News Archive

Tigersharks keep on going


Tigersharks held their inaugural distance meet in early December giving swimmers a rare opportunity to go to a meet and focus just on the 2 longest events in the pool; the 800m for the girls and the 1500m for the boys. This was the last opportunity of the year to gain valuable county and ranking times for the team and the meet was well attended by many clubs.

Distance swimming is a skill in its own right, the swimmer has to maintain a controlled aggression throughout the race to ensure that they get the best out of themselves over the whole distance. There is a fine line between being strong over the first half of the race and going too fast but go too easily at the beginning and the gaps will be difficult to close.

Fortunately Tigersharks have some form in these events having had great success at the county championships earlier in the year so the swimmers new what to expect and put in some great swims.

Andrew Smith capped off a great year with a dominant performance in the 1500m. Having broken the minute the week before he delivered another great swim achieving a time of 17:59.87 and going to number 6 on the national rankings for his age.

The other boys also put on a great show, Sam Hockin took the prize for the biggest PB in the 1500m with a staggering 94 second drop on his previous best time. Harvie Greenwood was not far behind in terms of improvement with a 72 second PB as he ducked under 20 minutes for the first time. His improvement was all the more impressive as his previous best was only 2 months old. Sam Dubarry knocked over a minute of his previous best time as he was agonisingly close to the 20 minute barrier and Marshall Fitchett just missed out on going sub 19 minutes and a regional qualifying time with a 58 second PB. Alex Reeves and Bogdan Reynolds also put in great swims as the boys delivered a full house of PB’s on the night.

The younger boys were also going well as James Andrew clocked up a regional consideration time with a great swim and Ryan Lawrence performed well in his maiden 1500m swim just outside the regional consideration time.

 For the girls, Leia Griffiths secured her regional qualifying time in the 800m Free with a strong display of swimming, recording a 19 second PB in the process. This has capped off a great second half of the year for Leia after a first 6 months plagued with illness. Emily Preedy (pictured) took the prize for the biggest PB of the day across both events with a whopping 105 second PB only 2 months after her previous best time. Emily is really beginning to grow in confidence as the hard work begins to pay off.

Erica Mawer has a preference for the longer distances and showed great determination in improving her best time by 24 seconds on the night. Grace Osman swam well to deliver a 19 second PB and Amy Jackson followed this up with 15 second PB of her own. Sophie Walker, Jess Lawrence and Poppy Turner also improved their lifetime bests with some great racing.

The meet was a great success for Tigersharks with full programme of racing. The qualification period for county championships is now closed and the swimmers will look towards Christmas followed by the county championships distance events in early January. If they perform there like they did at this meet then the swimmers will have a real say in deciding where the medals go. We wish them well…..

Tigersharks come of age

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Tigersharks swimmers ventured to Cardiff for the City of Cardiff International Open meet on the weekend of 7thand 8th of November. This meet offered some high level competition for the swimmers as they put themselves up against some of the top Welsh swimmers. With the regional qualification period opening on 1 October this was the first real chance for the team to see where they measure up against the new qualifying times for 2016. Training up to this meet has been hard but going well as we look to build the fitness of the swimmers through the winter months and the team of over 20 swimmers approached this meet with high hopes of success and didn’t disappoint.

There were so many fantastic performances that it’s difficult to mention them all in detail but like the swimmers at the weekend, we will do our best………

Charlie Griffiths turned 9 over the weekend allowing him to compete in his first open meet having previously only been able to compete at Club championships. Despite being the youngest swimmer in the entire competition and with another year in his age group, Charlie set about his task with great enthusiasm recording 4 PB’s, getting some great experience and winning a silver and a bronze medal over the weekend.

Andrew Smith was dominant in his age group winning 7 gold and 2 silver medals whilst recording new PB’s that not only saw him achieve a regional qualifying time but put himself into the top 10 in the national rankings on his Freestyle and Fly events. Marshall Fitchett also notched up some big performances dropping 13 seconds on his 400m FC as he experimented with a new race pacing strategy to great effect. He also recorded big PB’s in 7 other events as he excelled himself time after time over the weekend.

Leia Griffiths is going from strength to strength as she also put herself amongst the medals with 9 PB’s over the weekend in some strong racing she won 2 bronze medals in the 200m BR and  FC making great inroads on both events and putting herself high up in the South West rankings.

Team captain Becky Cook displayed a great turn of pace in hitting new PB’s in both short breaststroke events and was just outside her PB in the 200m chalking up medals in all 3 breaststroke disciplines with a silver and 2 bronzes.

Gabriella Doughty continued her good progress with some strong swims in her favoured shorter events recording 3 PB’s and 4 regional qualification times. Her 100m FC time took her to number 3 in the South West and despite just missing a PB in the 100m backstroke she still won the event from the bottom of the age group.

Grace Osman clocked her first ever actual regional qualifying time with a fantastic swim in the 100m Fly winning a bronze medal, she added to this with another bronze in the 200m event.

