Joy for Tracey as records tumble
SWIMMING: Deben Swimming Club is entering the final round of its annual club championships this weekend – after several spectacular sessions at its Woodbridge home pool.
DEBEN Swimming Club is entering the final round of its annual club championships this weekend – after several spectacular sessions at its Woodbridge home pool.
On Saturday, Deben began its first of two sprint sessions, with dozens of club members recording personal bests throughout the evening.
The weekend session followed a series of club-based events, including a 400 metre championship in May, two 200 metre sessions and two allotted 'Mini Championship' events for the club's younger swimmers.
Saturday's event saw over 100 club members – aged nine and upwards – competing in their respective age groups and breaking many long-held Deben records.
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Tracey Collins, the club's championship secretary, said the session was another great success.
"A lot of organisation has gone into the running of this year's championship events so it's a great bonus to see the upbeat atmosphere on poolside and to see so many records broken."
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Deben has only been running 'split championships' for two years. Previously it had held just two weekends of club competition, comprising all distances and strokes.
However, the changed structure of the Suffolk County Championships – together with the new BAGCAT system – meant that many clubs wanted to re-organise their championships to encourage a wider range of competition.
"For the last two years we've found that it was important to break down the championships and to bring in greater distance events – therefore we needed to hold the races over a broader time period," said Tracey.
"The change also sparked the introduction of our very successful Mini Championships, because we didn't want to be dissuading younger swimmers when we raised the distances of other events."
The Mini Championships took place over two weeks and finished last Wednesday. It was a valuable competitive opportunity for many of the younger club members – often giving them the first taste of racing.
Tracey said: "Our youngest Mini Championship swimmer was just six years old, and many of the
competitors would never have taken part if we had not have segregated them away from the more senior
"I'm really pleased that so many swimmers – of all ages and talents – are now being catered for in our new system. It's crucial that they all get an opportunity to experience competition."