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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.


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

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

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!

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!

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?

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

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.

Wiltshire County Swimmer of the year

And the award goes to Holly Sullivan of Swindon ASC.

Congratulations to Holly Sullivan who was voted Wiltshire Swimmer for the year for the period 1st September 2016 to 31st August 2017 at the Wiltshire Amateur Swimming Association Annual General Meeting.

Holly was nominated for the award by the club for her achievements in swimming:

  • Holly started competing in swimming competitions a couple of years ago. She really stood out when she took part in the Special Olympics in November 2016 where she beat the DS female world qualifying time for 50m freestyle.
  • In April Holly took part in the DS European Open Championships again coming away with a clutch of medals but more notably beating an established GB swimmer in the 100m freestyle. Following from this success Holly was invited to attend the Down Syndrome GB training camp in Nottingham in May 2017.
  • On 5th July Holly received the letter she had been hoping for offering her a place in the GBR team travelling to Paris for the European Championships. Some of the countries she will be competing against include Brazil, Russia, Portugal and Denmark. Holly had achieved 10 DS GB qualifying times by this point. See: Swindon Advertiser – Article
  • What is particularly remarkable about Holly’s story is that at 13yrs she is at the youngest age that swimmers can qualify for the DS GB team, yet still managed 10 qualifying times against swimmers of all ages as there are no age groups in this competition.
  • Holly is a pleasure to teach, always keen to work hard and to improve, training twice a week with our junior squad.
  • She is a truly valued member of our club, an example to all and we are extremely proud of her achievements.

Holly received the certificate at the clubs Annual Presentation evening on 2nd December.

Holly being presented with Swimmer of the year certificate.

There is a trophy to go with the award, which was still with the previous winner Jazz Carlin, who was away at a training camp.

Congratulations Holly


Great turnout at the annual presentation evening at the County Ground on the 2nd December. Fun evening with lots of medals trophies and certificates given to reward success in recent club champs.

Our volunteers

Big Thank you to Joe Kerrighan and Corporate Events Ltd for the marvelous surprise podium in the club colours.

Our swimmers

Pictures of all individuals & age groups are available, ask a committee member.

32 Club records smashed

Swindon ASC swimmers went 10 better than last years amazing tally of 22 age group best times by racking up a massive 32 age group best times at Club Champs during November.

This upward trend of breaking club records began in 2013 with two new records. 2014 saw this increase to 10, 2015 saw a leap to 25 new records. The coaching team thought we’d plateaued after this went down in 2016 to 22.

Some of the records may have only stood for a year, but there were also some really old records beaten. Six from prior to 1998, five from 1998-2010 and three from 2011-2015.

Congratulations to:
Sebastian Scutt, Alex Scutt, Max Sullivan, Tyler Checchia, Max Adams, Alyx Bailey, Hannah Lewington, Annabel Ollerhead, Olivia Moore, Thea Rhodes and Liberty Slowly.

All swimmers were presented with certificates to mark the achievement at the clubs presentation evening.

Winter League Round 1 – 2017/8

Welcome to Round 1 of the Moonraker Winter League – Calne 25th November 2017.

Before I go into the detail of Calne I thought it would be good to give some background on the Winter League as a way of introduction for our newer swimmers.
This year there are 18 teams from across Wiltshire split into two divisions. The clubs in each division are then split randomly into galas and so last night there were four galas, two in Division 1 and two in Division 2. Round 1 saw swims at Trowbridge and Calne for Division 1 and Swindon Link and Corsham for Division 2.
Each gala swims the same programme of events so although the result on the night is exciting what really matters is your time against the other clubs in the league as a whole for each event. The Winter League secretary Rob Hart has the unenviable task of collating all of the times from all of the galas and producing an ‘18 team’ league table. The whole process is repeated after Round 2 in February after which winners of each Division are announced; teams are also promoted and demoted at this time as well. The final league positions allow final round galas to arranged in March and the winners of each Final Round gala are determined. Last year Swindon swam in Division 1 and won Final Round gala 2. The
Wiltshire ASA web site has details of the Winter League and you can visit Winter League to find out more and keep updated as the league progresses.

Following the success of recent years Swindon ASC currently swim in Division 1 and so we are swimming against the top clubs in Wiltshire again.

