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Swimmers of all ages get chance to record times over four strokes

West Norfolk Swimming Club members have enjoyed their first taste of racing for more than 15 months with their Club Championships running across a number of galas at both Alive St James and Alive Downham Leisure.

Swimmers of all ages and from all squads have had the opportunity to record times across all four strokes, over a range of distances.

The events, which followed the theme of training sessions throughout the pandemic, were Covid safe and competitors raced within their own training bubbles.

West Norfolk swimming 1 (49429660)
West Norfolk swimming 1 (49429660)

Working together with the teams at Alive Leisure, swimmer numbers within the buildings, and on poolside were managed carefully, with one-way systems in place to ensure no unnecessary cross overs of groups of participants.

Qualified judges oversaw the events, supported by a number of members acting as marshals, but unfortunately Covid-19 related capacity limits meant that spectators were not able to watch the racing.

West Norfolk Swimming Club head coach Sarah Vanderloo said: “It’s great to finally be able to offer some licenced racing to our swimmers.

“They have done really well to maintain their discipline and commitment throughout a series of stops and starts to training over the last 16 months or so, with little or no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of events to train for.

“Being able to set benchmark times and get a feel for racing again is a real boost for us.

“We are heading into the end of the 2021/2022 swimming season, with a reduced summer schedule for a few weeks and hope that the new season from September will allow us to return to a much more normal timetable.”

West Norfolk swimming 2 (49429662)
West Norfolk swimming 2 (49429662)

The club have also introduced more regular open water training for the summer months.

Several members of the club have also joined a local open water venue, where coached club sessions are taking place twice weekly.

From last Saturday, as we head into the summer holidays, novice West Norfolk Swimming Club open water swimmers can also join a series of sessions to introduce them to the sport and the skills that are specific to it.

It is hoped to target open water competitions later in the year, as these have generally been less affected by the pandemic.

During the last lockdown, members of the club committee undertook a number of fundraising initiatives, looking to support the ongoing financial viability of the club.

Club secretary Lois Addis and head coach Sarah Vanderloo led a successful application for grant funding to Sport England.

As a result, the club has been able to equip itself to set up the open water section, including tow floats and a sit on kayak, used as a safety/support boat for swimmers while on the water.

As a mark of appreciation for her continued efforts for the club, the kayak has been named ‘HMS Lois’.

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