All posts by gerdon

Regional Awards 2022

Swindon ASC are Swimming Club of the Year, and it doesn’t end there! Courteney Roberts and Grace Woolley have won the Spirit of Aquatics Award.

Club of the Year – Swindon ASC
This club has welcomed the para group in to their group and made sure they have felt welcome at all events encouraged them to join in club championships making sure that they were part of the team at all times, showing encouragement to them all making sure that they all talk to them and knowing their names, the young swimmers are kind and caring showing that they believe the club values everyone counts know matter how big or small they are and how well they do is an achievement at all times.
They have been extremely supportive of their Team GB para swimmer at Tokyo Paralympics and have held their first licensed meet.
The club now runs 3 sessions a week for para swimmers which are tailored to meet the swimmers individual needs.
Swim England have recently recognised the club as a Start Para Club and we are holding Inspire to Try para swimming taster sessions to hopefully encourage more swimmers with disabilities to try club swimming. Because of the links with Level water and progressing swimmers with disabilities into club swimming, Swim England have written a case study about the pathway to share with other Clubs.
Despite the Club being over 140 years old, they only recently held their first licensed Club Champs. The meet was extremely well organised and a great experience for all. Swimmers were heard to be asking when the next meet would be. Since Covid, Swindon ASC has grown and will hopefully continue to do so and welcome more swimmers into their friendly, welcoming, inclusive Club. I believe that Swindon ASC deserve to be recognised for their inclusivity of our newly formed para squad; their support for all swimmers at all levels from first Club Champs to Paralympics and for their first venture into licensed meets – hopefully the first of many to come!

Spirit of Aquatics Award – Courteney Roberts, Swindon ASC and Grace Woolley, Swindon ASC, Abigail Daly, Devonport,

Courteney Roberts – Over the years Courteney has become a fantastic swimmer. She trains and competes alongside her peers and gives it her all.
Over the years, Courteney has overcome her worries and anxieties.
She cried at her first team competition because she wasn’t as fast as her able bodied peers, but with encouragement she continued.
She has been a shining example of determination to her swimming peers.
She always give her best and doesn’t give up.
At just 15, Courteney is showing a maturity beyond her years and is now passing on her experiences to other para swimmers.
Courteney trains alongside a 10 year old girl who is a wheelchair user and Courteney is always keen to demonstrate moves to her and give her tips.
At this swimmers first competition, Courteney looked after this swimmer poolside and talked her through how competitions run despite her own anxieties at competing for the first time since before Covid.
Courteney showed great sportsmanship when this swimmer pipped her to second place and she came third. She was very gracious in congratulating the swimmer.
Courteney also trains alongside a young swimmer who has learning difficulties and ADHD. This swimmer does have some difficulties listening and following instructions but Courteney is a fantastic role model for him.
Grace Woolley – Grace is 10 years old and is a para swimmer. Grace is a wheelchair user Grace first trialled with my para squad about six months ago wanting to progress from Level Water swimming to club swimming.
When Grace first swam trialled, she could barely swim 8 strokes without needing to grad the side. She was also used to having in water support but she was determined to swim independently. Over the months, Grace tried and worked hard to begin to swim 25 metres without stopping. This was a great achievement for her and a huge confidence boost!
Grace is a fantastic young lady who is always smiling and always positive. She shows great determination in training whilst always smiling.
When challenged to try something new, she takes it on with a cheery ‘yes, let’s do it!’. Without Grace knowing, her Dad entered her into 50m free style at our Club Champs. Grace arrived at the pool expecting a normal training session but wasn’t phased when faced with the prospect of having to swim 50m without stopping in her first competition when previously she had only managed 25m!!!
Grace showed the same determination that she has shown on training and she accepted the challenge. With the encouragement from the whole swimming club and officials, Grace swam the 50m without stopping and won silver.
She was so proud of herself as are we.
Abigail Daly – This season has been tough for Abi outside of the pool as she has transitioned from her special school to mainstream college.
This has affected her however, she has worked hard processing all the changes and is starting to mature.
She has gone to an international meet got seasons best times then qualified for finals to beat her times from the morning.
She has also been picked to do the diploma in sporting excellence programme and has supported her para swimming peers at these training camps. She has represented her region at the Prep the Pool event, where she coped with a coaching support team she had never met and a lot of swimmers she never met at the commonwealth games test event.
She swam in 2 individual events and 2 mixed para relays. As well as that she is representing her sport by being a baton bearer for the Queens Baton Relay on the 1st day of the England tour, she is a mentor to another para swimmer from her club showing her how to prepare for competitions away from home. She is an inspiration to swimmers and a great ambassador for the sport. Despite all the set backs she has had she has shown great resilience.

73 swims, 27 Finals, 8 Gold, 13 Silver, 8 Bronze…

Congratulations and Thank You to all our swimmers who represented the club in the Wiltshire County Championships.

Some new-comers and some old hands in a strange environment with no spectators to cheer them on. Some very determined efforts with lots of personal best swims – remember you are racing against the clock!

Great to see all those who took part getting on so well and supporting each other.


Swindon ASC is in the running to win a share of a £1million Persimmon Homes Building Futures fund aimed at supporting under-18s across the UK but first they need online votes to win.

Persimmon Homes Wessex is backing Swindon ASC to be a prize winner at a special event later this year, where cash awards of £100,000, £50,000 or £20,000 will be made to those with the most online votes.