Winter is definitely here with the nights drawing in and frost on the ground which means time for the Winter League.

Round 1 meant a local trip down to Calne to swim against Calne Alpha, Durrington Otters, Warminster and Wroughton.
Swimming in Division 1 means that although the galas will not be easy but it does give our swimmers a chance to swim against the best swimmers in the County.

Races 1 – 10 were hard going. In the Mixed 9-10 4×25 backstroke Ella, Ashton, Freya and Rhys came in 2nd and in the Boys Open 4x50m backstroke Max A, Craig, Tyler and Alyx were unlucky to finish 3rd . After 10 races Swindon were in 4th place 5 points behind 3rd placed Durrington.

Races 11-20 brought us our best period in the gala with 1st place as well. The boys squadron backstroke Rhys, Max S, Charlie and Alyx came in 1st with a great race – well done boys.
There were 2nd places for mixed 9-10 4x25m Breaststroke Ella, Aidan, Freya and Ashton, Boys U15 4×25 backstroke James, Charlie, Max S, Aaron and Girls Squadron 4x25m backstroke Freya, Thea, Annabel and Olivia. After 20 races we had closed the gap and Swindon ASC were in 3rd ½ point ahead of Durrington!
Races 21-30 were hard going again. The Girls U13 4x25m backstroke Verity, Amy, Freya and Thea came in 2nd along with Boys U15 4x25m medley relay Clarie, Aaron, Max S and James which also finished 2nd after a great swim. After 30 races we were holding onto 3rd place 1½ points ahead of Durrington!

Races 31-35 were tough going after a long evening. With Swindon ASC finishing no better than 3rd place it was soon time for the mixed 8x25m cannon where we finished a respectful 4th.

The final result was Calne Alpha 148, Warminster 128½, Durrington 88, Swindon 87½, Wroughton 63. Unlucky Swindon as 3rd place was so near. However, the places on the night don’t really matter, what is important is the position in the league overall and we need to wait for Rob Hart to do his calculations before he publishes these on the Wiltshire ASA web
site / shares with the clubs taking part. Look out on the notice board at Milton Road.

Well done to our swimmers and thank you to the parents for your support and to Jackie, Ryan, Naomi, Lorna, Lauren, Kelly, Clare, Craig, Carl and Jane for helping the club on the evening.
Finally, thanks to the Officials who ran the evening and Calne Alpha for hosting and we look forward to seeing you at The Link in February when Swindon ASC host Round 2 which will see us up against Calne Alpha, Wootton Bassett, Warminster and Chippenham.

Carl Steckerl

Summer League Round 3

Round 3 of the summer league was a home fixture for Swindon and the plus sized pool at Milton Road would add new challenge for the swimmers as races in this league are categorised by the number of lengths and not distance in meters. The 1 length races were started at the shallow end to keep all finishes at the deep end and so shallow diving starts were essential for most swimmers.

The first races on the programme were the men’s and women’s open 4x1L medley and our first swimmers were Tyler (3rd) and Emily (3rd).

Max S (1st) and Molly (2nd) up next in the U12’s 1L butterfly. Molly (swimming up an age) was unlucky not to win and both swimmers got new PB’s. Up next were Craig (3rd) and Beth (3rd) up next in the U16 3L freestyle. Craig was in a close race, just missing out on 1st place in the final length.

James (3rd) and Annabel (1st) in the U14 1L Breaststroke with new PB’s. In the 3L backstroke Alyx led the whole race but the Warminster swimmer fought back hard in the final length but Alyx held on to get the touch. Liberty was in a neck and neck race with Warminster and Wroughton but just couldn’t hold on during the tail end of the race.

In the relays, George, Kyle, Max S and Finlay came in 3rd in a nail biter of a U12 boys medley. Whilst Alex S, Freya, Molly and Jayne also took 3rd for the girls in another nail biter. The U16 teams of Aaron, Craig, Tyler and James were 1st and the girls team of Beth, Olivia, Nicole and Sasha were 2nd. Aaron was 3rd with a new PB and Thea 2nd in the 1L U14 freestyle followed by Max A 2nd and Liberty 3rd in the open 3L Butterfly. Max S and Hannah up next in the U12 1L Breaststroke. The boys race was neck and neck with Max taking 1st on the touch whilst Hannah fought hard and got a new PB – well done Hannah. Tyler and Olivia both won convincingly in the U16 backstroke taking maximum points for the team.

