SWIMMING: Golden Grantham are county champions again
Swimmers, coaches and parents at Grantham Swimming Club are celebrating after becoming Lincolnshire county champions for the second year running.
Once again, Grantham took the cup for top club after trouncing opposition from traditionally bigger set-ups, such as Lincoln Vulcans and City of Lincoln Pentaqua.
Swimmers came home with a haul of 66 gold medals, 58 silver and 47 bronze, with 25 members winning at least one medal.
Top girl was 13-year-old Freya Colbert who won 16 gold medals and one silver, whilst top boy was 12-year-old Billy Reed who won 11 gold, five silver and two bronze.
GSC head coach Maciej Rakowski said: “We set out to win with a target of 60 gold medals this year but we worried it might be mission impossible against clubs like Lincoln Vulcans and City of Lincoln Pentaqua who are much bigger clubs in terms of members and available training time in the pool.
“But, Grantham not only won, we dominated them by a significant margin. We actually won 66 gold medals. We also dominated in the hardest swimming events – 400 IM, 200 fly, 800m and 1500m free.
“It is absolutely impressive but it also says a lot about the quality of coaching in our club – outstanding. As someone who runs coaching courses, I visit many swimming clubs and I am convinced many of our coaches deliver better quality sessions than some professional head coaches.”
Maciej also paid tribute to the club’s swimmers, particularly the younger age groups: “The majority of the medals came from the younger swimmers who were repeatedly achieving massive personal best times – not only the fastest in the county, but also in Britain. It was absolutely amazing to see their commitment.”
The Lincolnshire County Age Group Championships feature the very best swimmers from across the county who compete in 18 different events over three weekends.
Two weekends of swimming are now held on home territory at The Meres leisure ventre thanks to a strong partnership between the centre staff and management and the Club committee.
Grantham Swimming Club secretary Zoe Lewis paid tribute to the leisure centre: “Because of the support we have from The Meres, Grantham were able to put in a very strong bid to the Lincolnshire County Amateur Swimming Association to host at least 50 per cent of the events in this year’s county championships at home.
“We have a great relationship with The Meres and we feel they are really invested in Grantham’s success as Lincolnshire’s premier swimming club.
“It’s great to see. Grantham Swimming Club is really going places and we are excited about what the future holds for us. Their ongoing backing is crucial to our plans.”
The club now has its sights firmly set on shining brightly at the upcoming East Midland Youth and Age Group Championships which are held across two weekends in May and showcase the East Midlands’ premier swimmers.
Thirty-one Grantham swimmers have currently qualified for Midlands – up from 26 last year – with a month of the qualifying period still remaining.
The swimming season then wraps up in July and August with the British Summer Championships and English Nationals taking place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, with Grantham optimistic of sending more swimmers than ever before.