A few of the Cranleigh Swimmers at the Surrey Festival of Swimming
It’s been a busy time at Cranleigh Swimming Club since I last wrote. Most pleasingly, our swimmers have now had lots of time back in the pool. As a parent and committee member, it has been great to see our club doing what we are supposed to do. Providing the opportunity to swim, and moreover, to swim competitively.
Outside of the pool, we were delighted to represent the club with a stall at the Cranleigh Carnival. This was a successful event and well organised by the Lions as always. It was nice to meet so many of the wider community and be able to tell people about our club. We left the event with the details of a number of young swimmers who had shown an interest to join us in the future. All-in-all a great day out!
Before this, June marked the return of competitive swimming, with all squads taking part in a Level X series of races. Level X is a Covid-safe initiative from Swim England, allowing swimmers to return to racing in a safe way.
This series involved three consecutive weekends of time-trial races. The races were restricted to Cranleigh Swimming Club members during normal training time. However, they were officiated in a similar way to normal galas. This meant the times achieved were recorded and submitted to Swim England. These then went on to a leaderboard of swims, allowing times to be compared within the county, region and nationally.
It was great to see our swimmers doing so well, with a huge number of personal bests in spite of the reduced training. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our swimmers towards their sport. It was a real pleasure to witness the effort paying off and swimmers being rewarded with excellent performances.
And equally rewarding was seeing some of our very youngest swimmers. Many of these swimmers were competing for the very first time, and all did very well. We sometimes forget what a big step it is to do your first proper race. But watching the smiles on completion of these first races demonstrated that competition and fun go hand in hand.
For some of our swimmers, the reward for Level X performance was qualification to the Surrey County Festival of Swimming finals. These finals were for the top 8 swimmers in the county in each event in each age group.
The event took place on the second weekend in July, and our club was represented by 10 swimmers. These swimmers swam 36 events between them. Out of these swims, 17 PBs were set, with club records for Connie Emmett (200m Breaststroke), Chris King (100m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke), Sophie Moore (200m Breaststroke, 50m Backstroke) and Georgia Strode (50m Backstroke). There were also a number of medals, with Golds for Lizzie King and Sophie, Silvers for Chris, Lizzie and Siena Reilly and Bronzes for Lana Howells-Davies and Sophie. Well done to all involved, particularly with the club ranking 11th out of 22 teams overall, and 7th out of 22 for the female swimmers. This is an excellent achievement considering the size of our club.
July also saw the return to our full training schedule, resuming Monday and Thursday training at Cranleigh School. This provides our swimmers with the extra hours of training that they value so much. With competitions on the horizon, knowing we are back on a level playing field with other clubs is a big boost.
Next on the calendar is the South East Regional Festival of Swimming at the end of July, where 12 of our members have achieved base qualifying times. Not all of these swimmers will compete, as only the top swimmers in each event and age group will be selected. However, it is another good marker of how we are doing. It is reassuring to see the success of our swimmers in spite of the year they have had to endure.
The full relaxation of national Covid restrictions comes just before our summer break. It might seem strange to be breaking again, in a season with so much time out of the water. But like everyone else, our coaches, swimmers, volunteers and their families need a break. Some time to enjoy some freedom and see friends and family without having to set quotas.
Thank you and farewell to our outgoing Head Coach, David Whorlow
On this note, we are very saddened to have to say goodbye to our Head Coach, David Whorlow, who is retiring after four and a half years with the club. David is now getting the chance to spend some much needed time with his family. David has been a true servant to the club and has achieved so much. Having joined in somewhat turbulent times, he steadied the ship and then built on that foundation. He has been an experienced and wise counsel for the committee, driving the club forwards and has pushed our swimmers to meet their potential. A huge amount of the success that I have the happy job of reporting is down to David. He will be immensely missed by the club and will leave large shoes to fill. We are all very grateful and want to say an enormous thank you and wish him the very best.
So we will resume again in September, with a new Head Coach. Our swimmers will come back, build their fitness and set new targets. We all hope that next season is more like the pre-Covid days.
We have all learned that we must be cautious in these times to look too far into the future. But we are optimistic. So much so that we have even scheduled our own Autumn Open Meet. If that goes ahead, it would be a fitting way to return to something like normal, given that our last Open Meet in 2020 was days before the first lockdown. A good way to draw a line.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the summer, keep well and manage to catch up with friends and loved ones.
If you are interested in joining Cranleigh ASC, visit our website: www.cranleighsc.org