Swimming results still flooding in

THE county's big competitive swimming event may have reached its climax over a fortnight ago, but the results collation is still ongoing.For dozens of impressive performers, the times and positions will be their personal passport to a national circuit of galas - but for the younger regional hopefuls, their results will also offer a new and encouraging reward.

By Debbie Watson

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THE county's big competitive swimming event may have reached its climax over a fortnight ago, but the results collation is still ongoing.

For dozens of impressive performers, the times and positions will be their personal passport to a national circuit of galas - but for the younger regional hopefuls, their results will also offer a new and encouraging reward.


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In around two weeks time, a selection of 10,11, 12 and 13-year-old swimmers will finally hear whether they are to be invited to attend a new system of UK Talent Camps.

The initiative forms part of the Active Sport Programme - a scheme promoting specific sporting opportunities for youngsters across Britain.

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It has been devised by Sport England (formerly the English Sports Council) and brings together local authorities, schools and governing bodies, to promote the potential of those between eight and 16 years old.

In swimming, it is to include various stages of Talent Camps, which will then enhance the country's potential for thorough training and competition among all age groups.

As part of this first round of talent camps, swimmers are being hand-picked from their performance in the 200metre Individual Medley at their own county championship.

"This is as really exciting time for sport, and in swimming we are really trying to embrace the opportunities which the Active Sport Programme will bring," said ASA coaching and talent development co-ordinator, Richard Gordon.

"Nine of the first talent camps are going to be held throughout England, and in this region we are in the process of pulling together the candidates for our camp from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire."

Richard, who is based at Crown Pools in Ipswich, is currently in the final stages of pooling swimmers' results from our recent Suffolk County Championship, as well as from other county-level championships.

He is eager to promote the positive benefits that these new talent camps will potentially bring to the future of swimming.

"The whole of the Active Sport concept has been very carefully devised so that at each age and standard, our sporting potential for this country is being tapped.

"In swimming it is going to include everything from swimming festivals for non-club-going youngsters, to a World Start programme for the elite in their field.

"It offers a wealth of opportunity where, up until now, I think we have lacked that kind of perspective and vision."

The first swimming talent camp is scheduled to be held at the University of East Anglia, over two days.

It will take place shortly before the Commonwealth Games and its conception has been made possible thanks to a £3 million lottery funding.

As well as in swimming, some nine other sports will also be initiating their own Active Sport programmes, with similar events staged at various levels.

Richard said: "I'm really looking forward to seeing how this first Talent Camp works out.

"I am confident that for our first regional one we will see several swimmers from Suffolk. The County Championships were the perfect evidence that we have some very exceptional swimmers coming through."

The official launch of the Suffolk Active Sport Programme will take place at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre on 25 April.

Weblink:

www.sportengland.org

SEVEN Suffolk teachers have become the first in the region to be presented with a unique water-rescue qualification.

The award winners all completed a special course, teaching lifesaving and swimming skills for all those involved in the instruction of disabled children.

Known as the 'Rescue test for Supervisors of Swimmers with Disabilities', this certification is still new to the county, having only received the necessary funding and facilities from Ipswich Borough Council in recent months.

Working in collaboration with IBC, the Ipswich Lifesaving Club was able to offer the course at Fore Street Pool over a period of twelve weeks.

Terry Cloud, one of the course trainers, said he was delighted with the structure and success of this first course.

He said: "I'm so pleased that these individuals have been able to achieve a very specific and important lifesaving qualification.

"It's something that I feel very proud to have been associated with, and I hope we will be able to put many more county professionals through this training in the future."

The seven achievers - who were all presented in Ipswich recently - were Sue Woolmer, Colette Flude, Philip Sargent, Christine Sargent, Bridget Burke, Katie Magill and Frances Harbour.

CLUB swimmer Natalka Greenwood is a celebrated sporting star of our region.

At 16, and a committed member of Felixstowe Swimming Club, she has been named as the Junior Sports Personality for the town.

A pupil at Northgate High School, Natalka took the official title at a recent ceremony, with a special trophy presented to her by Mayor Harry Dangerfield.

Until the day of the event, Natalka had absolutely no idea about the planned presentation – or event that she had been nominated.

"It wasn't until the day of the ceremony that I had any idea of what was happening," said Natalka. "The club had put my name forward, but everyone had kept it a huge secret from me."

Natalka, who swims several times a week with Felixstowe Swimming Club, was nominated in recognition of her dedication to the club.

She has trained and competed for some seven years, but has also been teaching for the last two.

"I really enjoy helping out and doing what I do at the club. I didn't think there was anything exceptional about it.

"I'm just really proud – and surprised – to have received the award."

DIVERS from the Sunstar Subaqua Club have begun a packed summertime agenda of activities.

This week, several of the club families will be making the most of perfect diving conditions in Menorca, while next week, a new group will be leaving Ipswich for the waters of Egypt.

Sunstar Subaqua meet regularly at Fore Street Pool and organise a number of dives throughout the year.

The club, which this year is celebrating its 26th birthday, is also in the process of trying to set up a Marine Medic Course.

This initiative would involve a number of the club members taking special training in the art of rescuing whales and dolphins around the coast of the UK.

The course would be led by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Charity, which last year helped in the rescue of a whale stranded in Kent, the re-floating of a bottlenose dolphin in Scotland, and the recovery of an injured seal.

No specific diving qualifications or experience are required to enrol on this course, but if you are interested in this or the Sunstar Club, call Mike Saucede on Ipswich 623918.

Weblink:

www.sunstar/org.uk/

SWIMMING DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

13 April – Novice gala at Ipswich Crown Pools.

15 April – Commonwealth team announced. Karen Pickering and Zoe Cray both bidding for a place.

20 April – Summer League begins.

25 April – Official Launch of Suffolk Active Sport.

nIf you would like the activities of your club mentioned in the 'In The Pool' section, please contact us.

We are always keen to hear the plans, events and results of any pool-based sport team. In particular, we are set to begin profiling some of the better-known personalities among the county's swimming circuit.

E.mail debbie.watson@eveningstar.co.uk or call 01473 282409.

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