Great Yarmouth Swimming Club hosted another of its popular development galas on Saturday 6th May. On this occasion it was held at the UEA Sportspark Swimming Pool - in Norwich - giving the younger swimmers who took part an opportunity to compete at an elite pool, with a big race feel to the event. The move to a bigger venue was clearly a well-liked decision, as just under 200 swimmers, from clubs including GYSC, Swans, Hunstanton, Lowestoft and Oulton Broad, Diss Otters and West Norfolk, participated on the night.
As the hosting team, Great Yarmouth had a large squad of swimmers in attendance, and they excelled themselves on the night. Great Yarmouth won 59 medals during the evening: 20 golds, 17 silvers and 22 bronze; an outstanding performance. Many of the swimmers who just missed out on top three placings in tough age categories, came away with significant improvements in their personal best times, showing real progress in technique and ability.
Swimming in the girls’ events, Great Yarmouth had successes throughout the evening. In the Age 9s, Grace Turner was on top form coming away with gold in 100m IM, 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and silver in 50m butterfly, narrowly missing a clean sweep of gold in all her events. Skye Nichols also won gold in 25m butterfly, along with a silver and two bronze medals, and Amelia Dibble took gold in the 50m butterfly, beating her team-mate Grace, along with a silver and a bronze. Emma Land also gained a bronze in the 25m freestyle.
In the girls age 10s, four Great Yarmouth swimmers came away with gold medals: Agatha Gouldby who took two golds in the 25m freestyle and the 25m backstroke and a silver in the 25m breaststroke. Zoe Land won gold in the 50m freestyle along with a silver and a bronze; Ruby Copping won gold in the 25m butterfly and Poppy Loveland won gold in the 50m breaststroke as well as a bronze during the evening. Bethany Gordon put in strong swims to take two bronze medals for the 100m IM and 50m butterfly. Swimming in the girls age 11 and over, Alyssa Greenall took a strong silver in the 50m breaststroke.
The Great Yarmouth boys showed great strength and improvement on the night as well, winning medals in all of the age categories. Charlie Foulger took a confident gold in the boys age 8 50m freestyle. In the age 9s, Harvey Green swam convincingly and came away with a gold in the 25m backstroke and silver in the 25m butterfly. GYSC also won two bronze medals in this age group with Oscar Rose in the 25m freestyle and Thomas Smith in the 25m backstroke.
The age 10 boys had a successful evening, bagging 16 medals between them. The two gold medalists in this age group were Jensen Vann; who won gold in the 50m backstroke along with silver in the 100m IM and bronze in the 50m butterfly; and Adam Platten who won gold in the 25m breaststroke and bronze in the 25m butterfly. Other medal winners included: Tom Barnes with two silvers and two bronze, George Ross with two silvers and two bronze, Stanley Westgate with a silver and a bronze and Jack Tate with a silver in the 50m breaststroke.
In the boys age 11 and over age group, Arvee Seetul had an excellent gala, winning gold in three events – the 100m IM, 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke. Oliver Grimmer also swam well to win gold in the 25m breaststroke along with bronze in the 50m butterfly. Vassar Loveland was another gold medalist, winning the 50m breaststroke. Other strong performances came from: Karthik Saravanan with two silvers, Diogo Wiseman with two bronze medals, Nathan Pitman with silver in the 50m butterfly, Ethan Blake with a bronze in the 100m IM and Cameron Loveland with bronze in the 25m butterfly.
As a club, our strongest events of the evening were in the girls age 9 50m backstroke, the boys age 10 25m breaststroke and the boys 11 and over 50m butterfly, where we filled the podium winning gold, silver and bronze.
There was a great feeling of support for the swimmers throughout the evening, from family, friends and coaching staff enabling the young swimmers to enjoy this gala and gain valuable experience from it. As ever, these events could not take place without the help of the volunteers on the night, so huge thanks go to them, along with the squad coaches who work so hard to help all the swimmers reach their potential.