Swimmers from all three local clubs are in final preparations for the first of three weekends of the Nottinghamshire ASA County Championships being hosted at Beechdale Leisure Centre.
Following a recent review by British Swimming, the format for this year’s competition has changed significantly with swimmers now competing in ‘age as at 31 December’ age groups.
This means that many swimmers will be competing in age categories higher than their actual ages at the time of the competition and have had to work doubly hard to achieve the qualification times.
In total, 18 of Nottinghamshire’s clubs are taking part and Mansfield and Ashfield are well represented with more than 100 talented youngsters from Mansfield SC, Sherwood Colliery SC and Sutton SC, all battling it out for new, individual and team County Champion titles, medals and regional qualifying times.
Additionally, the 9-14 year- olds will compete for overall top ten finishing positions and BAGCAT (British Age Group Category) Awards which encourage youngsters to compete across a wide variety of strokes and distances in line with British Swimming’s Long Term Athlete Development strategy.
In this competition, this year’s ‘ones to watch’ include 2014 BAGCAT Champions Sutton SC’s Matthew Woodhall, Sherwood Colliery SC’s Abbie Scott and Lily Boseley and runners up Chloe Quinn (Sutton SC) and Owen Ottaway (Sherwood Colliery SC).
Mansfield SC’s Ben Sharrocks and Rhys Taylor will be hoping to take their 2014 BAGCAT successes into this year’s Senior competition alongside Sutton SC’s Neve Fergie and Ruslans Golubs; Sherwood Colliery SC’s Imogen Gould & Jade Clarke will both be looking to retain their individual event Senior Champion titles.
Mansfield Swimming Club’s 36-strong qualifying squad includes 11 County Championship debutants; Lewis Meade, Heidi Marriott, Bailey Slater, Evie Wilson, Kieran Thompson, Matthew Wade, Charlie-May Meade, Libby Dove, Paige Vick, Amber Thompson & Elle Moss. All are looking forward to competing at this level for the first time alongside their more experienced squad members, and either achieve or improve upon existing Regional qualification times over the course of the event.
Hoping to build on their 2014 successes, Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club’s 42-strong qualifying squad is, in the main, made up of experienced swimmers who have competed at this level previously. However, Ellena Keigher & Lucy Carter are both making their first County Championship appearances after qualifying for seven individual events between them.
After a year of growth & impressive performances in the pool, Sutton Swimming Club are fielding their highest ever number of County Championship qualifiers, with coaches currently putting their 37 qualifiers through their final paces. Eleven County Championship debutants, Keira Dobbs, Molly Etherington, Maddison Hammond, Talitha Oud, Lydia Pascoe, Spike Atkinson, Jack Berta, Adam Read, Joseph Schenk, Michael Senior & Sargon Youseffi-Titchen will compete alongside more experienced squad members & existing County Champions & BAGCAT winners crowned at last year’s event.
A full round up of the first weekend’s action will be available in next week’s Chad.