Here at Cranleigh Amateur Swimming Club, the summer now seems a distant memory. Long gone are the lazy warm summer days, replaced by seemingly constant rain and swimming. Lots of swimming.
As a volunteer at the club, Autumn is the busiest season. To give our swimmers a chance of gaining county times before the end of the year, we take part in many events. Our biggest commitment is hosting our Autumn Open Meet, where other clubs join us for an all-day gala. We also have 3 weekends of Club Championships, which are small swimming galas only for our members. Add to that several meets at external clubs and it is plenty to be getting on with.
As you might imagine, the events we host ourselves need lots of organisation. For the Open Meet, this starts many months out. It begins with deciding events, applying for the appropriate licences, and notifying clubs. As the gala nears, there are swimmers’ entries to manage, officials to organise, and a volunteer schedule to arrange. This culminates with setting the pool up the evening before. Ensuring the timing boards are in place and the referees and officials have what they need. That’s not to forget providing somewhere to sit for the many swimmers joining us the next day.
On the day of the gala, there is even more to do. For each session of the gala, there are ideally around 20 officials judging the swimmers. There are also many behind the scenes jobs, ranging from announcing the races to handing out medals. That’s not to mention manning the front desk, fundraising, and making sure swimmers are in the right place for each race. And of course, hosting and catering for the visiting officials, many of whom spend all day on their feet at the pool. It defines a team effort, and that is before we even mention the swimmers.
This is all fresh in the memory because as I write, our Autumn Open Meet took place only two days ago. With all the hard work from our parents and supporters, the event ran smoothly and was a success. The thanks and positive comments from visiting clubs make the hard work worthwhile.
While behind the scenes success is nice, more important is how our swimmers performed in the pool. If you have followed these articles for a little while, you will be unsurprised to know the answer is “very well”.
Of our many swimmers competing over the weekend, the vast majority achieved one or more personal best. In terms of County Championship qualifying times, there was also success. Notable performances came from Thomas Craig and Sienna Reilly, each qualifying for two new events. Connie Emmett added another qualifying time to her list, while Will Stanley recorded his first qualifying time for 2020. Several other swimmers (Callum Stevens, Lana Howells-Davies and Ellen Shayler) also improved on times they had already achieved.
Besides the team’s personal bests and county times, Connie once again set a new club record. Her swim of 3:16.42 beat the previous 200m individual medley girls’ short course record. Sadly, this article is too soon to have a collated list of medal winners, but our swimmers came away with a good haul of golds, silvers and bronzes.
A few weeks before our own Open Meet, many of our swimmers also took part in the Littlehampton Autumn Meet. Oddly, Littlehampton host events in Bognor, so it was an early start for the swimmers who started soon after 8am.
The bleary eyes soon disappeared in the pool and the day turned out to be a good one for the club. Our swimmers managed 65 personal bests, with new county times for Alice Bruce, Millie Hastie, Harry Jupp and Siena Reilly. We also had 26 swimmers claiming top 3 medals.
Given that the meet took place after only 4 weeks back training following the summer break, this was definitely a success. Particularly encouraging was the number of younger swimmers in our Intro squads who took part. A great sign for the future of the club.
Next time I write we will have had another external gala as well as two weekends of Club Championships. Plenty to feed back on, so watch this space.
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.