In the next round of Relays, The U14 boys medley team of Aaron, Max S, James and Harvey took 3rd while the girls team of Emmie, Thea, Annabel and Hannah were 2nd. In the open Medley Alyx, Craig, Max A and the girls team of Sasha, Emily, Liberty and Beth with both races too close to call from the gallery.

Kyle and Hannah up next in the 1L freestyle for the U12 with both taking 1st place and both setting new PB’s in incredibly fast and close races. In the 3L butterfly. Tyler put in another convincing performance to come 1st by almost a length, whilst Nicole had to dig deep during her neck and neck race with Wroughton and Warminster to eventually take 2nd place and set a new PB.

Aaron and Emmie both took top spot in the U14 back with Emmie putting on an amazing fight back to move from 3rd place into 1st in the final third. U12 boys freestyle relay team of Finlay, Harry, George and Kyle finished 3rd and the girls team of Jayne, Hannah, Freya and Alex Sc also finished 3rd. Harvey stepped up to the U16 freestyle relay team and swam with Aaron, Craig and Tyler to take 3rd spot while the girls team of Nicole, Beth, Sasha and Olivia took 1st place in an amazing head to head with Warminster. Max S stepped up in the U14 fly along with Annabel for the girls, with both taking 2nd place

Max A in men’s open 3L free took 2nd with Emily taking 3rd. Harry was up next in the U12 1L backstroke taking 2nd place with a new PB, followed by Alex Sc for the girls who again, took top slot with a new PB – well done Harry & Alex. Craig and Sasha finished the individual races by both 3rd position in the U16 3L breaststroke.

The final round of relays saw James, Max S, Harvey and Aaron come 3rd and the girls team of Emmie, Annabel, Hannah and Thea take 2nd in the U14 Freestyle relay. The men’s open freestyle relay team of Tyler, Craig, Max A and Alyx was close to call between Swindon and Wroughton for 3rd. The woman’s team of Liberty, Olivia, Beth and Emily took 3rd.

Final scores on the night:
Warminster 148
Swindon 146
Wroughton 116
Bradford on Avon 74

Holly selected for GB team

Congratulations to Holly Sullivan, who has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Down Syndrome European Championships in Paris from 30/10/17 to 3/11/17.

Holly has been selected as one of 31 athletes from all over the country. To see the full team visit:

Go Holly!

Coaching Team
Swindon ASC

Summer League Round 2

Round two of the summer league was hosted by Wroughton and the squad were in fine voice for what would turn out to be thrilling and noisy night of racing.

Alyx kicked of proceeding in the open medley coming in 3rd with Emily coming 2nd.

Max S took top spot in the U12 50m fly where unusually one team didn’t enter a swimmer. Molly led most of the race in the to eventually get pipped into 2nd in final few meters to what was undoubtedly the loudest cheer of the night.

Alex Stone was 3rd in the U14 breaststroke in a closely fought battle with Warminster whilst Annabel took top spot for the girls; both with new PB’s

Boys U12 medley team, Harry, Matt, Max S and Rhys took 1st place after Rhys swam the race of his life in a neck and neck final leg against Warminster. The girls team of Alex S, Freya, Molly and Jayne took 3rd with standout performances from Freya in breaststroke and Jayne in freestyle.

The U16 boys team of Charlie, Craig, Tyler and Andrew came 1st with a convincing win. The girls of Sasha, Olivia, Nicole and Beth took 2nd.

Next up, Aaron and Thea in the the 2 length freestyle. No joking around from Aaron who set a new PB in a thrilling 4 way head to head With Thea coming in second for the girls.

Tyler was good value for 2nd in the men’s open fly followed by Max S and Freya in the U12 breaststroke with all 3 swimmers delivering mature league swims to take more points for the team.

Aaron, Alex Stone, James and Harvey brought home 2nd in the U14 medley with Emmie, Thea, Annabel and Hannah doing the same for the girls.

Harry fought hard to take 2nd spot ahead of Wroughton in the U12 boys free whilst Hannah fought off the whole field to take the no.1 spot.

Nicole and Tyler both led from start to finish in the U14 fly. Whilst Aaron and Emmie followed with two excellent performances of their own in the U14 backstroke.

