Over the past 12 months Winsford Swim Team has performed tremendously well, continuing to improve on our results and performances in the pool. Over the past year we have achieved outstanding success in a whole range of areas, with swimmers continuously breaking new ground.
Squads are looking very healthy with good numbers in all groups. Attendance is good right the way through the squads, it is pleasing to see swimmers keen, motivated and wanting to train to a high standard and better themselves. Evening sessions as always are very well attended and morning swims on the whole are utilised effectively with more and more swimmers realising the importance of morning training to their success in swimming. It appears swimmers over the last year are being promoted at an earlier age from lessons into Transition, Transition into Development and finally Development into Juggernaut. This is crucial for our club and swimmers success going into the future as talented swimmers need to be fast tracked to fully enable them to reach their potential.
Results over the past year have been nothing short of phenomenal with a number of highlights:
At the bottom start of the season is our club champs, this is where the whole club come together to compete and race against each other but in a friendly environment. It was very pleasing to see an increase in younger swimmers racing in the event, particularly those swimmers 10 and under. These swimmers are the long term future of our club, so it is very important to get our youngsters racing, they are all crucial to our club's success over the next 5-8 years.
Next up is the North Midland Championships, Winsford Swim Team had over 80 swimmers racing over two weekends in October. The results over the Championship were excellent with Winsford Swim Team again achieving TOP CLUB for the 5th consecutive year. Not only did we achieve top club but we achieved so many points that if you add the clubs points together who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th we would have still come out on top. This shows how dominant we were, but as always there is more to achieve. I know both Alex and Michael as we speak will be trying their absolute best to get more of our younger swimmers to the North Midlands and racing more over the middle and longer distance events.
In January we compete in the Cheshire County Championships, this year has been our most successful ever. For the first time in our club's history Winsford Swim Team achieved an overall Top 2 place in the club points for the Junior 16 and Senior 17+ Championships. This is a fantastic achievement for our swimmers and our club. As a result of our swimmers' efforts we were awarded the most improved club in the Junior/Senior Championships. This again shows what tremendous strides we have made in this category.
Next up is the North West Regional Championships which take place in the spring and summer. We again were a force with over 30 swimmers gaining the QTs, numerous swimmers again gained a top 8 place and winning medals. Winsford are continually ranked in the Top 10 in the region which is superb considering many of the other clubs are City or Metros with many clubs and swimmers feeding into their programs.
The final competition of the year is the National Swimming Championships, in 2017 we gained: 4 British Summer Qualifiers, 8 Home Nation Qualifiers and 12 Open Water National Qualifiers. These numbers are tremendous and again testament to our swimmers efforts. The 2017 National championships were probably our most successful ever, with medals won at English, Scottish and Welsh National Championships and swimmers gaining British National Finals, which is the pinnacle for any club swimmer.
On a team basis Winsford Swim team again achieved overall Crusader League Champions for the 4th consecutive year. We have also maintained our position in the NW Arena Premier League for 6 years since getting promotion, which is fantastic for our club's status in the region. This year we achieved the A Final, placing us in the Top 8 in the North West of England. The Premier League A Final is the goal every single year.
I often say our success doesn’t just happen through chance; it is a whole team effort.
I would firstly like to thank our first class coaches, Winsford Swim Team are extremely lucky to have a good number of professional and voluntary coaches of which all coaches are qualified and come from a competitive swimming background which is crucial to pass on their knowledge and expertise to the swimmers at our club. All teachers and coaches efforts are greatly appreciated by our swimmers, parents and the club as a whole.
Secondly I would like to thank Barry and the committee who make may life as Head Coach that little bit easier. The committee run the club superbly well; this allows me to get on with my job of coaching whilst they do all the work behind the scenes all of which are completely voluntary.
I would also like to thank all parents who give up their free time to help out. Volunteers are the back bone of our club; they are the true unsung heroes who make what our club is today. So thank you to the committee, gala committee, officials and anyone else who puts their efforts into our great club and wonderful children and young people. I would also like to make a special mention to our team managers who help out poolside and look after our swimmers and coaches. Their help and professionalism is the best and there is no doubt in my mind that we have the best team managers around.
As in all gala reports my final thank you always goes to our swimmers and this will be the case for my AGM report. I am not sure how to put into words what each and every swimmer means to me, it is an absolute privilege to be able to work with such hard working, professional and loyal children and young people. There will not be one club in the British Isles where there is such a superb work ethic when training and determination when racing. It is wonderful to witness such camaraderie, team spirit and friendship among our swimmers, this above all else is what makes me very proud to be Head coach of this club.
This last 12 months has been phenomenal, it really has, but I believe there is more to improve on and we will continue to strive to do that. The next 12 months is exciting for our club and swimmers, going forwards our club has to continue to improve.
Our goals going forwards are:
Top Club in the North Midlands, Top 3 Club in Cheshire, top 10 Club in the North West Region and continue to put swimmers into National Championships. On a Team basis Winsford Swim Team should be North West Arena Premier League A Finalist and Crusader League overall Champions, all of this is the absolute minimum our club should be achieving. Our Teachers and coaches will work tirelessly to achieve these goals.
Good Luck to all our swimmers for the future. Thanks again for everyone’s continuous support, it is greatly appreciated.