Ryan Moore, Lead Coach, representing Swindon ASC said: “We’re so proud to be chosen as a regional finalist and it’s given everyone a massive boost. The last 18 months or so have been extremely challenging for charities across the UK, including ourselves, so we’d really appreciate if people would get behind us and start voting.
“If we could win any of the top three cash awards then it would make a massive difference to the swimmers and volunteers who support the club. The club is the longest running club in Swindon and proud to be the third oldest in the country.”

Swindon ASC provide a safe and enjoyable environment where all swimmers can achieve their full potential. Whether it’s someone looking to improve their technique or to compete in a county gala, they’ll be in safe and experienced hands.

The additional funding would purchase equipment such as underwater cameras to improve stroke analysis and enhance coaching to swimmers.

We also, now that restrictions are lifted, want to use this opportunity so we can get more children swimming.

He added: “Voting could not be simpler. Just visit and
select Swindon ASC, it would mean the world to us if we could have your support.”

Building Futures is delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Team GB, the British Olympic Association.

Through Building Futures, a total of 128 grants of £1,000 have been awarded to groups supporting sport, education & arts and health across Persimmon’s 31 regional businesses and its head office.
As well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize in each category, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000.
Online voting opens on Monday 11 October and runs until midnight on November 19.

To support Swindon ASC please visit

New SW Youth Advisory Panel

The Swim England South West Region is looking for a keen group of six to eight young volunteers between the ages of 15-20 who are prepared to speak out about key issues or ideas they might have about their sport, volunteering or their club. The key purpose of this panel is to bring together young people from different aquatic disciplines and backgrounds to provide a youth voice for the South West Region.

Members of the panel will meet at least once a quarter, be able to share their ideas in both group and private environments and actively take part in projects which support the region including the development of the regional young volunteer programme.

The regional panel will be supported by members of the Swim England National Youth Advisory Panel and Regional Staff.

Why join the panel?

  • Develop communication and presentation skills
  • Learn to work in a small team environment and get your ideas across clearly
  • Meet like-minded people from different aquatic disciplines
  • Play a key role in shaping the actions of the region
  • Lead the youth voice for the Swim England South West Region.

Who are we looking for?

  • Young people who are between 15-20 years old
  • Young people who are involved in Swimming, Diving, Water polo, Artistic swimming, Open water, Para swimming or a non-swimming volunteer.
  • Young people who are actively involved in the sport as a participant, teacher, coach, official or volunteer.

Click here to read more.

Swimming without water

It can be done!

Are you missing the water? Well this guy is too and has created workout videos based on the four main swimming strokes.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Fit!

And here’s the fun section…

Last post we had getting out – this time we have getting in…
Some of these look a bit cold!

Fitness, Questions and Fun

Hi everyone

Hope you are all keeping fit and staying healthy

On the keeping fit front I have some suggestions:

If you have any questions about swimming – most of them will be answered here:

The fun section

The Warm-up Sprinter, Mr Excuses, The Complainer, The Never waits 5 seconds, The hard Set Bathroom Breaker, Excessive Celebrator, Save it up Sally, Confused Guy, Lane Line Puller

Which one are you?
Which of these can you do?

Swim England Survey

Ahead of Tokyo 2020, Swim England want to understand how being part of a club, across any discipline, helps contribute to an individual’s well-being.

To help with this research, two surveys have been created, one for those aged 16 and over and a separate survey for those under 16.

We would encourage all Swim England members to complete the relevant survey to help us gain more understanding around the social value of being in a club.

The surveys will close at midnight on Sunday 22 March.

The findings will help the promotion of clubs during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and also help with the development of our club strategy for 2021-2025.

By completing this survey, Swim England members will help their club enter a prize draw to win £100 of Institute of Swimming vouchers.

Members will also be offered the opportunity to enter into another prize draw to win two tickets for the British Swimming Championships (14 –19 April 2020) and two £20 love2shop vouchers.

Swindon shine in Winter League Round 2

27 Swindon ASC swimmers were in action on Saturday 29th February in the Wiltshire Moonraker Winter League’s Round 2 at the Link Centre.

The Winter League programme is quite unique in that it’s all about Relays, with 34 relay events swam by 4 swimmers over 25m/50m distances and a mixed “Canon” relay at the end with 8 swimmers racing 25m each. The competition was going to be close with Marlborough and Bradford on Avon swimming A & B Teams plus also Melksham chasing for every point. After 10 events, Marlborough A opened an early lead with 57 points with BOA A and Swindon chasing 2nd and 3rd places with 42 and 40 points respectively. This set the theme for the evening with Marlborough A extending their lead after 20 events to 102 points with Swindon hot on the tails of BOA A with just 3 points separating the 2nd and 3rd placed teams – 83 and 80 points for each team.

Team Talk by Swindon Lead Coach Ryan

After 34 events, the final points and positions on the evening were as follows:

Marlborough A176
Bradford on Avon A155
Marlborough B91
Bradford on Avon B59
Swindon ASC swimmers in action

Finishing in a credible 3rd place on the night, Swindon can take a lot of positives away from the competition which includes Jess / Freya / Alyssa and Emily winning the Girls Squadron 4x25m Breaststroke and Seb / Ashton / Rhys and Matt winning the Boys U13 4x25m Breaststroke. With a further twelve 2nd place finishes and nine 3rd place finishes, Swindon can look forward to the next round with confidence.

Keeping everything running smoothly from poolside #dreamteam

Well done to all Swindon ASC swimmers with a special shout out for Buster, who swam his first team competition.

A big THANK YOU to all the officials and helpers, without whom we would not be able to have such fun!

