As 2014 draws to a close Garstang Gators club representative Helen Charlesworth looks back on a successful yeare.
Garstang Amateur Swimming Club held their annual presentation evening. Head coach, Sue Booth, reported the swimmers had a good results in 2013, many of them achieving personal best times at local, county and regional events.
The captains for 2014 were announced at the evening. These are Phoebe Collinson and Matthew Jennings as the junior captains and Rosie Hewitt and William Atkinson for the senior captains.
January 2014, North Lancs level three meet, a squad of swimmers attended this gala and achieved a huge 26 personal bests and five medals. We also took a squad of the younger swimmers to a friendly gala at Fleetwood, despite it being the first gala for many of the swimmers Garstang came in first place
March – swim the channel
The swim club undertook the challenge to swim the length of the English Channel - 22 miles or 1,770 lengths of Garstang Pool in an hour, a sponsored event to raise funds. Over 55 swimmers took part. The atmosphere was electric, chaotic and great fun. Some of the teenage club members swam over 100 lengths each and the 1,770 lengths needed to complete the challenge was well exceeded.
March – Lancashire county championships
Manchester and Liverpool Aquatics Centres hosted the 2014 Lancashire County Championships. Representing the girls were Natalie Charlesworth, Jessica Critchley, Abbie Hewitt and Ellie Moss. The boys were represented by Jack Holmes, Freddie Hewitt, Hadley Price and Thomas Eccles. Steve Eccles, team manager said: “Well done to all the squad. Just achieving the tough qualifying times required to swim with the best in Lancashire is testament to their hard work and dedication.”
April – Swim 21 accreditation
Garstang Amateur Swimming Club has gained Swim 21 which is the “ASA’s National Benchmark for Excellence”.
The committee has been working at gaining this accreditation for two years. Gators joined the local ASA Coastal Network when it formed a year ago, which has given us the opportunity to share resources with other swimming clubs.
May 2014 – Blackpool Rocks open meet
This event is hosted by Blackpool Aquatics swim club and is a well attended entire weekend of competition by many clubs, Garstang swimmers achieved 33 personal bests out of a total of 50 swims and gained one gold medal, two silvers and four bronze medals
Garstang Amateur Swimming Club staged its second Open Graded Medals Gala, and its first ASA licensed meet at Palatine Leisure Centre in Blackpool attracting entries from clubs as far afield as Barrow and Penrith. Over 100 swimmers took part in the competition now an annual event hosted by Garstang swim club.
The Gators took a team to compete in the first Blackpool Lights Swim Meet. This competition is held at the Palatine Pool, Blackpool The team achieved 17PBs out of 23 swims including two speeding tickets, three gold medals, four silvers and two bronze.
On October 18 Garstang Amateur Swimming Club hosted a friendly Gala at Fleetwood YMCA swimming centre. The friendly galas are aimed at giving the younger or more inexperienced swimmers an insight into competition, therefore helping to build confidence in swimmers who are able but may be nervous of competing. Garstang took a squad of 30 swimmers and for six of these it was their first time at a competition. The swimmers took part in the highlight was the Garstang canon squad putting in a fantastic winning swim to end the competition with the Garstang team second.
November – Club Annual Gala
This years club gala was held at Fleetwood YMCA with most of the swimmers attending and competing against their team mates for medals, ribbons, trophies and club records, the event was a huge success with many children gaining personal best times and some of the younger swimmers experiencing their first gala.
Inter Association Meet – Garstang Swim club were very proud that one of their younger swimmer Natalie Charlesworth (age 10) was chosen to represent North Lancashire at the inter county championships, Natalie swam 50m Butterfly and the 200m Individual Medley. Wigan gala - A team of three Garstang Swimmers attended the Wigan future starts gala and achieved seven personal best times.
December – Waterpolo
Garstang Gators swimmers welcome a member of the British Olympic waterpolo team Glen Robinson to the Garstang pool on two occasions to work with the swimmers..
Garstang Amateur swimming club would struggle to flourish without the continual fund-raising of its members and the kind donations and sponsorship from within the community, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported Garstang swim club during 2014.