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PGL – Saturday 24th March 2018

On Saturday we took 35 swimmers to Bromsgrove to compete in the re-arranged 2nd round of the PGL League.  I am extremely proud of our swimmers who recorded a third place finish where we were competing against three strong teams in Northgate, Oldbury and Cheltenham. We accumulated a total of 125 points, slightly more than we achieved in the previous round.

10 swimmers in our squad were competing for the first time in a competitive environment and, for some, performed a competitive start from the blocks for the first time in a competitive race too. It was also the first time we saw all 35 swimmers performing a dive at the event for a long time (as opposed to starting from a push and glide). All should be proud of their development and achievements. There were no disqualifications in any of our individual events which highlights a significant step in the right direction as a club. This is a huge pat on the back for all the coaches who are continuously raising the standards.

Two take overs, in a relay and cannon event, resulted in our only two DQs which we will strive to remove from future events. Still, with these, significant progress is being made. We will continue to raise the standards of all swimmers’ technique and manipulation of strokes through sessions as swimmers and differing levels of ability can always tweak for improvements.

Every swimmer at the event excelled in their swims. We recorded a massive 28 Personal Bests out of 38 individual races. This is an amazing achievement for the squad. A few performances of note include a first place for Emily Byrd in the 9 Years age group 25m Butterfly (our first pole position finish in this age group this year), Henry Jackson claiming 1st place in the 25m Backstroke for the 10/u age group, Daisy Gregg who won the 10/u 25m Fly and 12/u 50m Breaststroke (recording a Speeding Ticket swim in the Breaststroke, two age groups above her classification), Nathan Gilbert and Molly Cresswell who both swam exceptionally intelligent races in the 13/14 Years 50m Backstroke to both finish 1st, Elysia Henly winning the 13/14 Years 50m Freestyle and Luke Plane also finishing 1st in the 13/14 Years 50m Breaststroke. Every swim was exceptional and all of the placings that children achieved contributed to an exceptional team performance.

Finally I would like to commend all of the coaches, poolside helpers and parents who supported the event on Saturday; offering their services to ensure the event ran smoothly in our hosting role. A particular mention should go out to Cindy Cape who always works tirelessly to ensure visiting clubs are welcome and we are set to put on an extremely organised event.

As we approach Round 3 on 21st April I know selection will be extremely difficult again as the standard of every swimmer is pushing on. We stand in a good position in the league table and I have no doubt our swimmers can push for a place in the Final in June.

Graham Begley

ESC Head Coach

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