Regional award for Suzanna Hext

Our latest recruit Suzanna Hext was at the Link Centre today to be presented with a Swim England South West Personal Achievement Award 2019 during the Wiltshire County Championships.

Suzanna Hext – pictured with Swim England South West Personal Achievement Award 2019 presented by Wiltshire County President Catherine Watkinson accompanied by coach Dean Fouracre

The Swim England South West Personal Achievement Award 2019 is a recognition of a Swim England members 12 months achievements up until the end of August.
Although only swimming a couple of races in 2018, Suzanna started 2019 with her sights set on qualifying for the Regional Championships, and between January – August 2019 Suzanna’s achievements have been nothing short of incredible, surpassing even her wildest dreams, highlights include:

    • Completing her GB Para Classification in January 2019 with S5, SB5 and SM5 classifications.
    • Attended the BUCS Championships at Sheffield in February 2019 setting a new Long Course 50m S5 British Record. This was Suzanna’s first ever LC competition.
    • In April, swam in the Gloucester L2 Open meet setting new S5 British Short Course records in 50m & 200m Freestyle.
    • In the above Open Meets, qualified for both the South West Regional Championships and British Championships.
    • Also in April, attended the British Para-Swimming International Meet inc. WPS World Series in Glasgow where she underwent her International Classification. Following her races in Glasgow, Suzanna was invited to join the GB Para Team at the
      Para World Championships in London in September.
    • Attended the British Championships in Glasgow in July, winning GOLD in the 50m Freestyle Multi – Classification event.

    Although not part of the original selection criteria for the South West Personal Achievement Award, Suzanna competed in the Para World Championships in September, picking up Silver and Bronze medals in the 50m and 100m Freestyle S5 category, which would give Suz S5 world rankings of No.2 and No.3 respectively. Suzanna also received a Silver in the Swim England National Personal Achievement Awards in November.

    Suzanna has just spent 3 ½ weeks in Japan with the GB Team training and is now firmly focused on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The GB Team will be selected following the British Para Swimming International Meet in April 2020.

    Congratulations and welcome Suzanna
    Swindon ASC

Age Group swimmers in the medals at Wiltshire County Championships

Our younger swimmers have been picking up medals at the Wiltshire County Championships.

A weekend in Salisbury on 11th,12th January was followed by a day at the Link Centre on Saturday 18th January.

Eleven swimmers were entered into 78 events – yes that’s right 78 events!

Some really great swims, and the kids were an absolute pleasure to be with on poolside. The best moment for me as a coach was escorting six different swimmers out to swim in finals during one of the sessions. I’ve never had to do that before! And I’m sure that as a club we’ve never had swimmers qualified to swim in 17 finals before!

Congratulations to everyone who qualified. Thank you to everyone who took part and represented the club to such a high standard. A massive well done to our medalists Freya Howie and Oscar Symons.

Results table…

Age Swimmer 50FC 100FC 200FC 400FC 800FC 50BK 100BK 200BK 50BR 100BR 200BR 50BF 100BF 200BF 100IM 200IM 400IM
10/11 Jess 18 28 8 (H)
7 (F)
10 5 19
Lily 17 18 14 9 16 16 DQ 11 6 (H)
5 (F)
5 15 11
12 Ava 17 11 9 8 22 9 7 DNC
Beth 12 7 28 10 6
Hollie 11
13 Alex 5 (H)
4 (F)
5 (H)
4 (F)
Freya 15 8 (H)
2 (F)
2 (H)
2 (F)
2 (H)
3 (F)
9 4 (H)
4 (F)
4 (H)
7 (H)
6 (F)
6 3
Molly 16
10/11 Oscar 1 (H)
1 (F)
5 (H)
5 (F)
3 (H)
2 (F)
DQ 5 DQ 9 5 (H)
5 (F)
8 5 (H)
5 (F)
12 Seb 12 14 11 14 9 8 13 10
13 Matt 14 16 12 12 5 (H)
5 (F)

Swindon ASC

Southern Junior League Finals 2019

Swindon ASC hosted the final of the Southern Junior League at the Link Centre on Saturday 14th September. Swimming in the C final against Bournemouth, Chard, Marlborough Penguins and Yeovil.

Swindon ASC Southern Junior League Finals Squad 2019

The final round is swam against teams with a similar ranking, so the racing is always close. The offer from Coach Ryan that he would let them push him in if the team won, spurred on many of the swimmers, all promising to go ‘super fast’.
Representing Swindon ASC were:

Madi Ambrose Zac Abrey
Molly Checchia Rhys Brooke
Hollie Hemmings Ashton Brooks
Freya Howie Guy Grainger
Jessica Howie Wassim Hidouci
Kira Jones Aiden Keevans
Ava Kayani Evan Mathias
Felicity Lovelock Blair AJ Noriega
Niamh McNamara Filip Pisarek
Lily Miles Calum Reynolds
Amelie Pocock Joseph Richards
Sara Rowlands Oliver Rowlands
Alex Scutt Seb Scutt
Ella Spencer Zak Sly
Eve Sullivan Ozzy Symons
Matt Widdop

Some great swims, pick of the bunch were:
Jessica Howie in the 10U 50m breaststroke
Matt Widdop in the 12U 50m freestyle & butterfly
Ava Kayani in the 11U 50m freestyle
Eve Sullivan in the 11U 50m breaststroke
Oscar Symons in the 10U & 11U 50m freestyle
The boys 10U relay team of Zak Sly, Seb Scutt, Evan Mathias and Oscar Symons

Well done to all the swimmers, and a BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped with the smooth running of the event.