The fab 4 of Matt, Harry, Rhys and Max showed us that the sum of the parts would equal first place in the U12 freestyle relay. The girls team of Jayne, Hannah, Freya and Alex fought just as hard in the girls race to take 3rd place for the team.

James was 3rd and Annabel 2nd in the U14 fly followed by two thrillers in the U12 2L backstroke from Matt and Alex Sc which were both to close to call.

James, Alex Stone, Harvey and Aaron were 2nd in the boys U14 freestyle relay and Alex Sc, Annabel, Emmie and Thea achieved the same for the girls.

These are just some of the highlights from a great night of racing which saw the Swindon team remain in 2nd place in the league behind the league leaders Warminster.

See you all again for round 3.

Summer League Round 1

Saturday May 6th saw us take on Warminster, Bradford on Avon and Wroughton in the first round of this year’s Summer league. This league meeting was a good chance for the squad to get together again and to welcome some of the newer members of the team like Felix, Rhys, Jayne, James, Abigail, George, Freya, Alex and Harry. A great night of swimming was made even better as the team had no DQ’s across all of the 50 races.

Molly and Max S secured our first wins of the night in the U12 2L Butterfly with both swimmers winning their race by a fair margin. This was closely followed by some great battling swims by Andrew and Beth in the 4L freestyle and Aaron and Alice in the 2 Breaststroke.

The boys U12 Medley relay team of George (back), Max S (Breast), Felix (fly) and Rhys (free) and the girls team of Abigail (back), Alex S (breast), Molly (fly) and Jayne (free) both took second spot with great performances from some of our first time racers. Max S took top spot in the 2L Breaststroke for the boys whilst Freya was involved in a 4 way neck and neck race which was too close to call from the gallery.

James’ super fly and Felix’s fast freestyle legs helps the U14 medley team to 2nd place whilst the girls team of Emmie (back), Alice (breast), Annabel (fly) and Thea (free) took top spot.

Race 27 & 28 saw Harry and Alex S swim hard for the team in the U12 freestyle in a very closely run contest which was a great contrast to Tyler in race 29 , the U16 4L fly, which saw him break away from the field early and finish almost a whole length ahead of the pack, an achievement which was almost immediately repeated by Aaron in race 31, the U14 2L backstroke and Alyx in race 33, the 4L Open breast.

The U12 freestyle relays gave some of our newer swimmers a chance to show us what they could do and the girls team of Abigail, Freya, Jayne and Alex S and the boys team of George, Rhys, Harry and Max S didn’t disappoint with both teams showing what great potential they all have.

Our open age group freestyle relay teams of Andrew, Max A, Tyler and Alyx and Liberty, Tracey Emily and Grace helped to finished the night on a high with 3rd place for the boys and 1st place for the girls in the last race of the night.

We were missing a few of our regular squad members for this round due to long standing DOE commitments so it was a credit to the remaining swimmers that the team took a well-deserved 2nd place overall on the night, beaten by a very strong Warminster team.

Well done to all the first time swimmers and a big thank you to the coaches and the team captains for all their hard work – see you for the next round soon.

Medals for Holly at the European Open

Over the weekend of the 1st & 2nd of April Holly Sullivan swam at the Down’s Syndrome European Open event which is held each year in Southampton. The competition attract swimmers from all over the British Isles and many European countries and this year included swimmers from Russia, Sweden, Ireland, Estonia, Spain, Scotland and of course England.

As always medals were awarded for finishing position in each heat and due to some really good entry times Holly was entered into some of the stronger heats but she still managed 2 gold (100 freestyle & 100m Backstroke) , 1 silver (100 Breaststroke) , 1 bronze medal (50 freestyle) and a ribbon for 4th place in the relay.

Holly with medals and ribbons

Holly’s favourite event, the 100m freestyle saw her entered into the second fastest of the 5 heats but with the slowest entry time of the 7 swimmers. The heat was made up of 2 swimmers from Ireland aged 29 & 34, one from Scotland aged 34 and three from England aged 24 & 19 along with Holly herself aged just 13. Holly started strongly and the race was neck and neck for the first length however a great turn put her in pole position going into the second length and lead which she was able to maintain for the rest of the race. A new PB and gold medal for Holly after a thrilling head to head with some of the best Down’s syndrome swimmers around. Holly’s time – a new PB of 1:45:29 – placed her 6th overall and 3rd across the English entrants.

