13 Nov 2023

Author: Matt Boyd-WallisArena League

This was an incredibly impressive, yet hard, gala and set of swims to do for our swimmers. First, to travel again such a distance and to compete against these well established and much bigger swimming clubs. The clubs we swam against on Saturday are bigger, have a greater pool of swimmers to select from and have had their programmes running for several years, which creates stability, consistency, and swimmers. We are in the very early stages of creating a new and established Eastleigh Swim Club and what I had the pleasure to watch on Saturday, were a set of swimmers willing to give their all no matter the opposition, to swim their own swims for themselves, their teammates and the club.

The only way we dream of success or achieve improvement is by pushing ourselves, testing our resolve and challenging ourselves outside our comfort zones. Saturday night, all those boxes were ticked and not one single Eastleigh swimmer flinched or didn’t step up to the challenges that I asked of them. The Arena programme is made up of 51 swims; 34 are individual swimmer and 17 are relay events. On Saturday, 23 of our individual swims were PBs, another 3 swims were less than 0.07 off their PBs and 12 first leg swimmers in the relays swam faster than their 50m PB time for that stroke. This is amazing and a true reflection of the grit, determination, and improvement every swimmer is making in this club! These results are facts and can’t be argued with and more impressively, these were achieved during a heavy training cycle and after a tough training set for Performance Squads on Friday night.

Again, we found ourselves without a full team and unfortunately had to make some last-minute changes, meaning that we lost 2 relays events in the 9–11-year-old age group and I asked people to double up on swims. I again asked swimmers to race for the first time at one of the highest levels of team competition, in some cases on strokes that they absolutely detest and for a couple of you to support Eastleigh without having a swim.

Congratulations to the following swimmers who achieved new PBs in their individual races;

  • Lara Willoughby x 2
  • Ellis Hooper x 2
  • Jessica Heywood-Crozier x 2
  • Will Allen x 2
  • Bea South
  • Elliot Latham
  • Evie Sherriff Lee
  • Adam Sadler
  • Oliver Rutherford
  • Will Strike
  • Harry Geary
  • Emilia Innes
  • Ben Negus
  • Jessica Innes
  • Evelyn White
  • Heather Grimes
  • Alistair Taylor
  • Lilly Shaw
  • Toby Fenton

Everyone should look at the results and have a look at your times and splits in both individual and relays and see how close and how well you all swam. As your coach I couldn’t be prouder (AGAIN)! You guys truly keep surprising me, making me smile and wishing to keep doing my very best for all of you, I want to say Thank You!

We were lucky to only record 2 DQs and we need to be more aware of that and my challenge in the 3rd and final round to all the swimmers who are available and then selected will be not to record any DQs! We can do this and keep going with what you are all doing, getting fitter, stronger, and more technically sound.

Keep supporting each other, the club, believing in yourselves and pushing yourselves and each other.

Thank you to everyone who was there on Saturday: swimmers, parents, coaches, and team managers, and lets really go for it in the last round in December. Well done and keep it going.



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