Cranleigh County Swimmers
When I wrote for the Cranleigh Magazine last month, I’m pretty sure it was raining. This is not a huge assumption, given that it seems to have rained pretty much ever since. And, unsurprisingly, it is raining right now, as I write. I take solace that one of the advantages of being a member of Cranleigh Swimming Club is that you can swim well. And with all this rain, this might prove to be an increasingly important life skill.
So, assuming you haven’t been washed away or blown afar by the recent storms, I’ll stop wittering about the weather. Instead, I’ll return to the real reason for writing, which is to provide an update of goings-on at the swimming club.
If you are a regular reader of these articles (thanks Mum) you will remember that the focus of the first months of the year are the County Championships. For the majority of swimmers in the higher squads at the club, taking part in this competition is a big target. It is something to work towards during the rest of the season, trying to achieve qualifying times. Qualifying swimmers get to test themselves against the best swimmers in the county.
But now the qualifying window is closed. The hard training has been done. The competition has begun. In fact, we are well and truly in the middle of it. Two weekends out of the three-weekend competition have now taken place. Our swimmers have stood on the blocks, ready to race, knowing that they have prepared as well as possible. And to say that they have acquitted themselves well would be an understatement.
The first weekend, at Surrey Sports Park in late January, set the tone. Out of 28 swims by club members, there were 24 personal bests. Amongst these, four swimmers progressed into the finals, on top of placed finishes in the 200m events where no finals are swum. It is hard to single out individual swimmers when everyone did so well but notable results were achieved by: Alice Bruce (8th place in under 11 100m breaststroke); Connie Emmett (4th U11 200m breaststroke); Lana Howells-Davies (6th U12 100m backstroke); Chris King (8th U14 100m backstroke); Lizzie King (Bronze U11 100m breaststroke and Silver U11 200m breaststroke); and Sophie Moore (Bronze U15 100m breaststroke and Gold U15 200m breaststroke).
A total of 13 new club records were set, with Lucy Andrews, Thomas Craig, Siena Reilly, and Juliette Small adding to the swimmers listed above. And to top it all off, 4 South East Regional qualifying times were achieved (shared by Lana, Chris and Sophie).
The second weekend at Crystal Palace in early February had fewer swims for the club but the standard did not drop. Personal bests were achieved in every single one of the 8 events swum, with 5 yielding new club records (shared by Sophie, Chris, Lana and Lucy). There were places for Thomas (7th U15 400m freestyle), Lana (Bronze U12 200m backstroke) and Chris (6th U14 200m backstroke). Lana and Chris also added to the events they had regional times for.
So with one weekend of the Championships left, a significant highlight remains. Taking place on the 29th of February, competing swimmers get to race at the London Aquatic Centre. You might know it by a different name. The Olympic Pool at Stratford. The same pool where World Records were set and Olympic Gold Medals were won in 2012.
After that, the galas come thick and fast. First up, in early March, the Atlantis Gala at the K2 pool in Crawley. This is a chance for more of our swimmers to test themselves in a 50m long-course pool, providing a different challenge to the more familiar short-course. The following weekend we host our own Open Meet at the Leisure Centre. This is a popular and important event for the club and local support is always welcome. April then brings a return to K2 for the Crawley Open Meet.
As a finishing note, I wanted to recognise that the swimming club is about much more than competing. Reporting about the competitions is easy because that’s where the headlines are. But behind the scenes, on an almost daily basis, there is constant hard work by coaches and swimmers of all levels. This starts with our youngest swimmers starting out around age 7, through to our senior swimmers, some of whom are in their twenties. The goal for everyone is to improve. To build technical skills yes, but also discipline, resilience and commitment. Crucial life skills. These are the foundations upon which everything else is built.
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.