Results are in:
1. Poole
2. Plymouth Leander
3. Swim Bournemouth A
4. Bristol Penguins
4. Swindon Dolphins
6. Keynsham
7. Sevenside Tritons
8. place is ‘Exeter
9. Cirencester
10. West Dorset
11. Seagulls
12. Weymouth
13. Marlborough
14. Yeovil
15. Bournmouth
16. Swindon
17. Chard
18. Devonport Royal
19. Bristol North
20. Southwold
20. South Dorset
22. Trowbridge
23. Bassett JSF

Well done Team

2019 Wiltshire Sprints

What a way to spend a Sunday! 32 swimmers 100 swims!

Date: Sunday 9th June
Venue: Health Hydro, Swindon

Kicking it all off was the junior relay team of:
BK: Alex Scutt, Max Sullivan, BR: Alyssa Halliday, Aaron Bailey, BF: Thea Rhodes, James Nicholson, FC: Luize Rutka, Harry Carpenter

The team were left to their own devices regarding takeovers and performed admirably to take silver with a time of 3:02.13.

2019 Junior Relay presentation

Nice to see some new faces poolside with debut swims for Amelie Pocock and Zak Sly. Some great racing between swimmers from 10 of the Wiltshire clubs.
Lots of medals and yet again lots of 4th and 5th places! (see table below)

Swimmer BK BF BR FC Swimmer BR FC BK BF
Oscar 1 2 4 1 Amalie DQ 4
Evan 3 6 19 5 Jess 4 9 9 8
Zak 17 10 19 Lily 10 3 4 5
Seb 3 6 5 8 Ava 6 5 9
Rhys 5 DQ 7 7 Hollie 9 10 14 12
Matt 12 4 8 4 Beth 17 13
Calum 15 13 16 Freya 1 6 6 7
Ashton 16 9 10 14 Alex 10 8 3 10
Max 6 4 13 10 Molly 18 9 10 8
Jack 11 5 9 Eve 11
Harry 12 5 4 5 Ella 16
Oliver 21 Alyssa 4 13 10 10
Aaron 3 6 2 3 Luize 7 7
James 5 3 5 Thea 3 2 2 3
Tyler 1 1 2 1 Amy 10
Brooke 6
George 2 2

Thank you to Wiltshire ASA for the organisation of the event. A thank you to all the officials and volunteers who made the day possible.
And thank you to the swimmers who represented the club to such high standards.

Coaching Team
Swindon ASC

2019 Summer League Round 1

Saturday 27 April 2019 – Round 1 of the summer league was hosted by Marlborough penguins. The
summer league format is 50 sprint races which are a mix of individual races and relay races where
the teams swim for points against a number of local clubs making it a real team event.

The night opened with Tyler and Emily in the open individual medley where we came 2nd and 3rd
respectively followed by Ashton and Ava were both 2nd in very close 2 length butterfly races.
There was drama in the u16 4 length freestyle where a false start meant the race had to be rerun
and James came in 3rd overall.
The boys u12 medley relay team of Zac, Seb, Ashton and Filip were 2nd and the girls team of Eve,
Jessica, Kira and Freya P were 3rd with both teams taking valuable points for the team.
In the boys u14 2 length freestyle Harry had to settle for 2nd after pushing for 1st place all the way.
Ashton also took 2nd in a very close 2 length breaststroke race with the swimmer from Marlborough.
In the u16 4 length backstroke Aaron was superb, leading the race from start to finish whilst in the
girls race Thea got off to a poor start (due to not being able to hear the starter) but came through the field to take 2nd.
Ozzy won the 2 length freestyle by country mile in the u12; Max S was 2nd in the u14 fly and Eve was
2nd in the u12 backstroke.
Swindon were 3rd overall on the night, which was the expected result.

Well done everyone and see you all for round 2.

World Record for Holly in 100m Freestyle

Holly Sullivan smashed the existing Down Syndrome Junior world record by nearly 3 seconds with a time of 1:32.80.

This will help Holly in selection for the GB Team for the upcoming European championships being held in Sardinia during September 2019.

Holly displays her DSISO certificate for 100m Freestyle

Holly started to swim when she was 4 years old at learn to swim lessons at the Swindon Oasis. With the help of her instructors and her own determination she was able to make progress over several years until she reached stage 10. At this point Holly transferred to Swindon ASC a mainstream competitive swimming club where she now trains 3 times a week. Holly is also a member of Reading Cygnets a swimming club specifically for swimmers with learning difficulties who provide additional training, support and access to competitions across the UK.

Holly is an S14 swimmer, the Para class for athletes with intellectual impairments, and has qualified to swim at County and Regional level. However because S14 is a very broad category swimmers with Down Syndrome are unable to access the elite end of this category because of a number of physical impairments which run alongside the Intellectual Impairment. To support these athletes DSISO (Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation) was established and provide competitive swimming for Down Syndrome Athletes at National and International level. As part of DSISO Holly has been selected to swim internationally in Paris, France; Pristina, Kosovo; Truro, Canada.

Go Holly!

Winter League Finals 2018/19

After only 1 round of Winter League, we found ourselves swimming in the finals on 2nd March 2019. A cancellation of the Wiltshire Championships due to inclement weather meant that there was no second round.

