st place in the 100m Fly, 2nd place in the 200m Fly, 4th place in the 50m Fly and 10th place in the 100m Freestyle.

Megan Watts – winning her first Regional “Gold” Medal

Ben Tait, 11/12yr Boys: achieved 8th place in both the 50m and 200m Breaststroke.

Ethan Gough, 13yr Boys: achieved 4th place in the 50m Backstroke and 6th place in the 100m Backstroke.

Freddie Carter, 13yr Boys: achieved 2nd place in the 200m Fly.

Freddie Carter – winning his first Regional “Silver” Medal

  From the above Regional Finalists, Megan Watts, swimming in her first Regional Championships was Dolphins top podium finisher achieving a Gold in the 100m Fly and a Silver in the 200m Fly, closely followed by Freddie Carter who claimed Silver in his 200m Fly. What makes both swimmers achievements even more inspiring is the fact that Megan only turned 11yr a few weeks prior to the Championships and was one of the youngest swimmers in the Girls 11/12yr Age group while Freddie missed most of the Championships (and almost missed the 200m Fly) due to illness. With multiple swimmers now coming up through the ranks in Megan’s and Freddie’s footsteps, the future is looking very positive for the young Dolphins.

Silver Squad lead coach Dave said “The results above show how hard the swimmers have worked this year and it was great to see this hard work pay off for them with some fantastic results”

Bronze Squad lead coach Dean Fouracre was delighted with all the Swindon Dolphin swimmers, saying “during the Championships the young Dolphin swimmers really proved themselves on the big stage with many swimmers taking on, and beating some of the big premier club swimmers from the Region including Plymouth Leander, Bath and Millfield”.

Supporting the “Youth” swimmers at Plymouth, Platinum/Gold Squad Coach Jacky Gardo reported, “leading up to the Regional Championships we have been working the swimmers hard and their hard work in training paid off, with all swimmers attending Plymouth either achieving PB’s or seasons best, well done to you all. Not only were their swimming performances a credit to them but how well they represented the club, all of you should be proud of yourselves both in and out of the water.

  It was a pleasure to coach them over the weekend and a big thank you to Dave Parker for his support and getting the swimmers prepared to race fast.”

As the club looks forward to a very positive future with an ever growing number of young talent within it’s framework, it’s also time to say farewell to one of the club regulars at top competition level. After nearly 15 years with Swindon Dolphin, qualifying at her first Regional Championships at the age of 10yr, 3 years of qualifying at the Nationals, 1 year at British Nationals and last year qualifying for the British Champs and Commonwealth Trials, Denice Gardo has decided to hang up her competitive goggles. Denice will be taking a 3 month break over the summer and fingers crossed, we may see her return in October to join the clubs Masters section aka “Legends”.


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