DSA Swimmers excel at Junior Championships

It was a fantastic weekend of swimming for the competitors at the Nationwide Junior and Youth Swimming Championships. The event welcomed over 200 swimmers from across the country, where one world record, one European record and eight British records were broken – all records are dependent on ratification.

Disability Sport Events (DSE) – the events division of The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS)division organised the event on 24 and 25 March, held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. An annual event, it aims to give young swimming talent an opportunity to compete and a springboard to international success, so is a great chance to spot future stars. Double gold Beijing Paralympic medallist and London 2012 hopeful Eleanor Simmonds was amongst competitors.

There were ten swimmers from the DSAuk competing from places and clubs all over the UK. All of the DSA swimmers set new personal bests, many of the swimmers won thier races, well done to all who took part, Carys Coppen, Ellie Simmonds, Robert Abraham, Ella Scott, Megan Atkinson, Lauren Sullivan, Nicole Turner, William Palmer, Mikey Thompson and katie Rillet- Young. If you would like to take part or do more swimming contact the office for more details.

More young swimmers enjoying success included Hannah Russell, James Clegg, James Hollis, Lyndon Longhorne and Callum Macleod– to name a few. Hannah from Surrey broke a world record (subject to ratification) during the weekend in the S12 class. The 15 year old, who is hoping to qualify for London 2012 – Team GB, broke the world record in the 400m freestyle after touching in a time of 4:37:05. After being discovered through the Playground to Podium programme, Hannah is proving to be a swimmer to watch in the build up to London 2012.

After breaking the world record, Hannah – who has already reached the qualification times for London 2012 in four events –  said:

“I’m in really tough training at the moment for the final Paralympic selection trials in two weeks time, so my main aim was to go below 4:40. To break the world record is great and has given me more confidence going into the selection trials.”

James Clegg, S12 swimmer from Edinburgh broke a British record in the 100m freestyle.  The 18 year old Scottish swimmer – and brother of Paralympic athlete Libby Clegg – touched in a time of 58:06.

On breaking the British record, James said:

“My training is going well right now and to break a British record this weekend is a real boost. I felt strong swimming in the freestyle and I am now focussed on trying to reach the qualification time for London 2012 in two weeks time.”

This was the first junior event of 2012 for outstanding individuals to win the prestigious Nationwide Junior Sports Awards. Winners are awarded at junior swimming, junior athletics and the Festivals of Sport. Swimmers who picked up trophies were:

Eleanor Simmonds, Craig Harris, Alice Tai, Kahoru Harazawa, Lucy Walkup and Kieran Neary

The North East region took the winning team trophy for the first time with their excellent accumulation of points over the weekend.