We are hoping that her times and performance over the weekend will allow her to qualify for the GB team which will swim in France at the end of October…..what this space.

Top Swindon team in Wiltshire – Again!

Congratulations team on a fine performance to retain our position as the top ranked Swindon based swimming club in the Moonraker Wiltshire Winter League.

Due to some confusion around the pool bookings, we were swimming at Wroughton against Warminster and Wroughton, which meant that the highest place we could achieve was 6th. The 5 teams ahead of us were all swimming at Calne and in finals it’s all about the result on the night.

A more focused performance and no DQ’s helped us to top spot on the night just 1 point ahead of Warminster!

Our first win came in the 3rd race where the girls 9-12 years backstroke team of Amy, Annabel, Thea and Alice took top spot in a neck and neck race with Warminster.
In the Butterfly Squadron the boy’s team of Max S, Tyler, Max A and Brad and the girls team of Annabel, Sasha, Liberty and Tracey both took 2nd place.
The backstroke Squadron girls team of Alice, Olivia, Beth and Tracey took 2nd and the boys team of Aaron, Tyler, Alyx and Brad took 1st place.
Both teams took top spot in the Breaststroke squadron with the girls team of Annabel, Caitlin, Grace and Emily leading the race from start to finish.
A handover mix up in the boys open 4 x 2 length Backstroke cost the team a few 100ths of a second and saw the team miss out on 2nd spot by a tiny margin.
The girls U12 freestyle team of Amy, Alice, Annabel and Thea went toe to toe with a very strong Warminster team in a race that was far too close to call from the viewing gallery. It was finally judged that Thea touched ahead of the Warminster swimmer and the win went to Swindon.
A great swims by Harry in the first leg and Aaron in the final leg of the boys U12 backstroke relay weren’t enough to catch the opposition on the night with the team taking 3rd place.
The U12 medley saw Alice, Tamzin, Annabel and Thea take 2nd place in a very closely fought race whilst the boys team of Aaron, Alex S, Max S and Harvey took 1st place.
The boys U15 4×1 length breaststroke team took 2nd after a great final leg comeback by Tyler who would no doubt have taken the win if the pool was a metre or two longer.
The parents and spectators cheered the team to overall victory with some noisy support courtesy of the Bang Bang sticks!
On the night the team had 16 wins, 12 x 2nd place and 11 x 3rd place finishes.

Wiltshire Sprints – Medals galore..

Wiltshire Sprints 2017 – Sunday 12th March

Over 30 qualifiers for the sprints this year resulted in lots of organinsing for coaches Sarah and Ryan. Never has so much highlighter ink been required.

Our Junior medley relay team of Olivia Moore, Aaron Bailey, Caitlin Warrington, Tyler Checchia, Rowan Kitchener, Charlie Adams, Beth and Andrew Dolman got things off to a terrific start taking gold in a time of 3:04.02.
Rowan swimming so fast she got a nosebleed which meant she missed the presentation.

Our Junior medley relay team.

The boys were next up for the Mens 36.67 yards backstroke:
Max Sullivan 3rd (11), Aaron 6th (13), Tyler 1st (14), Max Adams 4th (16), Alyx Bailey 1st (16) and Bradley McCabe 1st (21).
Tylers was also 2nd in the Junior Championship, and swam in the open final with Alyx. Alyx placed 3rd to take bronze, with Tyler in 6th.

Womens open 36.67 yards breaststroke:
Alexandra Scutt took silver over a very narrow margin from Freya Howie who got bronze. 1st time attendee Ella Spencer was 7th and Molly Checchia was 11th in the 10 years age group.
Annabel Ollerhead won gold and Thea Rhodes just missed out on the medals to take 4th place in the 12 years age group. Alice Steckerl also placed 4th ath 13 years.
The 14 years age group saw another 4th place for Swindon, this time it was Caitlin. Sasha Stone was 6th and Olivia 8th.
And another 4th place, Rowan and Beth at 15 years took 4th and 6th place. Yet another 4th for Swindon, Liberty in the 16 years. Grace put a stop to the non-medal positions winning gold in the 17/18 years with Lydia 5th. Emily Moore took gold the 19 years and over category.
Caitlin’s 4th place was enough to get 6th place in the junior championship. and in the open final Emily took 1st place, and Grace 3rd. Well done!

