Burnham-On-Sea Swimming Club is celebrating another successful season of competitions.
The club competes in six different categories of competition, as well as running a very successful learn-to-swim programme run by its staff, who are all volunteers and qualified to deliver a quality swimming provision.
Working in partnership with Brean Splash, the small local community club is growing from strength to strength.
For the first time in many years the club is nearly full to capacity which is testament to its great reputation of providing excellent swimming teaching and coaching.
This year, the club says its swimmers have been incredible and exceeded all expectations.
11 swimmers competed in the Somerset County Championships in January, competing in 30 events and from there three swimmers achieved regional times in two events each.
The Four Seasons gala series were created to introduce our younger swimmers to competition in a safe and supportive environment.
Swimmers as young as seven years of age have swum this year and will continue to swim in this series of galas until the age of 12.
In the last gala on July 2nd, the club had five swimmers swimming for the first time and achieved seven 1st places and 15 Personal Best times plus a new club record set by an eight year-old boy, Ethan Reddish.
One parent commented on the club’s Facebook page that it “was lovely to see such young swimmers taking part, they should be very proud. It takes a lot of confidence to swim in a gala.”
The Winter Series also brought further success for the club’s swimmers. The galas were introduced to offer a higher level of completion to a wider age group of swimmers from 11 years-old to open age groups, swum against three local clubs – Wellington, Norton Radstock and Minehead.
The club showed improvement over the three galas with an increase in Personal Best times set.
The final position achieved in the Cotswold Series galas has always been a marker on how well the club is doing.
There are 20 clubs in this series with three finals to aim for at A, B or C. This year the club qualified for 6th position out of 6 in the B final, which is an improvement from last season of two places, from 2nd in the C Final to 6th place in the B final.
Expecting to be placed sixth in the final, every swimmer swam for every point. The atmosphere was electric, swimmers were on their feet cheering each other on, and the final result was fourth in the B Final.
Having moved up the rankings by two places the swimmers and coaching team couldn’t be more pleased, plus to be the highest placed team within 20 miles is a fantastic achievement.
“Through all of this success we must also celebrate the number of our volunteers, at times you can’t get onto poolside due to the number of willing young and not so young volunteers,” said a spokesperson.
“Many are gaining experience for their Duke of Edinburgh awards which we support and encourage but others are looking to broaden their experience to qualify as a swimming teacher in the future.”
“We have to congratulate and thank Jayne Lilley and Paula Ashdown who have children swimming in the club, but who also volunteer their time and have become qualified teachers.”
“Nathan Clarke, right, one of our older swimmers, is finding out how rewarding it is to come out of the pool and stand on poolside to teach and coach.”
“Nathan qualified as a Level 1 teacher in February 2015, a Level 1 Coach February 2016, and has just qualified as a Level 2 Teacher. On top of all this in the last 12 months Nathan has also qualified as Judge 2, attended the LEN European Masters in London to officiate, and we are very proud of him being awarded Somerset’s ASA Young Volunteer of the Year Award.”
“Christopher Wood is another older swimmer who has drifted from the pool to poolside, qualifying as a Level 1 Coach last year and Judge 1 this year and now working towards qualifying as a Judge 2.”
“He was selected from hundreds of applicants to attend the National Youth Training Camp in Loughborough and was the 2nd runner up in this year’s Somerset ASA Young Volunteer of the Year Award.”
On the 18th June the club also ran a junior internal gala to give all of its much younger swimmers the experience of galas before they are introduced to the Four Seasons galas.
Whilst organised by the committee, the event itself was run by its older swimmers, officiating, team managing, recording and announcing.
The event ran extremely well despite a few technical hitches with the starting equipment, all of which was overcome with little interference from the grown-ups!
“The experience gained by the swimmers and all those running the event was invaluable,” said the spokesperson. “That night we saw the future of swimming in Somerset and Burnham on that poolside. It was a very proud moment for any committee I am sure.”
“The club is run solely by volunteers and we appreciate and thank each and every one of them. Thank you for a great year. Thank you to the swimmers for their continued hard work in the pool and great results this year and thanks to the network of support our swimmers receive from their families and friends.”
“Not bad for a club where swimmers can only train for a maximum of three hours per week! Our future looks bright! Thank you.”