Good luck to all 13 Worcester swimmers who will be competing at major Championships over the next few weeks
Kicking things off will be the 7-day British Championships in Sheffield from 22nd to 28th July where four individuals from Worcester plus one relay team will compete against the best of the best
First up – and with a tough schedule! – will be Zara Beaumont who will race in the 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle and 400m Individual Medley. After a couple of months of disrupted training due to GCSE exams, she has been applying herself diligently in training, doing extra workouts, and looks to be coming into form just in the nick of time
Zara will be joined in Sheffield by Grace Earp who has also been busy doing her GCSE exams. She tackles all the Breaststroke events – 50m, then 200m and then finally on the last day the 100m in which she shone last year, recording a huge Personal Best Time and making the Final. She is swimming beautifully again and will go to the Championships full of confidence
Also competing at British Champs will be the uber talented sprinter Theo Rogers. He too has a busy programme – 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly plus the 50m and 100m Freestyle in which he will race alongside the brilliant Ben Gooch who will be aiming to build on his stunning Freestyle swims at the English summer championships last year
And finally, Theo and Ben together with teammates Henry Hoare and William Thomas – both making their debuts on the National scene – will compete in the 14-16 year old 4 x 100m Freestyle relay against the really big squads like Millfield, Guildford and Leeds. They go in ranked 21st of the 28 qualifiers but will be striving to improve on their impressive team swim at West Midland Championships and go a bit quicker!
Next up will be Becky and Matt Redfern at the World Para Championships, this year in the UK (Manchester), from 31st July to 6th August
As in 2022, they will hopefully be competing again together in the Visually Impaired Medley and Freestyle relays – very exciting! – though both will have individual events too…Matt 100 Backstroke; Becky 50/100m Freestyle and of course the 100m Breaststroke in which she will be gunning for another Medal on the World stage and maybe to reclaim her 2019 world title?!?
The first week in August will be very busy for the Blue and Green army because whilst Becky and Matt are racing in Manchester at the World Para Championships, 6 other Worcester swimmers will be over in Sheffield from 2nd to 6th August competing at the English summer championships – for those swimmers who just missed out on the top 20 spots in their age groups at British
Ben will be back – this time competing in the Butterfly events, 50m & 100m – whilst he will be joined by the youngest member of the squad, 14-year old Dylan Lewis. After an amazing Spring qualification window, he will race in the 50m Freestyle plus all 3 Backstroke races – 50, 100 & 200m – in which he will go in as West Midland champ!
The boys will be joined by an impressive quartet of 15-year old Girls…Frankie Barry, Brecon Westwood, Grace Ryder and Asha Mahanta
The Club’s leading female sprinter Frankie Barry will race in the blue riband 50m Freestyle, acutely aware that only hundredths of a second will separate all the competitors, so execution will be key
Brecon and Grace go in the Breaststroke…Brecon having qualified brilliantly for the 50, 100 and 200m events…Grace having so narrowly missed out last year, deservedly joining her in the 200m for a battle royale
And finally, our last swimmer up will be Asha Mahanta. In 2022, she opted to race at the Irish Championships in Dublin – following in mum Orla’s footsteps! – brilliantly winning both the 100m Butterfly and Backstroke. This year, though, she will take to the stage in the English Champs instead – in the 50m and 100m Backstroke – and no doubt the “Martian Manhunter” will again deliver a big performance on the big occasion
All of these swimmers have done brilliantly simply to qualify for these Championships – achievements of which they and their families should be hugely proud, and reward for all their hard work and dedication. However, I know they will all be aiming to showcase their talents in style so I’m sure I speak for everyone at Worcester Swimming Club when I wish them all the very best of luck!!!