Youngsters get first taste of gala fever

Junior members of Team Ipswich Swimming Club went head to head in an Anglo-American friendly gala in Bury St Edmunds recently.In the first gala of this type in Suffolk, Team Ipswich took on American clubs the Lakenheath Barracudas and the Mildenhall Sharks.

Junior members of Team Ipswich Swimming Club went head to head in an Anglo-American friendly gala in Bury St Edmunds recently.

In the first gala of this type in Suffolk, Team Ipswich took on American clubs the Lakenheath Barracudas and the Mildenhall Sharks.

A total of 39 Ipswich swimmers up to the age of 15 took part, the format of the gala enabling seven and eight year olds to compete in the same competition as their older squad members for the first time.

For many youngsters it was their first taste of competitive swimming, but despite this Team Ipswich recorded a number of excellent times throughout the gala, with many new personal best times achieved.

Rebecca Prowse and Tom Fowler each achieved three Suffolk County qualifying times; Jack Pickering, Toby Allday and Mitchel Lewis each achieved two, while Ross Taylor, Robert White and Robyn Coe all achieved one.

Team Ipswich Junior Coach Carol Jellings said: “It was great to see so many young swimmers having their first taste of competition in such a friendly atmosphere.

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“Many competitions don't allow swimmers under nine to compete, so for the seven and eight year olds who train two to three times per week, this gala was long overdue and was a fantastic way for them to see their hard work pay off and keep them motivated.

“This will certainly keep both swimmers and parents hungry for more competitions like this in the future.”

Team Ipswich now hope this will become an annual event with more swimmers taking part each year.

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