Mens 36.67 yards butterfly
Another newcomer to the sprints was Sam Morris swimming in the 10 years age group, who was disqualfied for illegal arms. Max Sullivan (11) took gold, and Felix James took 4th place, which considering he had the cast taken off a broken arm only a week before is a remarkable acheivement.
Aaron placed 7th, Tyler 1st, Max Adams 6th, Alyx 3rd and Brad 1st.
Tyler place 1st in the Junior Championship.

Womens Open 36.67 yards freestyle:
Alexandra, Molly and Freya were all in action again, 4th, 6th and 7th respectively.
Then it was the turn of very patient newcomers Hannah Lewington and Laila Howse, in the 11 years age group. Hannah took 1st place and Laila 9th.
Thea and Annabel were 5th and 7th in the 12 years. Alice 7th (13), Emmie nursing a sore shoulder 13th (13).
The 4th place demon struck again – this time it was Sasha (14) and Beth (15) with Olivia (14) 9th, Caitlin (14) 11th and Rowan (15) 7th.
Liberty (16) took 5th. Grace (17) 6th, Lydia (18) 7th. Emily(19) 2nd.
In the Open Final, Emily placed 3rd.


After the lunch break we were back in the pool for the Mixed open 8x1L medley relay.
The team of Beth Brewer, Tyler Checchia, Grace Steckerl, Alyx Bailey, Liberty Slowly, Max Adams, Emily Moore, Andrew Dolman were narrowly beaten into 4th place.

Womens Open 36.67 yards backstroke:
Alex kicked off the medals for the afternoon with gold in the 10 years age group. Newcomers Amelia Smith and Abigail Garland placed 6th and 8th, with Molly and Freya place 9th and 11th.
Hannah Lewington missed out on another gold by 7 hundreths and Verity Pocock placed 10th at 11 years.
Annabel and Thea were 4th and 9th at 12. Emmie and Alice 12th and 13th at 13. Sasha and Olivia 6th and 7th at 14. Beth Brewer took silver and Rowan placed 6th in 15 years.
Liberty (16) was 7th, Grace (17) and Lydia (18) were 4th and 9th. Emily placed 2nd in the 19 and over.

Mens Open 36.67 yards breaststroke:
Recent newcomer Matthew Widdop swam in hist first meet to take 2nd place and a silver medal in the 10 years age group. Max Sullivan took silver at 11 years. Aaron (13) was 6th, Tyler (14) 1st, Max Adams (16) 5th and Alyx took gold in the 17/18 years.
Tyler beat all teh 15 years olds to take 1st place in the Junior championship, and in the final of the mens Alyx took silver.

Womens Open36.67 yards butterfly:
Yeah – Molly took gold in a time of 30.20, Ella Spencer was 4th, Freya 5th and Alex managed to get disqualfied for alternative kicking. At 11 years Hannah Lewington added to her medals to take bronze.
Annabel also added a medal with bronze while Thea was placed 8th.
Alice came 11th in the 13 years age group. Sasha and Olivia were 5th and 9th. Rowan and Beth placed 4th and 5th at 15, with Liberty also taking 4th at 16. Lydia finished 5th, with Grace placed 8th and Chloe Higgs 10th . Emily took silver in the 19 and over.

Mens Open 36.67 yards freestyle:
Final event of the day. Matthew Widdop placed 6th in the 10 years, Max Sullivan took bronze in the 11 years. Aaron got another 6th place at 13 years and Tyler another 1st. Andrew Dolman was rewarded with a bronze medal in the 15 years age group. Max Adams place 10 just one place ahead of Cameron Jennings. Alyx Bailey was 2nd in the 17/18 years.
In the junior championship Tyler placed 2nd.

So a remarkable acheivement overall. The swimmers allseemed to enjoy it, especially the poolside dancing! Coaches Ryan and Sarah were exhausted by the end of a very long day.
Thank you to Wiltshire ASA for the organisation of the event. 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.

The final tally of medals..
15 gold, 10 silver, 6 bronze + 3 championship gold, silver and bronze + the junior medley relay gold!
the final tally of 4th places = 15!

