05 Nov 2023

Author: Matt Boyd-Wallis

Arena League

This was a fantastic evening up in Fleet, with smiles, laughter, shouting and a lot of great swims. We swam in the Junior Cup Gala, which is a gala for 14-year-olds and below and we had several swimmers for whom this was their first or one of their first competitive events. This did not take away from just how competitive all the teams were and how hard Eastleigh swam. Everyone truly did enjoy themselves, from the Team Managers, parents in the stand, swimmers and myself, standing at lane end. All of us were cheering, shouting our heads off and encouraging our swimmers who found themselves in some very tight races.

What truly encouraged and made me ever so proud was the sheer determination and competitive spirit we had on poolside, no matter who swam, everyone gave 100%, trying new things, confronting and conquering their fears and competitive nervousness. Everyone dived off those blocks, did their takeovers, finished strong, turned, and tried their very best. Even though the times we recorded are not official, we recorded some very encouraging and fast swims, with great PBs which bodes well for everyone’s next Open Meet and racing opportunity.

The other clubs at Fleet were Basingstoke (who had two teams), RATS, Wey Valley, Bassett and us. Our very first race just showed our determination and set the tone and attitude for the rest of the night. Jas Xue did her first competitive 100m Breaststroke (I think) and she gave her whole to the race, concentrating on what she had to do, keeping her stroke long and trying her very best. From that race the rest of the team just took on the next race, each in their turn. This resulted in us leading the gala at the early stages of the event, then as the night went on, we found ourselves in a very tight head-to-head with Wey Valley, with the lead swapping between us. It literally came down to the last 5 races of the night, with Wey Valley just edging the win over us. But it truly was a great night and competition and a lot of fun for all who were there, I would like to say a BIG Thank You and Well Done to all the swimmers, you really are a credit to yourselves and Eastleigh Swim Club. Also to all your parents and adults who brought you up to Fleet and who stayed to support you all.

WELL DONE guys and keep it going, keep smiling, supporting each other and just loving your swimming.

Final Scores:

  1. Wey Valley 182 points
  2. Eastleigh 176 points
  3. Basingstoke 160 points
  4. Romsey & Totton 156 points
  5. Bassett JSF 73 points

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