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From little acorns........

It's fitting that local news reports have featured Weston super Mare Swimming Club in terms of young swimmer development on the eve of the last weekend of competition in the County Swimming Championships to be held at the Hutton Moor Leisure Centre.  Trevor Bramwell, Club Secretary, highlighted some of their recent activities to the Weston Mercury, 

"Overweight children are a constant worry for parents and society but one group of Weston swimmers are fighting the fat. With physical inactivity costing North Somerset £34.4million every year these youngsters are a shining example of how to keep active. The promising members from Weston Swimming Club are competing in several championships this year with high hopes scooping national awards. There are around 250 swimmers from age five and a range of skill groups from beginners to high performers.

Head coach, Rachel Aldington, said: "Swimming is a fantastic life skill that the kids can carry on throughout their life. It keeps them active and teaches them how to work independently as well as in a group. We have some great talent from in and around Weston and I will continue to support them in reaching their goals."

Scott Bradley, aged 11, had his first lesson with the club at age three and has been a member for the last five years. He trains six times a week before and after school and said one day he hopes to compete in the national championships. Scott said: "Swimming is so much fun and I have lots of friends at the club. It keeps me fit and active and lets me meet other swimmers too. I am competing in several races in the county championships at the moment and if I work hard enough one day I could compete nationally."

Members are currently participating in the Somerset County Championship and those with qualifying times will go on to enter the South West Regional.

The National Swimming Championships will then be held in Sheffield in the summer and any swimmers who achieve qualifying times will compete.

Esme Gullick, aged 13, trains up to eight times a week and has competed in the regional competition for the last three years. She said: "I am trying to get good times so I can get into the nationals. Swimming is my main hobby and always has been. I just love it. It gives me something to do and keeps me active and healthy."

Another success story from the club is that of 15-year-old Lucy Titchen from St Georges. Lucy was spotted at a competition last year and was encouraged to attend Millfield School as it is known for its top swimming academy. Since joining the school she has been put forward for Great British training camps and will compete for the south west. A former Worle Community School pupil, who joined the swimming club at the age of nine, has gone on to win countless medals and now coaches junior members.

Chris Knight, aged 19, achieved level three in coaching and went on to study coaching and sports development at the University of Bath. Chris said: "I learnt so much from Weston swimming club and I appreciate all the help they gave me which allowed me to get into coaching. It's a really friendly environment at the club and the staff and volunteers are very helpful. I think it's brilliant that so many youngsters are coming through now as the club has so much to offer the little ones."

Club secretary Trevor Bramwell, who has two children at the club, said the pool costs around £50,000 per year to hire and they rely heavily on membership fees, "Fund raising events and parent contributions are vital for us as without this we could not afford the pool hire costs. Swimming is always in the minority in terms of funding especially compared to rugby and football clubs. We are always appealing for sponsorship or any donations and we hope that our big open day at Easter will help raise more money."

Level two qualified swimmers from across the country will compete on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 April at the Weston super Mare Easter open meet. Each day is packed with seven hours of swimming and the top three winners of each race will receive medals or a crystal award.

Trevor said: "Even if you don't know anyone competing the shear excitement and thrill of watching the swimmers battle it out will have you on the edge of your seat."

With acknowledgement to the Weston & Somerset Mercury.

Somerset ASA is pleased to support the Weston super Mare Swimming Club Open Meet.  Full details can be found by clicking here.


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