So off to Trowbridge in the coach we went, to be joined by Swindon Dolphin, Tigersharks B, Durrington Otters, Corsham and Malmesbury Marlins. As this was the B final the result on the night would decide who came 7th, 8th, …12th.
Swindon went into the water with a marginal lead over Dolphin. It did not last long. Dolphins were on top form with some National swimmers in attendance. That’s not to say we did not put up a huge fight with swimmers from all age groups picking up points.
Swimmer of the evening was undoubtedly Alyssa Halliday who was absolutely flying!

At the end of the evening Dolphins were standout winners (7th), with Swindon in 2nd (8th) place.

Club Captain Will Mangan was joined by Olivia Moore to collect the certificate.

Will and Olivia with Winter League Certificate

Wiltshire Swimmer of the Year 2018

This awards goes to Holly Sullivan of Swindon ASC.

Holly Sullivan has been selected by the Wiltshire County Swimming Association as Swimmer of the year.
Holly was proposed by Andrea Christmas who wrote:
After being selected to swim for the British Down Syndrome swimming team in 2017 Holly has now traveled abroad 3 times with Down Syndrome Swimming GB (DSS-GB) to swimming competitions in Paris (European Open), Kosovo (invite only open meet) and Canada (for the World Championships) in July.
Holly is 14 years old and in the last year she has won international Bronze, Silver and Gold medals as part of the British freestyle relay team. Her best individual performance was 13th overall in the 50m Breaststroke at the World Championships.

Holly also attends UK based Down Syndrome competitions during the year, always returning with a clutch of medals.

Holly is simply one of the best young Down Syndrome swimmers in Britain.

If you remember, Holly also won this award last year see last year

Go Holly!

140th Birthday Celebration

Members of Swindon Amateur Swimming Club past and present came together on Saturday 22nd September to celebrate the club’s 140th birthday.
A Family Fun Day was organised with an ‘It’s a Knockout’ Tournament at the heart of the events.
Well over 100 members, from 5 to 50 yrs, came together to take part.
Participants were placed into teams and competed within leagues of either: adults; teens; or children. The adult league becoming by far the more competitive (some might say ruthless!)

Ellie leading Nicky and Emily in the dance warm-up

Events included a ball-filled foam pit, an inflatable slide, and a group sack race which proved to be the undoing of many.

Bags of fun for some of our helpers

Karen (big kid) sliding at fun day

The inclement weather just added to the fun and all who took part, and the many that spectated, had an amazing day!
Several past members came along to the event and enjoyed the display of trophies and photos documenting the clubs 140-year history.

Swimmers from days gone by at fun day

The oldest past member to attend was Anne Titchener who joined the club in 1945 and was given the honour of cutting the cake.

The club is proud to be the third oldest swimming club in the country with its history closely aligned to the GWR. The club began in 1878 at Coate Water but soon found its home at Milton Rd Baths when it opened in 1892. For many years the club was strictly men only, then a ladies section was started in 1902, sessions weren’t mixed till 1964!

The club is still thriving today and hopes to achieve another 140 years!

(If you have any old photos or documentation relating to Swindon ASC they
would be very happy to see it)

Andrea Christmas
President Swindon ASC

Double space hoppers

Little ones making caterpillar tracks

Obstacles at Fun day

Teenagers questioning just ‘what?’ was going on

Not just the teens who were quizzing the refs

Helping hands

Freya and Alex are all smiles at fun day
Ossie sliding at fun day

Zak all soaped up emerging from the foam pit

Summer League Finals 2018

Saturday 15th September saw the us host the final round of the summer league which will determine who will lift the division 2 title. The event was held at Milton Road and so each length of the races were 33m and not 25m hopefully giving Swindon a home advantage.

First up was the squad photo – always a laugh trying to get kids to look towards a lens and smile..
(Never work with children or animals – W.C. Fields)

Summer League Finals Squad 2018

The first 10 races were all about our girls team with Emily taking 1st in the overs 4×1 medley; Molly was 1st in the u12 butterfly and Thea was 1st in the u16 3 length freestyle. Annabel was 2nd in the u14 1 length breaststroke, and Olivia was 3rd in the in the open 3 length backstroke.

After 10 races Swindon we had 26 points and were in joint 2nd place with Warminster.

With us lying in 2nd place there was everything to swim for and the girls u12 medley relay team of Alex, Freya, Molly and Maddie took maximum points and were followed immediately by the u16 boys medley team of Aaron, Leon, Tyler and James who did the same. Other notable performances came from Freya and Ashton who were both 2nd in the u12 breaststroke.

After 20 races we were in a 3 way tie for 1st place with Marlborough and Warminster, all on 52 points.

The was a tension in the air for the next set of races and our swimmers did well to deliver under pressure. The 1st place finishers were, the girls open medley relay team of Liberty, Grace, Emily and George; Oscar in the u12 freestyle; Tyler in the u16 fly and Thea in the u14 backstroke.

The scores at the doors after 30 races were Swindon in 1st place with 80 points. The game is afoot..

The next 10 races only saw two wins for Swindon which were Thea in the u14 backstroke and James, Aaron, Leon and Tyler in the u16 freestyle relay. However there were several other notable performances including Grace who was 2nd in the 3 length breaststroke; Calum, Seb, Ashton and Rhys who were 2nd in the u12 freestyle relay and Max who was 3rd in the u14 fly.

After 40 races we were in 2nd place and 2 points off the lead, with 104 points.

Into the final 10 races of this year’s summer league. George was 1st in the open freestyle; Alex was 1st in the u12 backstroke and in the final race of the night, the girls open freestyle relay, Grace, George, Liberty and Emily also took maximum points. A great finale to one of the most exiting nights of racing we have seen for a while – well done everyone.

