Norwich Swan Swimming Club held its inaugural open meet over the weekend of 21st and 22nd of April at the Sportpark UEA pool. Great Yarmouth was represented by a large team of 35 swimmers, who competed over 4 sessions of racing, and left with a huge amount of new personal best times, a collection of new regional qualification times and a very happy and proud head coach.


With so many swimmers competing in so many events (up to 13 each over the weekend for our busiest swimmers) it is difficult to mention every swimmer in this report. For some of GYSC it was their last chance to gain their age group regional qualification times, to enable them to compete in May. For other swimmers, winter regional times were the target, or improving regional times that they had already achieved. Many other swimmers were looking to place in the top 3 of their age category to take home the all important medals, whilst others were focused on improving pb times and swimming their best race possible. Each swimmer has their own goals, and all are as important as each other and should be celebrated when achieved. What was particularly good was the atmosphere on poolside where swimmers very much supported each other, cheering each other on, with the loudest, most consistent cheering coming from men’s captain Raul – closely followed in volume and enthusiasm by Binnie, who may be half Raul’s size, but is catching him up on volume!


The girls had a very positive weekend with 7 of them achieving podium finishes, which considering they had up to 19 swimmers in their age categories, is even more impressive, and demonstrates just how challenging it is to get a top 3 placing. Emma Land (10) took a great bronze in the 100m breaststroke. Grace Turner (11) took an impressive bronze in the 50m breaststroke and Amelia Dibble showed consistently strong swimming all weekend, coming away with silver in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle and bronze in the 100m backstroke. Jasmine Coleman’s results illustrate her strongest stroke – bronze in the 50m butterfly and a brilliant silver in the 100m butterfly in 1.21.17. Chloe Haworth (13) took a well deserved bronze in the 100m butterfly. Anna Pearce showed her strength in the distance events taking bronze in 400m freestyle, silver in 400m IM, silver in the 100m butterfly and a gold in the grueling 200m butterfly. Kelsey Wilson (15) has come back into great form recently and was the top performer for the girls taking silver in 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle and gold in 400m freestyle and 200m freestyle. Her 200m freestyle time of 2.16.50 also gave her her first winter regional qualification time.


The boys enjoyed a successful weekend too, with 10 of them coming away with medals. Tom Barnes (12) was delighted to get a bronze in 100m backstroke and Jack Tate (12), who has continued to show big improvements in speed, took a great bronze in 50m butterfly and 200m backstroke. Sam Coman also competed in the age 12s and had a great weekend, not only did he take bronze in the 50m backstroke, but swam 3 brilliant new regional qualification times whilst taking silvers in the 100m freestyle 1.09.41 and 200m butterfly 3.06.75 along with gold in 50m freestyle 30.99. Finley Coman only competed in 2 races (50m backstroke and 200m breaststroke) but won both of them convincingly. His 200m breaststroke time was the fastest in the gala and almost broke the 3 minutes at 3.00.05. Jacob Zandbergen competed despite illness and lack of sleep, taking a great silver in the 50m butterfly, then going one better by achieving his first regional qualification in the 50m freestyle where he took gold in 27.76. Nathan Pitman had a busy weekend, competing in almost every event, and came away with bronze in the 400m freestyle and gold in the 400m IM. Oliver Grimmer took a strong silver in the 200m backstroke and Ernest Blas took bronze in the 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle along with silvers in the 400m freestyle and 200m IM showing great improvement over these distance events. Raul Hasmasan (in between cheering on his team mates) also managed to take bronze in 100m butterfly and 400m freestyle as well as silver in the 200m backstroke. Ryan Webb swims in the age 16 an over age category and has been improving his times at every gala this year, he continued the trend by taking silvers in the 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly and achieving another winter regional qualification time in the 200m backstroke, taking bronze in an excellent 2.22.79.


All the GYSC coaches who were at the gala were really impressed with the swimmers for their determination in the water and their behaviour on poolside. Congratulations to all the swimmers that competed and thank you to the volunteers and officials, without whom these galas could not take place.


Remember, squad swimmers can enter open galas like this one, which give a chance to achieve licensed times and are great for improving race technique. If you are unsure about whether you are able to, or would like to, enter an open gala, please talk to your squad coach and they will advise you. If you are interested in becoming a time keeper and helping at galas, please speak to head coach Liam Harvey.