Annually, the Ponds Forge International Centre plays host to the National Team Championships where all the County Teams from England, along with the 4 Area teams from Scotland and 2 from Wales compete Short-course (25m) in 2 divisions against each other for the title of National County Team Champions.
Shropshire are in Division 2 and this year were competing against 15 other teams, with all the teams hoping to gain one of the 4 promotion places to Division 1. Shrewsbury had 7 representatives in the team, with 4 of them making their Shropshire debuts. Despite the high and tough level of competition, they all performed to their best on the day and helped earn points for the team, so well done to all.
The Shrewsbury swimmers in the Shropshire team were:
Michael Doyle: 16/17yrs 100m breast and Medley Team
Daniel Grindley: 14/15yrs 100m Breast and Medley team
Woody Goodall: 14/15yrs 100m Back and Medley team
Megan Potts: 16/17rs 100m Back and Medley team
Sophie Scott: 16/17yrs 100m Free and Medley Team
Grace Shorrock: 16/17yrs 100m Fly and Medley Team
Gemma Hughes: 14/15yrs 100m Back and Medley Team
Round 1 of this year’s Arena League saw us make the long journey across to the East Midland venue of Hucknall Leisure Centre. The majority of the team had swum this league before, but there were team debuts for Christopher Novelli-Cain, Ollie Hughes, Keira Jones, Sonny Goodall, Mitch Boyes, Jude Crofts and Eloise Sneddon. Having spent many of the previous year’s in this league yo-yoing between Division 2 and the Premier Division, hopes were high for a strong team performance, and this is definitely what the team delivered.
The night started excellently with wins in the opening IM races from Lucy and Rob and ended with 2 outstanding team swims in the Women’s and Men’s 6×50 Free Cannon Teams. In the middle of these were a further 11 race victories from Lucy in the Open Back and Free, Rob in the Open Breast and Free, Woody in the 15/u Back, Wil in the Open Fly, Boys 15/u Free team of Woody, Dan, Robert and Joe, Boys Open Medley Team of Tom R, Michael, Wil and Ed and also Eloise in both the 13/u and Open Girls Fly along with the 13/u Free. All these were backed up by an additional 14 top 3 finishes across the age groups, with many pleasing swims coming in relays in all of the age groups.
This really was a strong team showing, as demonstrated by our incredible support throughout and especially in the last set of relays. We placed 3rd on the night, merely 1 point behind Leicester Sharks ‘B’ in 2nd and eventual winners Arnold.
Bring on round 2 in November!!!
Tom Piggott was selected to represent the Wales team at this year’s UK School games. This annual multi-sport event is designed to give athletes a taste of how a major event works, that involves multiple sports concurrently and has teams competing from the 4 areas of England, 2 Scottish area teams and then teams from Wales and Ireland.
The swimming races were actually held in Sheffield at Ponds Forge over 2 sessions in one day. Session 1 saw Tom race the MC 100 Breast recording a new 3 second best time and then in the afternoon in session 2 here swam a seasons best 200 IM and then a new 100 Fly PB too. He placed 4th in all of these races and gained valuable points for the Welsh team.