A group of 5 swimmers from year 5 and 6 travelled to Sheffield to compete in the National final of the English Schools swimming association Primary Relays competition. They had qualified for both the mixed stroke and freestyle relays in the small schools category (for schools with 60 or less pupils in years 5 and 6 combined). The competition took place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, home of many outstanding British swimmers and a pool used for Olympic team selection.
Our swimmers took part in the opening ceremony and were then straight into their first race – the 4 x 25m mixed stroke relay. They all stepped up and smashed their qualification time, qualifying for the final in 3rd place but just 0.07seconds in front of the 5th place team so we knew we were in for a tough race. The final came and everyone seemed up for the challenge but sadly nerves got the better of the team and they were not able to repeat their heat time just being pipped into 5th place.
Heads were a bit down but we knew we didn’t have long until the 4 x 25m freestyle event. A short break away from the heat and excitement of the pool hall and we were back on track. We knew from the qualification round that the freestyle was going to be tough but once again our swimmers excelled and smashed their qualification time (and the school who beat them in to second place in the regional round). We were heading for another National final, this time seeded in 4th place. A quick bite of flapjack (thank you to Mrs Brooks for baking and Miles for sharing) and we were ready to tackle another final. All our swimmers felt they could swim faster and they started the race with confidence. True to their word and after much excited cheering from Mrs Griffiths and the Hawley parents everyone did swim faster than in the heats and we finished in an amazing time of 1.01.16 in bronze medal position.
A huge congratulations to Chantelle, Miles, Maisie, Bertie and Alina and a thank you to all your parents, not only for their amazing support in Sheffield but also for taking you to all those early morning training sessions. Events and results like this make all the early starts worthwhile!