King's Worcester

22 November

Swimming Success at the London Aquatics Centre

On Saturday, eight swimmers travelled to the London Aquatics Centre for the English Schools’ (ESSA) Secondary Teams National Final.

This is a prestigious event held every year with schools all over the country competing earlier in the term to set a time on rankings and the top 30 qualifying for the final.

This year, due to COVID restrictions, it was going to be tough with only 20 teams qualifying. With several large specialist swimming schools competing such as Millfield, Plymouth and Mount Kelly, places were always going to be competitive. King’s performed incredibly well at the regional qualifying round and qualified with 2 teams and 3 races. The senior girls with both a medley and freestyle relay and the intermediate boys in the medley relay.

The senior girls have always been particularly strong and have qualified for this event for the last 4 years. When a last-minute dropout threatened to cancel our entry, we were thrilled that Amelia P was willing and able to step in at the last minute to join Izzy T, Betsy R and Felicity Q to compete. The girls put on a gutsy and strong performance and placed 19th place in both relays. The girls showed good skills and professionalism on the poolside and should be proud of their achievements.

The intermediate boys Ben G, Aled L, Harry C and Dan A had sneaked into this event in 20th place and were happy to qualify. With Ben on backstroke, Aled on breast, Harry on fly and Dan on freestyle the boys swam amazingly, smashing their short course entry time by a whopping 4 seconds and placed 9th into the final. With the excitement of the occasion and pure determination, the boys swam even faster in the final and went up 2 more places to finish 7th in the country. Simply amazing. All 4 boys are in the same age group category next year, so the boys are naturally very excited for the future.

With COVID-19 causing great disruption in training, the swimmers have had a tough 18 months or so. A massive well done to the swimmers, their perseverance and hard work definitely paid off this weekend and it was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to swim at such a prestigious venue as the London Aquatics Centre.