Coaching Team
Swindon ASC

Record Breaker at Masters!

Our masters swimmers were in action at the Link Centre for Round 1 of the Wiltshire Masters on Saturday 18th February.

Welcoming Chloe Higgs to her first masters event and a return for Ellen Christmas, were the usual(?) team of Tracey Sharland, Marianne Bennison, Emily Moore and Paul Wise.

50m Backstroke was first up. Emily taking silver and Chloe in 4th for the 18-24 age group. Tracey and Elle took gold and silver in the 25-29’s. Paul weighed in with bronze in the 45-49’s.

Next up 100m butterfly. Emily taking bronze, with Chloe in 5th.  Then it was the turn of Marianne, who with a swim of 1:29.71 set a NEW COUNTY RECORD! in the 50-54 age group. Paul picked up another bronze.

Our 120-159 (add up the ages) relay team of Elle, Tracey, Marianne and Emily took gold in the 4 x 25 medley relay, and as an observer I must say I’ve never seen Andrea Christmas get quite so animated over swimming. I can’t imagine what she was like when both her girls were swimming.

In the 25m breaststroke, Emily took bronze and Tracey gold.

100m freestyle, Emily silver, Chloe sixth, Tracey gold and Marianne missed out on another county record by 2 hundredths of a second. Paul added to his collection of bronze medals for the evening.

The team stands in sixth place in the table.

The atmosphere at these events is very relaxed (except for Andrea during the relay) and I would encourage anyone who is at all interested to contact Tracey and get involved.

Congratulations to everyone, a big well done to Marianne who made the papers see

Thank you to all the officials and organisers. Next rounds are:

3rd June in Trowbridge and 7th October in Salisbury

Coaching Team

Older swimmers at Wiltshire Championships

Our older swimmers were in action at the Wiltshire Championships in February.

In attendance were:

Olivia Moore, Caitlin Warrington, Rowan Kitchener, Bethany Brewer, Liberty Slowly, Grace Steckerl, Chloe Higgs

Tyler Checchia, Max Adams, Alyx Bailey, William Mangan


Over the two weekends they swam 48 times, a lot of personal bests times achieved and a few disappointments.

Max Adams running in a cross country and arriving as his heat were lined up by the doors did not help his chances of a regional qualifying time.
All that turkey over the Christmas period didn’t help someone (you know who) according to grandad.

Tyler was the only swimmer to recieve medals, with a silver in the 200m fly and a bronze in the 50m fly.

Congratulations to all the swimmers who qualified, thank you to those who took part and represented the club.

Thank you to the organisers and officials, and to the parents for your continued support.

Coaching Team
Swindon ASC

Youngsters at Wiltshire Championships

Wiltshire Age Group Championships – January 2017

Congratulations and a big thank you to our younger swimmers who represented the club in spectacular fashion at the Wiltshire Championships in January.
Star of the show was Max Sullivan who competed in ten events, made the final in seven and received medals in four:

  • Gold 100m Butterfly
  • Bronze 100m Individual Medley
  • Bronze 100m Freestyle
  • Silver 50m Butterfly

In all events his worst place was 7th!

Our other rising star was Hannah Lewington who swimming in only her second meet managed to make the final of the 10/11 years 50m freestyle, coming 4th.

Thea Rhodes was swimming in eight events over the weekends. Her best result being 7th in the 50m freestyle.

After missing the first weekends competition due to illness, Annabel Ollerhead swam in 50m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle and 200m Breatstroke, placing 9th, 14th and 12th respectively.
Our other attendees were Aaron bailey who was 6th in 400IM and Alice Steckerl 13th 50m butterfly.

Thank you to the officials and organisers, and to the parents for their support.

Coaching Team
Swindon ASC

Holly off to GB camp

Holly Sullivan has been invited to the Down Syndrome Swimming – Great Britain training camp in Portsmouth over the weekend of 14th and 15th January 2017 along with the current GB squad.

A weekend of land training, guest speakers, nutritionists and long and short course pool sessions awaits.

Congratulations Holly
Swindon ASC

Swindon swimmers represent County

Two of our swimmers were chosen for the County team in the Intercounty Masters Gala held at Dorchester Pool on Sunday 20th November.

