After a successful Argyll & Clyde Championships held at Helensburgh Pool over the second weekend of 13/14 September, which saw many medals won by Dunoon swimmers, the team went back into training with a number of new swimmers being welcomed into the Junior Squads and promotions into the Riverside Squads settling down well.
Land training is now taking the form of Boxercise sessions led by Fiona Hartley-Watson, with the work fitting into the specific swimming requirements.
The start of the October holidays saw a full team travel to Ayr’s Citadel Pool to participate in the annual Clyde Coast gala against 11 other teams. The swimmers produced some fast swims though the bigger teams triumphed in the competition over the day.
Neil Lamont and Kyle Dominick qualified for events in the West District Senior Championships also held at Ayr at the end of October but neither boy was completely on form – coming away with times fairly near but not better than their previous best.
On the following week 20 swimmers from Dunoon Grammar School and Kirn and Toward Primary Schools were selected to swim at the Argyll & Bute Schools trials. Out of those, as well as many medallists, 9 swimmers achieved times which allowed them to be entered for the Schools’ finals to take place in Aberdeen in January. While all may not be accepted, the achievement of consideration times is excellent.
The Junior West District Age Group Championships took place at Cumbernauld on 15/16 November. Dunoon’s 2 qualifiers were 12 years old Connor Kennedy and 13 years old Nicky Ritchie.
Both boys had multiple swims and achieved an excellent set of personal best times. Connor swam a fantastic heat in the 100 metres freestyle to win in a time of 1 minute 4.98 seconds – 2 seconds faster than his previous time and qualifying 3rd for the final. He then achieved a huge personal best time in the 200 metres breaststroke (3.16.96 ) before going straight into his final for the 100 free. Unfortunately he was somewhat overwhelmed by the big occasion and tightened up in the final but still came in a good fourth place in a slightly slower time. He followed this up with a good swim in the 100 metres backstroke, another personal best in the h 200 metres butterfly(3.26.90); and on the following day achieved a 2 seconds improvement in his 100 metres breaststroke (1.27.73) and then qualified for the finals in the 200 metres individual medley (2.48.23). He came 6th in the final again in a slightly slower time but still 6 seconds faster than his previous pb.
Not to be outdone, Nicky set off with a pb in 200 breaststroke (2.55.68); 200 fly (2 .51.24); 100 metres breaststroke (1.2141) and as reserve swimmer in the 200 Individual medley came home in 10th place in a pb of 2.41.25. He saved his best performance for the final race of the competition – qualifying 6th for the final in the 100 metres fly in a time outwith his previous best, he picked himself up and brought home a storming last 25 metres only just to be pipped for 4th pace in a time of 1.12.41.
The Club’s social life has also been busy, with a Fish and Chips night at Hanover Street hall last Friday when a crowd of 90 swimmers and families enjoyed food, fun and the presentation of medals for the Distance championships, place ribbons from the Argyll & Clyde Championships, and certificates for the junior swimmers who had participated in this year’s Clyde Coast Mini League.
The next competition is the Cumbernauld Open Meet at the end of this month, with 4 juniors attending on Saturday and 11 seniors on the Sunday.
The Club Championships take place at the Riverside on Saturday 6th December. All swimmers available to swim are expected to take part, and to enjoy the experience in their own pool with hopefully lots of support from family and friends. The fun and frenetic activity is due to commence at around 12 noon.