Eastbourne swimmers wait 18 months for a gala... then get two back-to-back
After a rather turbulent 18 months in the swimming calendar, Eastbourne Swimming Club members have returned to competing – taking part in two galas in very quick succession.
On one weekend an eager team of 42 swimmers across all ages gathered for their first competitive gala for nearly two years, the Lis Hartley Long Course at the K2 in Crawley, under some strict Covid rules that did not allow spectators and made sure all teams were socially distanced.
No-one was sure how this gala was going to go, what effect being out of competitions for so long was going to have or how the atmosphere was going to be.
But it did not disappoint: the atmosphere was electric, with swimmers cheering and supporting each other, with personal best following personal best across all races and all age groups.
There was a glut of medals and some very happy competitors, a great start to a new wave of swimming galas.
The success at Lis Hartley led to the biggest number of Sussex county entries Eastbourne Swimming Club have had for very many years, and a great bunch of fired-up swimmers.
The Sussex counties gala took place over a later weekend, splitting age groups across the days to follow Covid guidance and social distancing.
This is always a busy gala, but ESC more than held their own, doing Eastbourne proud with a record hall of PBs and medals. “In total the club secured 39 county medals from 31 swimmers, with the weekend seeing nearly a 100 per cent PB rate, with those that didn’t, swimming within thousandths of a second of their best times”, said Adrian Smith, ESC head coach. James Nock, head of performance, added: “The swimmers have overcome the difficulties of the past 18 months with passion and dedication.
“What a mentally tough set of competitors they are. It’s going to be a while before galas return to normal, but with lots of team spirit and support things are looking really great for the coming season.”
Altogether, these great performances deserve huge congratulations and the club look forward to more success.
If you are interested in competitive swimming, or learning to swim, then Eastbourne Swimming Club can help.
If you can help with sponsorship or raffle prizes, help the club represent Eastbourne in the best way possible. Email [email protected] or go to www.eastbournesc.co.uk