Mansfield and Ashfield swimmers Rebecca Adlington, Charlotte Henshaw, Sam and Ollie Hynd ready for Olympic selection trials

Rebecca Adlington is expected to take part in the event Ponds Forge (please credit photo to Simon Wright)
Rebecca Adlington is expected to take part in the event Ponds Forge (please credit photo to Simon Wright)

Around 30 swimmers from Nottinghamshire’s Nova Centurion Swimming Club – including double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington OBE – are in contention for London 2012 qualification.

That headline figure of 30 swimmers builds on the 20 or so swimmers from Nova Centurion who were in contention for the Olympic and Paralympic Games four years ago in Beijing.

And it further builds the already reputation international reputation of Nova Centurion Swimming Club, a partnership between Nottinghamshire County Council, Notts Amateur Swimming Association and the swimming club.

The dates of critical qualification sessions for our swimming hopefuls at the British Gas Swimming Championships 2012 (Selection Trials) in the official Olympic pool at the Aquatics Centre, in London are 3rd to 10th March.

As well as Rebecca Adlington OBE, other names to watch out for include Jess Sylvester, Georgia Hohmann, Sasha Matthews, and Paralympian hopefuls Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw.

Nottinghamshire County Council, Notts Amateur Swimming Association and Nova Centurion Swimming Club have been working together to nurture swimming talent in the county for the last 35 years which has helped develop a number of Olympic, Paralympic and international swimmers.

Bill Furniss, swimming performance director at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “To have 30 swimmers in contention for the Games is quite remarkable – it is an extremely high standard that swimmers have to reach to even get to this stage, and it further endorses the quality and standard there is at every level of Nova Centurion.

“It is a huge source of pride – but we are just telling the swimmers to take one day at a time. Because of the success in Beijing and elsewhere in recent years nationally and internationally, the trials will take place in front of a sell-out crowd which is extremely unusual, but demonstrates the interest there is in swimming in this country at the present time.

“There will therefore be extra pressure on the swimmers during the qualification sessions, but it is nevertheless going to be quite an experience for them to perform in the Olympic pool as they compete for a place at London 2012.

“The opportunity to represent Great Britain in an Olympic and Paralympic Games here in London is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our swimmers – but they are all very much concentrating on these trials in March first and foremost.”

Sasha Matthews, Charlotte Henshaw and Ollie Hynd are among Nova Centurion Swimming Club’s swimmers who also receive Shining Stars funding from Nottinghamshire County Council to support their training and travel costs.

Glenn Smith, swim coach and development officer at Mansfield District Council is supporting Paralympic hopefuls Charlotte Henshaw and Ollie Hynd.

Glenn said: “We definitely just focusing on the trials at present, the prospect of our swimmers competing in front of the biggest swimming crowd in Great Britain for some time is tremendous. The excitement is building, and the anticipation is immense. I for one can’t wait.”