The summer months were an extremely busy time for members of Arbroath-based swimming club, St Thomas
Twelve swimmers, accompanied by two coaches and two team managers, made the trip to Club La Santa, Lanzarote.
This was a week long intensive training camp which included four hours pool training a day, land training and team building activities. Swimmers had the opportunity to train in an Olympic size pool and have the benefit of the excellent sporting facilities available for activities such as paddle courts, beach volleyball and mountain biking.
During the course of the week swimmers excelled themselves in extremely hot conditions with temperatures approaching 36/37 degrees celsius. The week-long camp provided swimmers with the chance to enhance their technique and skills as well as working on their competition and racing skills.
The club has extended its thanks to all those who supported the fund-raising efforts of the swimmers and parents which made this camp possible.
Although the competition calendar is somewhat reduced during July and August, six swimmers travelled down to Swansea to compete in the Welsh Summer Nationals. This seven-day competition was streamed live via You Tube and all clips are still available to watch with many positive comments on St Thomas performances.
George Cowan and Robert Allan competed in the 12 year old boys’ age group. This was Robert’s first time competing in a series of long course events and his hard work from Lanzarote paid off as he demonstrated much improved technique in all his swims.
In his 400 freestyle race, Robert’s strong final 100m ensured he set a new long course personal best.
George was also on excellent form. His 200m butterfly was swum with supreme determination and he just missed out on the final, being placed 10th overall.
He set a two second personal best in his 50 breaststroke and five second improvement in his 100 backstroke. His 200 freestyle swim was a dominant heat victory and again George was unlucky not to make the final.
In the girls’ 12/13 age group Sophie Smith was in superb form. Continuing on her Scottish record breaking form, Sophie made the final of the 50 and 200 freestyle breaking the Midland District 50m freestyle record.
Her 400 freestyle heat victory placed her fourth overall and in the 800 freestyle Sophie excelled, leading her heat from start to finish and lapping some swimmers to boot. Her swim earned her a well deserved silver medal.
Kirsten Duncan was competing in her first long course competition. She swam in the 400 individual medley, 50 and 800 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke. Her 200 breaststroke was an excellent performance as she won her heat leading from start to finish.
Sarah Cummins, competing in the 17/18 girls age group, made the final of the 200 backstroke and swam close to her personal bests. In the 200 backstroke final Sarah improved on her heat time by two seconds and swam with an improved stroke rate.
Swimming the 17/18 boys age group Nathan Watt made the final of the 100 backstroke, and the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly. In his 100 fly final Nathan smashed his long course personal best which he set at the Scottish Nationals in June.
Also during the summer months, St Thomas success and its coaching and effective management structure was recognised by Scottish Swimming.
St Thomas became the first club in Angus to gain Swimark plus accreditation at the Training to Train level. Cameron Craig, Hannah Coull, Ben Morrison, George Cowan, Sophie Smith, Ally Morrison and Ashley Thomson were all accepted into Scottish Swimming’s National Bronze Squad and Blair Fotheringham gained Senior Bronze Squad times. Furthermore, Ben, George, Ally and Blair as well as Robert, Nathan, Katie Phillips, Taylor Young and Ross Geddes were also chosen to represent Midland District at the ASA National Counties championships in Sheffield.
St Thomas is always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining the club either as a swimmer or volunteer then please use the link on their website or pop down to the pool. St Thomas welcomes any swimmer who has achieved at least level six in the Scottish Learn to Swim programme. Again please come to the pool on any training night for a trial.