Joined by swimmers from across the County, both were selected to swim in 5 events.

Tracey Sharland swimming in the 25+ backstroke, 140+ freestyle relay, 25+ breaststroke, 180+ medley relay and the 140+ medley relay.

Emily Moore swimming in the 100+ freestyle relay, 72+ freestyle relay, 100+ medley relay, 18+ freestyle and the 72+ medley relay.

The Wiltshire team were up against; Devon, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset. Wiltshire came 5th.

Full results are here

Club winners at Wroughton meet

What do all these swimmers have in common?

Addison Starsmeare-Ferris, Kriday Bhatt, Verity Pocock, Layla Richards, Roxanne Rose, Amelia Rose Smith, Imogen Ray, Sarah Muldoon, Alicia Hawkins, Max Sullivan, Felix James, Aaron Bailey, Tyler Checchia, William Jeary, Charlie Adams, Denis James, Andrew Dolman, Cameron Jennings, William Mangan, Alyx Bailey, Tomas Starsmeare-Ferris, Molly Checchia, Alex Scutt, Freya Howie, Hannah Lewington, Amy Jones, Annabel Ollerhead, Thea Rhodes, Emmie Raine, Hannah Dolman, Rachel Dolman, Alice Steckerl, Olivia Moore, Sasha Stone, Caitlin Warrington, Bethany Brewer, Rowan Kitchener, Melissa Butler, Liberty Slowly, Grace Steckerl, Emily Moore, Chloe Higgs, Samuel Morris, Aiden Keevans, Harry Carpenter, Holly Bailey Hibberd, Ella Spencer, Holly Sullivan, Euan Balmer, Aleyiah Barnet, Melissa Butler, Tamzin Cuppage, Jamie Watson, Georgia Watson, Grace Steckerl, Finley Davies, Abigail Garland, Chloe Higgs, Jessica Hendry.

Together they achieved the highest number of points at the Wroughton Sprint meet meaning that our club, Swindon ASC won the Club competition.

Well done everyone – you are the club.

Swimming Clubs United v Better

Swimmers, coaches & parents from Dolphins, Swindon, Tigersharks & Wroughton Swimming clubs presented a united front outside the Swindon Council Offices on Thursday 10th November.

We were there to make the councillors aware of the strength of feeling in the town in support of the Health Hydro.

Swimming Clubs United v Better
Swimming Clubs United v Better

County Team selection for Tyler

Congratulations to Tyler Checchia who was chosen to represent Wiltshire in the ASA National County Team Championships held on 23rd October 2016 at Ponds Forge International sports centre, Sheffield.

Joining up with swimmers from across the county for a road trip and overnight stay, Tyler was selected to swim in 3 events.

An individual swim in the 12/13 years 100m backstroke resulted in a personal best time of 1:10.46. Tyler also competed in the Boys 12/13 4 x 50m medley relay and the Mixed 6 x 50m freestyle.

More info: ASA County Team Championships – Wiltshire

Video of event: ASA National County Team Champs 2016 – Division 2

Success at Nationals for Holly

On Saturday 1st October Holly swam at the Down Syndrome Internationa Swimming Organisation – British Nationals held in Rugby.

This short course event exclusively for swimmers with Down’s Syndrome was attended by swimmers from all over Britain and included teams from Bristol, Newcastle, Reading, Chester, Harrogate and Scotland to name a few and like all the Down’s and multi-disability swimming events Holly has attended this event had an inclusive, accessible and festival feel to it.

Holly with her medals from the DSISO British Nationals
Holly with her medals from the DSISO British Nationals

Heats were raced based on entry time rather than age which meant that Holly, at 12 was racing against swimmers twice her age or more! Medals were awarded for the first 3 finishers in each heat and a cups were awarded to the swimmer with the overall fastest time.

Swimmers were limited to 3 races and Holly picked the 100m freestyle (or 4 lengths front crawl as Holly would say), 50m freestyle and the 50m breaststroke. Diving starts and legal turns gave Holly a competitive edge and she finish in 2nd place in all 3 of her heats and her times were good enough to place her 2nd overall in the woman’s 100m freestyle, 2nd overall in the woman’s 50m breaststroke and 3rd overall in the woman’s 50m freestyle.

Well done Holly.

Swindon ASC