Sid Vale swimmers strong in galas

The Sid Vale Sharks have been back in local pools competing two weekends in a row.

The Sid Vale Sharks have been back in local pools competing two weekends in a row. First there was the Honiton Stingrays Imps Gala at Honiton Sports Centre. This was a wonderful opportunity for some of the new, younger swimmers to try competitive swims. There were four other teams present - Dawlish, Tiverton, Torquay Leander and Honiton. Where possible, all swimmers who chose to compete were given their favourite strokes although some bravely tried strokes outside their comfort zone. All swimmers put in a good effort. The participation was excellent and many regular swimmers at Sidmouth's training sessions had the opportunity to show their improvement. There were particularly strong swims from Jonathon Surtees, Joe Cox and Victoria Wyant. It was encouraging to see a good swim for Hattie Moore, Rebecca Evans-White, Megan Cox, Molly Spalding, Annabel Gosling, Esme Lowry, Holly Forrest and Hope Hamilton who, although young, are realising the value of regular training. The team came third overall, with Dawlish the eventual winners but the support poolside for our team was excellent. The benefit to the club in experience for the younger swimmers was a valuable prize for our swimmers to take away with them. The following week, eight relay teams travelled to Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton to swim against Paignton, Dawlish, Tiverton, Newton Abbot and Torquay. There were boys' and girls' teams of four swimmers for each age group; 10, 12, 14 and 18 years old. The teams did a series of relay swims including freestyle, medley, breaststroke and butterfly, plus an eight length canon and 16 length canon.The 12-year-olds - Hannah Domhof, Erika Towers, Sasha Colwill and Daisy Keen - were especially successful achieving first in butterfly and freestyle and second in breaststroke and medley. The 10 years and under girls, Victoria Wyant, Phillipa Wyant, Chloe Towers and Asia Alam (Honiton), were delighted to achieve first place in the medley and breaststroke races. The 14 and under boys' team were Jack Faulkner, Aaron Webber, Ed and Chris Goddard. They achieved first place in butterfly and medley as well as second in breaststroke following particularly impressive swims from Jack Faulkner.The 10 years and under boys team was Sam Tipton, Matthew Domhof plus members of other age groups who made up the team so that the boys could compete. They achieved mostly second places but showed very promising commitment and effort which bodes well for the future of Sid Vale's young swimmers.The 12-year-old boys were Sam Cavin, Joe Cox, Nick (Honiton) and Matthew Domhof who bravely swam up from his age group to make up the numbers for a team. The 14 and under girls were Katie Tipton, Tabitha Vaughan, Rosie Vaughan and Amy Dormond. The 18 and under girls were a combination of Ellie Cawthera, Bethany Faulkner, Hebe Goddard, Corrie, Jamie Lee (Honiton) and Emily Hall. They were awarded first place in butterfly and second place in the medley. The 18 and under boys - Finn Cawthera, Alfie Keen (Sid Vale swimmers), Ben Wassall and Connor (Honiton swimmers) -were mostly aged 15 and did particularly well against significantly older and stronger competition. All teams put in a dedicated effort and, although there were varying results, all swimmers showed consistent effort and enthusiasm and there was a great attitude within the group as a whole.When the points were declared halfway through the gala, Sid Vale were in an impressive second position with 55 points overall and closely behind the eventual winners, Dawlish.The team put in a huge effort in the exciting final canon relay completing 16 lengths and narrowly missing second place, coming third. Although the final result for the gala showed Sid Vale in third place, the result did not reflect the huge progress and developing speed of the Sidmouth swimmers and the fact that all were so encouraged and cheered by the rest of the team. There was loud support from parents who found the whole gala extremely enjoyable thanks to the great organisation of the event as well as the good humour and huge support for each other shown by every swimmer. Well done to you all. Sid Vale are becoming a team that others are struggling to beat.

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