At the end of 50 events the scores were.
1st Marlborough with 141 points
2nd Warminster with 135 points
3rd Swindon with 129 points
4th Corsham with 94 points

The overall scores for 2018 Division 2 Moonrakers Summer league
1st Warminster with 549 points
2nd Marlborough with 517 points
3rd Swindon with 499 points
4th Corsham with 413 points

Well done to everyone who took part, we did well to get promoted last year and have managed to keep our place in Division 2 (which I think is the highest Division we’ve ever been in, in 140 years!)

Thank you to all the helpers, officials and coaches who support these events.
Go Team!

End of Season Dolphin Meet

14 Swimmers took part in the End of Season Meet hosted by Swindon Dolphins at the Link Centre on 28th & 29th July 2018
. Between them, they took part in 68 Events and achieved 53 Personal Best Times, 24 2019 County Times, 3 Golds, 5 Silver, and 7 Bronze.

Aaron got Saturday session 1 off to an amazing start taking 58 seconds off his 400IM time from January 2017.
Next up Girls 50m Butterfly, Jessica 7 second PB, Beth 6 Second PB, Freya 1 second PB and narrowly missing out by 0.28 on her county time, half a second PB from newcomer Brooke.

Boys 50m Butterfly, where did this come from, Matt knocking off 8 seconds and getting a County time in his number 4 stroke.

100m Breaststroke next this time Freya secured her county time with a 17 second PB. PB also for Matt.
Freya up again for the 200m Freestyle, 13 second PB and another County Time, a PB for Brooke and County time for George. Onto the Boys and good swim from Matt but no PB this time and Aaron knocking off 7 seconds but just missing out on his county time by 0.46.

Beth and Sara kick off session 2 with PB’s in the 100m Backstroke followed by PB from Olivia, 1st place and a good County time.

Jess and Freya equal each other and both take home 3rd place in the 200m Breaststroke and another County Time for Freya.

Oscar keeps getting quicker and quicker and takes 2 more seconds off of his 50m freestyle and qualifies for counties.
More PB’s in the 100IM for Beth, Jess, Brooke, Olivia with the best 2 being Aiden 6 seconds and Oscar 16 seconds.
Session 3 off to a good start with County times in the 400FC for George and Aaron.

Then onto the Girls 50m Breaststroke, PB’s for Beth, Scarlett, Brooke, and Lily and an 8 second PB for Jess and her first county time.

Freya misses out on the 100 Butterfly county time by 0.27 and Olivia swims a very good race with a county time,1st place and a 2 second PB.

County times from Freya, Aaron and Olivia in the 200M Backstroke and another Gold for Olivia and Bronze for Aaron.
The Last session saw more PB’s, more medals for George and Olivia and 5 more county times.

A fab weekend of racing well done everyone!!

Lake BBQ

Our older swimmers took to the lake this week (Wednesday 18th July) for some paddling fun and a BBQ.
Originally this was an open-air session at Shrivenham but technical difficulties led to a last minute change of venue.
Huge THANK YOU to Bowmoor Sailing Club for allowing us to use the facilities at very short notice.

There was a bit of trepidation from the girls about getting in, but swimmers just can’t resist the call to water. All the food was demolished in pretty quick time after the swim.
Big Thank You to Marianne and Gillian for organising, and cooking the food.

Next Year?

Summer League 2018 – Round 3

Round 3 of this years summer league was held at Warminster. A pool where the spectators are literally in amongst the action even getting the occasional splash as the racing goes past.

Tyler (2nd) and Emily (1st) opened the night for us in the open 4 x 1L medley.

Callum (3rd) and Molly (2nd) up next in the U12 butterfly. Molly was in a very close run race with the swimmer from Warminster.

Tyler (1st) and Alice (3rd) in the U16 4L free. Tyler romped home with our second win of the night whilst Alice secured 3rd place in a close run race.

Kyle (3rd) for the boys and Alicia (2nd) for the girls in the U14 breaststroke.

Alyx (1st) and Thea (1st) in the 4 x1L Backstroke. Thea in a head to head for the whole race with the swimmer from Warminster.

The fab 4 of Seb, Ashton, Calum and Rhys up next in the U12 medley relay and the fantastic 4 for the girls were Alex, Freya, Molly, Abigail who finished 2nd and 1st respectively.

Max S (2nd) and Brooke (3rd) in the U14 freestyle. Both were very close races.

Ashton and Freya up next in race 19&20 of 50. Freya digging deep to hold off Warminster and take 1st place in the U12 50m breaststroke.

Aaron led from start to finish to take 1st place in the U16 4L backstroke. An excellent race as he was under pressure from the other competitors for the whole time. Similar story for Thea who won after taking the lead in the 4th length and holding on to take the win.
The U14 boys medley team of Harry C, Kyle, Max S & Rhys were 2nd whilst the girls’ team of Alex, Alicia, Thea, and Brooke took 1st.

Harry C (3rd) and Thea (1st) in the U14 backstroke.

After 30 races Swindon ASC are leading on the night with 94 points.

Max S (2nd) and Thea (3rd) picking up some more important points in the U14 2L fly.

Brother and sister duo Seb and Alex up next in the U12 backstroke. Seb, took 3rd and Alex 2nd.

Open girls finished the night with a fine win in the freestyle relay.

Overall points on the night.

