Bognor swimmers make splash... West Dean wonders’ wave of success

Alys Turner starred for Bognor SC
Alys Turner starred for Bognor SC

Bognor Swimming Club had a very successful Sussex county championship which was held over several weekends at the K2 in Crawley.

The long-distance events were held first and Abbie Turner finished fourth in the 800m junior championship. She was also the fastest 16-year-old, finishing sixth in the 16-years-and-over age group.

The children have made amazing progress this year and this is a huge achievement for each individual as well as for the whole team.

West Dean head teacher Gill Moss

The following weekend, Alys Turner won bronze in the 200m butterfly, while Tom Hogg took two silver medals (200m and 400m freestyle), two bronze (100m fly and backstroke) and three rosettes (50m fly and backstroke and 200m breaststroke).

He clinched bronze in the 100m butterfly final in a very exciting finish with a further three-second PB and his first automatic regional qualifying time.

Hogg also achieved base RQTs in his 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke. Every swim by Alys and Hogg were new PBs.

In the final weekend, Hogg continued his great form and won gold in the 200m backstroke event. He also won silver in the 200m IM, bronze in the 100m freestyle and a rosette in the 50m freestyle. All four were base RQTs.

Also in action this weekend were Abbie Turner and Grace Womersley – they both swam PBs and Abbie won a rosette in the 400m freestyle.

Hogg was the star of the club – as well as all his medals he achieved one automatic regional qualifying time and six base times.

He came fourth overall in the 13-year boys’ FINA points competition despite not swimming as many events as a couple of those above him. He won one gold, two silver, three bronze and four rosettes.

Meanwhile, Bognor-based swimmers who compete for Littlehampton Swimming Club did extremely well in the Sussex long course swimming championships at the K2.

Archie Strowger, 13, claimed a silver medal in the 400m individual medley, four club records and one automatic and one base qualifying time for the regional championships. Ella Porter, 17, also claimed two long-course club records.

Young swimmers from West CE Dean Primary School have won the Chichester Cormorants primary-school swimming gala for the third consecutive year.

There was fierce competition from five other schools – Bosham, The March, St Richard’s, Central and Jessie Younghusband, who came just eight points behind in second place.

At one point, West Dean were fourth and halfway through the evening it was impossible to tell which school might take the top position. There was some amazing swimming from all the children, some of whom had never competed before in a competition. The events were in all four strokes, including freestyle relays for girls and boys, ending with an extremely nail-biting eight-swimmer freestyle relay squadron, which clinched the competition for West Dean.

The team’s Year 5 and 6 swimmers also swam to victory in the Primary School Sports Partnership gala at Arun Leisure Centre. This was another superb achievement for this school of just 101 children.

Head teacher Gill Moss said: “The children have made amazing progress this year and this is a huge achievement for each individual as well as for the whole team.

“As a small school, we have to work hard to field a team, and some of our swimmers were significantly younger than the majority of competitors.

“We place a high value on sport and the children are supported by a talented and dedicated staff, who have given up their own time to coach this squad and to prepare them so well.

“The children have built so much confidence and resilience just from taking part in the galas, and we can see this transferring into other curriculum areas and inspiring other children in school.

“Our parents supported enthusiastically, as always, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening! We are proud of the children and they are proud to be part of this super team. Well done everyone.”

The school have been enjoying their Alive and Kicking week, where all things health-related are taught. Children had a go at karate, rugby, yoga and aerobics; plus e-safety and healthy eating.

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