20 Nov 2023

Author: Matt Boyd-Wallis

Cheering on your teammates

This was another great meet and results for Eastleigh Swim Club and a demonstration on how our swimmers are becoming stronger, more confident, willing to become more competitive and believing in themselves. The meet was spread over two and half days, with the 800m and 1500m events on Friday night and then a full programme of events spread over Saturday and Sunday. We had a total of 135 swims over the five sessions, recording 85 PBs in total, meaning 63% of our swims were lifetime bests.

What impressed Tyler and I the most was the continued belief, competitive grit, and willingness not to give up from all our swimmers. Our fitness is shining through in our willingness to take on new race strategies and our backend speed, which is really pleasing. These PBs aren’t just coming from one area/squad within the club, but from all our competitive squads, with swimmers from Junior Squads, Age Group Performance and Performance 1 & 2 recording and achieving some massive improvements. This is coming from our improved technical discipline and holding onto technique, breathing patterns and sheer determination not to give up.

There were several swims that were worth mentioning. It started with Ella Scott, who improved upon her 1500m time on Friday. This carried on Saturday with Elliot Latham recording 28.96sec for 50m FC, Ffion Evans dropping 6 seconds, Emily Bourn dropping 11 seconds and Alana Maddock dropping 4 seconds on their 200m Butterfly, with Alana's time breaking the club record set just a few months earlier by Megan Thorpe. Even more pleasing was the technical control these girls showed, especially Ffion with beautiful rhythm, timing and stroke length.

Cheering on your teammates

On Sunday with the Girls 200m IM, Lucy Melhuish dropping 18 seconds, Evie Sherriff Lee 6 seconds and Ffion Evans 7 seconds, Sammy Scott taking 12 seconds off his 200m Breaststroke time and Lara Willoughby dropping 5 seconds in her 50m Backstroke. The evening brought even more success with Emma Padilla Ortiz dropping 7 seconds in her 200m FC, Jessica Heywood Crozier dropping 7 seconds, but one of the swims of the weekend, was Lucy in this 200m FC, dropping 19 seconds. Corden Eccleston dropped 6 seconds in the 100m IM, Sammy Scott 8 seconds in 200m Back along with Adam Sadler dropping 6 seconds and Ben Negus dropping 5 seconds. Lucy then took a further 4 seconds off her 50m FC and Corden 5 seconds on his 50m Fly.

I could truly keep going and you were all amazing!

We came home with 6 Gold, 11 Silver and 13 Bronze medals from the weekend. As a coach, what is so pleasing to see is the split differentiation dropping, meaning that we are keeping our technique and determination throughout each race, which was demonstrated by Alana in the 400m IM, where she dropped a further 4 seconds. We only recorded 4 DQs over the weekend too, which is amazing too and where we will learn from.

I know I haven’t mentioned a lot of you, and I apologise for that, but you were all noticed, the smiles and wide-eyed surprised looks, when you all realised what you had achieved. Belief coming back into your eyes, hearts, and minds, starting to understand the hard work and training discipline does pay off. It all stems from your belief in yourselves, keeping your focus on yourselves and building upon each experience, good or bad, trusting in your race strategies and your coaches. Keep working hard when you need to and keep enjoying these successes, you all deserve them.

Finally, thank you to Paul Rutherford, Tanya Scott, and Debbie Latham for helping on poolside. Thank you for all the support in the stands and to all your parents/adults for bringing you down to Bournemouth and supporting our swimmers in every way. Keep it going, as it is so worth seeing those smiles. Well done!


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