Corsham 71 points
Marlborough 81 points
Warminster 112 points
Swindon 117 points

See you all in September for the final round

Oasis Pool Party

Swindon ASC took over the Oasis for the evening on Friday 6th July for what is becoming an annual event. Swimmers, parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, friends and siblings all joined the fun. Lifeguards never had it so easy!

Wiltshire Swimmer of the Year – Trophy

Way back in 2017, Holly Sullivans swimming was recognised by the County swimming association and she was awarded the Wiltshire Swimmer of the year.
see: previous article

On Tuesday 3rd July we were finally able to give Holly her trophy. After Holly had finished her training session all the swimmers gathered and Holly was given a rousing cheer.

Congratulations Holly

Summer League 2018 – Round 2

Round 2 of the summer league was away at Corsham. A very hot day and a very hot venue would lead to some very hot racing.

Max A and Liberty were first up in the open medley. Followed by Callum and Molly in the U12 50 fly. Both giving a great race with Molly coming second. Our highest finish on the night so far.

Kyle and Annabel were both third in the U 14 50 breast followed by Alyx B and Olivia, who was 2nd, in the open 100 back.

Both the girls and boys U16 medley relay teams took second place. With Max S 2nd in the U14 50 free and Thea was 1st with a convincing win.

Callum and Freya up next in U12 50 breast. 2 great performances with Freya taking 1st place for the team.

Tyler and Olivia both took 2nd in the U16 100m backstroke.

Boys U14 Medley relay team led off with Harry C, followed by Kyle, Max S and Oliver Rowlands to finish 4th. The girls Thea, Freya, Annabel and Maddie Williams taking 1st place.

Next up the Open Medley relay with the same pattern of results – 4th for the boys – Tyler, Alyx, Max and Will and 1st for the girls – Olivia, Grace, Liberty, and Emily.

Harry Wrighthouse and Maddie Williams were placed 4th and 2nd in the U12 50m freestyle.

Tyler was 1st, leading from start to finish in the U16 100m fly and Olivia was 3rd in a close fought race.

Harry Carpenter and Thea raced in the U14 50 back with Thea providing a convincing win.

Points after 30/50 are 71 Swindon, 73 Corsham, 77 Warminster and 78 Marlborough. A very close night of racing so far and with 20 races left there is plenty to compete for.

The U12 freestyle relay teams finished boys (Oscar, Oliver, Harry, Seb) 3rd and girls (Ava, Abigail, Maddie, Freya) 2nd after an excellent final leg by Freya.

Max S was 3rd and Annabel 2nd in the U14 50 fly. Seb and Freya were 1st and 3rd respectively in U12 50 back. Emily rolled back the years with a fine win in the open 100 freestyle.

Aaron and Annabel swam well in the 100 breast and it’s over to the relays for the final 4 races.

U14 boys 4th
U14 girls 4th
Open boys 3rd
Open girls 1st

Final scores:

Marlborough 134
Warminster 130
Swindon 119
Corsham 112

Southern Junior League 2018 – Round 1

Southern Junior League kicked off on Saturday 9th June. The league consists of 25 teams from throughout the South West Region. As there is no 25 lane pool available, the event is swum as separate galas with all the times recorded and the results worked out afterwards with the team recording the fastest time awarded 25 points and the slowest 1 point.

We were swimming at Swindon Link Centre against Swindon Dolphin A, Cirencester and Bassett JSK (from Southampton). Some great performances on the night with our best result coming from the 9-year-old boys who managed to finish 4th in the medley relay event, well done Zac Abrey, Seth Moore, Oscar Symons and Seb Scutt. Due to a false start, the boys 9 years 50m freestyle was swum twice, Oscar Symons did not seem affected by this and got the team 20 points recording 6th place overall. Another of our 9-year-old boys, Seb Scutt came 8th in the 50m backstroke. These boys had started the evening with a great result of 8th in the 4 x 25m freestyle.
Enough with the 9-year-old boys….
Our 9 years girls (Jessica Howie, Lily Miles, Niamh McNamara, Felicity Lovelock Blair) finished 16th in the freestyle relay. Jessica Howie was placed 7th overall in the 9-year-old girls 50m breaststroke.
Representing the club for 10-year-old boys were George Hart, Ashton Brooks, Finley Goodheart and Jack Jones. Ashton swam well in the 50m butterfly achieving 14th place.
Ava Kayani was 13th in the 10-year-old girls 50m freestyle. Our other 10 years girls were Ella Spencer, Flo Williams, Naila Hidouci, Beth Sullivan, Scarlett Allen and Cody Durrant.
11 years boys were Rhys Brooke, Oliver Rowlands and Samuel Morris, with Ashton Brooks swimming up in the relays. Great result of 15th in the 4 x 25m free.
11 years girls were Maddie Williams, Madi Bindon, Abigail Garland, Molly Checchia, Alex Scutt and Freya Howie which sounds like a lot of girls, but as we now only have one 12-year-old girl (Verity Pocock) many of them spent the evening swimming up an age group.
Not so the 12-year-old boys, there are four of them Harry Carpenter, Kyle Nicholson, Max Sullivan and Jacob McNamara. Best result from them was 10th in the 50m butterfly from Max.

With all the results tallied up, we are currently in 21st place, which is about where we expected to be. We entered the league to give our younger swimmers the opportunity to swim in a competitive environment and have some fun with their friends from swimming.

A big thank you to our hosts on the evening – Swindon Dolphins, the officials and all the helpers. Thank you to the parents for supporting the event and a big well done to all the swimmers.

