Swimmers make a Premier League splash at Bognor

Bognor swimmers - and their mascot - at Arun Leisure Centre
Bognor swimmers - and their mascot - at Arun Leisure Centre

Bognor Swimming Club hosted the final of the Premier League and Rother Junior Trophies at Arun Leisure Centre.

More than 150 youngsters, aged nine to 14, competed in 50 events to see which club would win this prestigious tournament.

Teams from as far afield as Epsom and Alton, along with Chichester Cormorants and Bognor, competed for three hours-plus before Epsom finally emerged as champions.

Traditionally, Bognor have used this event to allow children their first taste of competitive swimming. Isabel Garganelli, Henry Hayter, Sammy Copeland, Tom Hogg and Daniel Hiller all swam competitively for the first time in front of a crowd of more than 300.

They all did admirably well in a range of events and while they did not achieve podium finishes, they were able to gain valuable points for the club.

Some more experienced swimmers from the club were also involved. Archie Strowger won a number of races, including the nine-year-olds’ 50m freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events.

Olivia Spink also won by a comfortable distance in the nine-year-olds’ butterfly and breaststroke events.

Meanwhile, Erin Aldis-Hobbs came second in the under-11 50m breaststroke and third in the 50m backstroke and Samuel Hawkins came second in the under-13 backstroke and third in the 50m butterfly.

Perhaps the greatest spectacle at these team events involves the squadron swim. An almost roof-raising roar accompanied the 70 swimmers as they each swim a length in this fast-paced and fiercely-contested finale to the competition. Just over ten seconds separated the seven teams, with each swimmer giving their all over their 25m sprint.

Sue Eason, junior development coach for Bognor Swimming Club, said: “The new swimmers did us proud. They swam brilliantly in a very competitive event and hopefully they can continue to represent us in upcoming events.”