Seasoned swimmers battle well for Bognor - so do rookies

Bognor swimmers celebrate their latest successes
Bognor swimmers celebrate their latest successes

Bognor Swimming Club ended the season with two competitions: one for their more experienced swimmers and one for the up and coming youngsters.

Over three weekends at The Arena’s pool, 40 children competed in a mixture of events and distances, with an award evening on the fourth weekend used to celebrate their achievements.

The Copper championships was an opportunity for the younger and less experienced swimmers to compete for medals. Many were from Bognor’s Swim School and had never competed before.

Many children improved on their personal bests and will hopefully represent the club at galas soon. Being in a competitive environment, having a crowd cheering them on and vying for medals obviously helped many swim their fastest times.

Adam White, one of the youngest competitors aged six, swam admirably and kept pace with older boys. He was able to beat four club records for his age group. He is now the proud owner of the fastest times for the 25m freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.

His proud mum Kath White said: “He swam fantastically. Adam adores swimming and he had a grin the size of a Cheshire cat when he was awarded his four gold medals. This has now inspired him to swim even faster in the future and he can’t wait to be swimming against children from other clubs when he is old enough.”

It was also a successful Copper championships for other children. Isabel Garganelli, Jess Johnson, Daniel Hillier, Jamie Hillier and Henry Hayter all achieved 100 per cent success in their age groups, coming away with up to four golds each, many with personal bests.

Perhaps the most competitive races were in the events for the six to eight-year-old girls. In this age group, there was success for Aimee Cowell, seven, who came away with two golds and two silvers in her four events.

Sophie Chamberlain, seven, and Aimee fought it out in the 25m butterfly and were neck and neck - but in the end, Sophie beat Aimee by 0.02 of a second. Sophie went on to win a silver and two bronzes.

In the same age category, Evie Heppenstall, eight, achieved gold in the 25m breaststroke, again pipping Aimee Cowell - this time by a quarter of a second.

Evie also won a silver and a bronze in the other races, while Gracie Todd came third in the 25m butterfly, swimming close to her personal best.

Not to be outdone, the six to eight-year-old boys also competed well. Owen Cullen and Tom Chamberlain, both seven, fought it out for top spot across the four events.

They each won two races and came second in two races. In each race they were less than a second apart and in the 25m freestyle, Tom beat Owen by 0.2 seconds. There were also medals for Matthew Cowley (two), Toby Morley and Charlie Judd.

Meanwhile, the more experienced swimmers competed in the club’s long-distance championship. Probably the most challenging race was also the first of the competition: the 200m butterfly.

Archie Strowger, nine, swam under four minutes to achieve gold in the 9-12 boys’ age group. From this solid start, he went on to win six gold medals in events such as the 400m freestyle and the 400m individual medley.

Georgia Spink, 11, and Josh Hockey, 13, also enjoyed 100 per cent records in their age groups. There were also wins for Abbie Turner and Lisa Stone, both 13.

The club and swimmers are looking forward to next season, starting in September.

Sue Eason, the development coach, said: “The two competitions were a great success and it was fantastic to see so many young swimmers competing against each other and against their own personal bests. Hopefully, we can build upon this event next year and have even more swimmers taking part.”

The club are looking for new recruits. If anyone of any age would like to join, whether they are competent swimmers or beginners, see www.bognorswim.co.uk for details.