It has been a momentous 7 days for Dawlish Swimming club at the British Summer Championships and also at the ASA National Summer Championships.
At the 2016 British Summer Championships, Emily Wareham became the first Dawlish swimmer, ever to compete at the highest National event.
Emily, a 15 year old pupil at Dawlish Community College, travelled to Sheffield accompanied by Dawlish Swimming Club’s Head Coach Garry Mitchell and several members of her family. At the Pond’s Forge sports complex she raced in the 50m Butterfly event, producing an excellent time of 29.84 seconds, in a heat where the difference between 1st and 10th place was less than 0.4 seconds. Head Coach Garry Mitchell, said “This is a very tough event, it is over almost before it’s begun and where the results can be determined by the length of a fingernail. I’m very pleased with Emily’s performance, she has only been training seriously for a couple of years and yet she is here competing with the best swimmers in Great Britain”.
A week later it was another first for a Dawlish Swimmer, when Ella Farley competed at the ASA National Summer Championships in the 200m butterfly.
Ella qualified on the back of her winning the South West regional championships earlier in the year. Ella had an unconventional “taper” (final week of preparation), as her parents had booked a 2 week holiday to Spain, spanning both the British and National championships. On the Wednesday Ella and her parents flew back from Spain, their flight was delayed meaning they missed their connecting train, but eventually arrived at Sheffield in time for Ella to get a quick dip in the swim down pool.
On race day Ella was on fire, she won her 200m butterfly heat, beating her personal best time by over 4 seconds, in a time of 2 minutes 26.35 seconds. This put her into the 16 years age group final, seeded second fastest. After a quick trip to the Meadow hall Centre for some relaxation and retail therapy, Ella returned to Pond’s Forge for the final in the evening.
Ella produced another epic swim, in which she reduced her Personal Best time by another second, Ella secured a Silver medal in a time of 2 minutes 25.23 seconds and the first podium performance by a Dawlish swimmer at a National competition.
Dawlish Swimming Club Head Coach, Garry Mitchell, said “This past week has been a landmark in the Club’s history. It has been 8 years in the making, but at long last the club has now created an environment where National Level competition can be achieved. The clubs learn to swim programme under the leadership of Veronica Blackmore is producing swimmers with the right skills to progress through the clubs competitive development programme. The established coaching team of Chris Chappell, Darren Farley and myself have recently been joined by Abi Edwards, formerly of Plymouth Leander. These are exciting times for Dawlish Swimming Club, Emily and Ella’s performances on the National stage will be an inspiration to their team mates and the younger members of club starting on the pathway of competitive swimming”.
Pictures of Ella Farley, Emily Wareham and Garry Mitchell wearing the new club kit, kindly sponsored by Kempa.