A young Australian swimmer has left a lasting impression on Bognor Regis Swimming Club despite only being with the club for a few weeks.
Yasmin Madigan, aged ten, from New South Wales, joined the club in order to maintain her fitness levels whilst visiting Bognor on holiday.
Her mother Lili searched the internet for s clubs and came across Bognor. The club were happy to accept Yasmin as a club member and set about arranging competitions for her to enter.
One was a fantastic success for Yasmin and the club. Indeed, she would have achieved a haul of six medals in the Open Meet in Leatherhead, Surrey, if she had not received a ‘speeding ticket’ in three of the events for being too fast.
This was a culture shock for both mother and daughter as in Australia, the fastest swimmer always wins, whereas in the UK, events are sometimes run where the children have to be slower than a specified time, thereby allowing children of differing abilities the opportunity to experience success. Despite this, Yasmin’s three speeding tickets plus a gold in the 50m backstroke, silver in the 50m breaststroke and bronze in the individual medley were a successful individual haul of medals and awards.
Her grandfather, Brian Madigan of Bognor, was immensely proud of her achievements. While he knew his granddaughter was a talented swimmer, he had been unable to see her swim and had to rely on phone calls and photos to keep him in touch with her progress. So it was an emotional time for all the family when he first saw her swim at The Arena as part of the Bognor club’s training sessions.
Yasmin returned to Australia with happy memories of her successful, if rather short, time with the swimming club.
Sue Eason, the junior development coach, said: “Yasmin is always welcome at the club when she next visits Bognor and hopefully she will keep in touch so we can see how her swimming progresses.
“Who knows, maybe in a few years, the name Yasmin Madigan will be proudly stated alongside other former members of the swimming club, such as Duncan Goodhew, the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal winner, and Gemma Spofforth, the former world backstroke champion.
“Yasmin is one of the top swimmers for her age in New South Wales and we would have loved for her to compete in more competitions for us.”
Yasmin did not leave the club empty-handed as along with her medals, she had to squeeze into her suitcase a swimming hat, cap and hoodie all with the Bognor club’s motif on to remind her of her time with the club.