Abi Southwell going for it!
As I write this article, Christmas is only a few days away. And, as you read, I hope you will be in the midst of, or have recently enjoyed, the festivities. At the very least I hope you will have had the chance to spend some quality time with friends and loved ones.
For the swimmers at Cranleigh swimming club, Christmas is, as for many others, a lovely time of year. However, whereas many of us may over indulge, our club swimmers will soon be working away any excesses in the pool. This might sound like a hardship to the many non-swimmers amongst us. Not for our club members. They all seem to love swimming, from the keeping fit to the competing, all in the company of good friends. In fact, I suspect that if the pools stayed open all Christmas, they would train. But the lovely staff at Cranleigh Leisure Centre deserve a well-earned Christmas break too. So the period offers a few days away from the normal training routine.
Rest assured that the break won’t last long. On the horizon are the Surrey County Championships, starting at the end of January. The Championships run over three weekends and finish the last weekend in February. For a small swimming club like Cranleigh, the County Championships will be the pinnacle for many of our swimmers. It goes without saying that they are keen to make the most of that opportunity. Training has already begun, and the small matter of Christmas won’t be allowed to upset the preparations too much.
This year, as a club, we achieved 95 qualifying times for the 2020 Championships, across 26 swimmers. This is the same number of qualifying times as we recorded for the 2019 Championships. This was despite many of the 2020 qualifying times being set considerably faster. Excluding 50m races where the times were changed most aggressively, the club achieved 46 times this year compared to 24 last year.
At Pavilions in The Park, Horsham
The most recent qualifying times were swum at our two most recent galas, which wrapped up a busy autumn. The first of those was a two day Atlantis Swimming Club Open Meet, in Horsham. Qualifying times for the meet were more prohibitive than some of the meets that we enter, so we had a relatively small representation. Nonetheless, the 23 swimmers who competed achieved four new county qualifying times. There were also 16 other county times swum by swimmers who had previously obtained qualification. Notable results from the weekend included golds for Lucy Andrews, Sofia Avery, Alice Bruce, Connie Emmett and Martha Horstead. Silvers medals went to Sophia, Alice, Emily Cook, Martha, Lana Howells-Davies, Sophie Moore, Juliette Small and Callum Stevens. There were also bronze medals for Lucy, Lana, Juliette and Callum and a new short course club record in the 400m freestyle for Connie.
The last chance for our swimmers to achieve times came in the final weekend of our Club Championships at the beginning of December. Taking place in our normal Sunday evening pool time, there were 5 events (each with multiple heats). 54 swimmers took part, across the 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley. Of these, more than 10 new County qualifying times were set and Connie achieved 3 more club records.
The Club Championships also offered another opportunity for our junior swimmers to gain competitive experience. For these swimmers, the focus was on swimming personal bests. For all swimmers, achieving PBs is the key to success. After all, if you continually and consistently improve, you will do well. And this group particularly excelled themselves, some setting huge PBs.
Away from Cranleigh, there have been some more fantastic achievements by our swimmers. Abi Southwell took part in the National Biathlon Championships, finishing in an amazing 16th place. Thomas Craig was part of a relay team achieving 3rd place in the finals of the National Schools swimming competition. And finally, several club swimmers (and ex-swimmers) reunited in Sheffield last month to compete in the British University Swimming Championships. By all accounts, it was an excellent event featuring some great swims.
All in all, it has been a great autumn for the club. Let’s hope 2020 is an equally positive year. From all at the club, we wish you a very happy new year.
If you are interested in joining Cranleigh ASC, do come down and see us on a Sunday evening at Cranleigh Leisure Centre from 4.30pm onwards or visit our website www.cranleighsc.org.
We offer two free taster trial sessions, for children to see if they’d enjoy it.