And the most amazing thing happened before we even got in the pool. The team photo, the very first photo taken has everybody looking at the camera with their eyes open!

Looking at the camera with eyes open

Summer league 2018 Round 1

Saturday 21 April saw the squad compete at Marlborough college in the 1st round of this year’s Moonraker summer league. The summer league is a mix of 50 individual and relays races across a number of different age groups which is a great opportunity to get some of the new junior squad members involved in club competitions. Along with our hosts, Marlborough Penguins, we were competing with Corsham and Warminster on the night.

The established squad members like Club Captains Alyx and Grace, Tyler, Annabel, Aaron and Olivia were at their usual great performances but it was the emerging talent in the under 12’s medley relay team who really showed us the promise of the junior squad members. For the boys this was Oscar, Harry, Ashton, Calum and Aiden and the girls Abigail, Freya, Molly and Ella whilst Seb, Ashton and Jacob swam up with Kyle in the boys U14 Medley relay and Alex joined Thea, Annabel and Amy in U14 girls.

Some great swims and lots to be proud of from the nights competition but still lots to learn in time for round 2 – Well done everyone and see you all again for round 2.

Final scores on the night were:
Warminster 142 points
Marlborough 138 points
Swindon 108 points
Corsham 108 points

Wiltshire Sprints 2018

35 swimmers attended Wiltshire sprints event on Sunday 25th March. This meet is usually swam over 33 meters at the historic Health Hydro in Milton Road, but a late change of venue meant swimming events at 25 meters.

This did not seem to affect the swimmers, who produced remarkable swims and we were soon racking up personal best times and achieving medal winning positions.

For some swimmers this was their first experience of an individual swimming meet. A big Swindon ASC welcome to Oscar Symons, Sebastian Scutt, Ava Kayani, Naila Hidouci and Lily Miles.

We racked up a 25 age group medals,8 junior championship medal and 3 open championship medals. The boys outdoing the girls in the age-groups by 14:11.

Top achiever on the day was Tyler Checchia who won gold in four events for his age group, 3 gold and 1 silver in the junior championship (15 and under), and qualified for the mens’ finals in backstroke, butterfly and freestyle.
Our only other finalist this year was Thea who made it through to the final of the womens backstroke.
Great to see newcomers Lily Miles (backstroke bronze), and Oscar Symons (backstroke silver, breaststroke bronze, freestyle gold) getting rewarded for their efforts.

Swindon ASC sprint placings..

Swimmer Agegroup Backstroke Breaststroke Butterfly Freestyle
Lily 9 3
Oscar 9 2 3 1
Ava 10 7 16 7 8
Beth S 10 15 12 18
Naila 10 17
Sebastian 10 9 9 8
Abigail 11 19
Alex 11 2 5 8 4
Ashton 11 13 5 9 6
Ella 11 20 16 12
Freya 11 8 3 6 6
Matt 11 14 8 8
Molly 11 4 5 8
Rhys 11 10 4 8 7
Harry 12 10 11 8
Max 12 3 2 2 4
Amy 13 6
Annabel 13 7 2 7 9
Kyle 13 3 5
Thea 13 1 6 3 3
Aaron 14 4 3 3 4
Alice 14 4 3 6 5
James 14 5 5 5
Tamzin 14 5
Euan 15 5
Olivia 15 4 5 9 8
Tyler 15 1 1 1 1
Andrew 16 7
Beth B 16 2 4 3
Leon 16 6 4 5
Nicole 16 5 3 4
Alyx 17/18 4 3 5 4
Craig 17/18 7 7
Max 17/18 4
Will 17/18 7 10

Congratulations to everyone who qualified for the event, a big THANK YOU to the swimmers who came along and represented the club on the day.
Thank you to all the officials, organisers and special thanks to Sarah Bailey for organising our representation so well.

Go Team!

Winter League Round 2 – 2017/8

Round 2 of the winter league was hosted by the mighty Swindon ASC at the link centre and we saw a big contribution from parents as well as coaches and committee members to get the night to run to plan; well-done everyone. The swimmers came from Warminster, Calne, Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett for a great night of 35 relay races across the junior and senior squad.

With rule changes affecting the age groups, this year’s campaign was always going to be more of a challenge and we had to wait until race 12 for our first (and only) win of the night which came from the mixed 9 & 10 years Breaststroke team of Molly, Seb, Freya & Ashton – WELL DONE GUYS. Still, the winter league works on both points and times to create an overall comparison against the other teams in the league so there are still plenty of reasons to achieve the best possible time in each race. And we saw plenty of great team and individual performances on the night. Alex Bailey, team captain led by example in the Boys Open 50m breaststroke making an amazing recovery in the last leg to lift the team up the rankings. A feat emulated by Ashton in the mixed 9 & 10 yrs 25m medley where he accelerated into the wall giving 100% for the team, Max Sullivan for taking on 12 races and Tyler battling with Warminster to make sure we took an extra point.

The Final Scores after 35 events were….

Royal Wootton Bassett – 124 points
Calne – 104 points
Chippenham 85 points
Swindon ASC – 70 points
Warminster – 52 points

See you all at the next round (FINALS) in Trowbridge on Saturday 10th.

REMINDER – don’t forget to back the bid… see Back the Bid

Results and times for all rounds can be found on the Wiltshire ASA web-site here

We are currently 9th in the league (expected following rule changes), and will be swimming in the ‘B’ final against Tigersharks, Warminster, Durrington and Bradford on Avon.