Harvie Greenwood reaped the dividends of his hard work taking a well-earned bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke. He made further progress in his other events with another 5 PB’s over the weekend.

Sophie Walker is really beginning to come of age and her recent progress has been joy to watch. Being right at the bottom of her age group didn’t put her off as she put in some really determined performances, particularly the 100m back and the 200m Freestyle. Sophie is really rounding into shape and is in a good position to make her presence felt at the county championships in January.

Laura Edwards also had a strong weekend recording multiple PB’s across many races including the full range of freestyle events from 50 – 400m.

Sam Dubarry recorded 6 new PB’s over the weekend and Amy Jackson also made big steps forward with 5 new PB’s.

Poppy Turner added 4 new PB’s to her count with Lauren Curtis, Matilda Hart, Ryan Lawrence, Alex Reeves, Lisa Cowley, Jasmin Poole and Abi Cook all adding to their lifetime or seasons best times.

The meet was probably one of the clubs most successful in recent years. A huge effort from the swimmers saw the swimmers winning races, recording best times and getting right up there amongst the medals. Add to that a new club kit and the team really did make a great impression on the meet as a whole.

Also donning their new club kit was another group of Tigersharks who were at the Link Centre taking part in the Wroughton sprint meet. As with the swimmers in Cardiff the recent hard work in the training pool really paid off. Emily Preedy was in fine form making huge improvements in all 5 events showing great determination. She was joined by Harriet Hillman, our top biathlete, who also put in personal best performances on every event winning 4 gold and 1 bronze medals. Other gold medallists included Shaun Cornford, Lavinia Morsani- Jones, Isabella Thomson, Mia Smith, Alfie Smithson and Tom Dubarry.  Many of the swimmers also won medals or set best times which is hugely encouraging at this time of year.

This was an outstanding weekend for Tigersharks, the club has taken another huge step forward with these sets of results. The swimmers move on to our own open meet at the end of November where we look to tidy up those times still required for county qualification and lay down some more regional qualification times before the new year and the Wiltshire county championships.

Tigersharks: the progress continues

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Tigersharks hosted another successful open meet at the end of November giving the swimmers their last chance to qualify for the upcoming County championships in January. With an array of talent on show, the team set about their task of posting early Regional qualifying times, getting their county times in the bag or just practising the new skills they have learned in a competitive environment. As always, the swimmer gave everything and with some fantastic results…..

James Andrew was unable to make the earlier Cardiff meet and so set about a heavier programme of swimming than most of his team mates. He took no time in making up for last ground as he recorded a number of personal bests with some outstanding swimming across the whole weekend. To make life even better James recorded 4 regional qualifying times in the 200FC and the 50, 100 & 200m Breaststroke.

Grace Osman also clocked up 2 regional times in the 200Fly and the 200 Breaststroke and backed this up with more PB’s most notably in the 400IM where she dropped her PB by 13 seconds. Harvie Greenwood also put in a monster PB on the 400IM dropping 23 seconds off his previous best time as he recorded big PB’s in every event he swam.

Andrew Smith had a lighter programme than usual as he had one thing on his mind – his first sub one minute clocking in the 100m FC, a milestone for many swimmers. Having been close on in recent weeks he was delighted to break this barrier with some ease with a 59.63 second PB. Andrew is one of only 7 boys his age in the country to have achieved this feat.

Gabriella Doughty was also on a lighter programme this weekend as she took a different and slightly longer set of events. Her maiden 400 IM saw her get a regional qualifying time which she later added to with a strong 200m FC swim. Ryan Lawrence produced an outstanding 200m BK to post his first Regional time for 2016 while Marshal Fitchett keeps on adding to his ever growing list of Regional times. Leia Griffiths continues to post superb times across all strokes as she now holds 12 Regional QT’s for 2016.

Sam Hockin was on fire over the weekend as he posted no less than 9 PB’s as he racked up his county qualifying times. Emily Preedy has been working really hard in training recently and her work paid off as she got her first county qualifying time in the 100m FC. Macy Watson and Thea Rhodes have made huge progress over the past months and proved this with their first ever County Qualifying times for 2016.

GB star Harriett Hillman proves to be just as good in the pool as she is at her favoured sport of Biathle as she laid down one county time after another while youngsters Charlie Griffiths, Alfie Smithson, Owen Jackson and Sebby D’Onofrio posted PBs and QT’s all weekend.

Dina Nejkic had the lightest programme of everyone but for good reason. Having only been back in the pool for two weeks following on from a double leg break Dina just needed to re-record her 200IM county time before the closing date. Despite being nervous at the start the instincts soon took over and she made the time with room to spare.

There were many other good swims over the course of the weekend; Niamh Preston and Tom Dubarry both laid down 6 PB’s whilst Lauren Curtis and Alex Reeves got 4 PB’s apiece. There were a whole host of others who continued their and the club’s improvement over the autumn short course season.

With the short course season drawing to a close all eyes now turn to the county championships which are in January next year. The progress that the team has made in the last few months has really put the club in a great position to have their say on where the medals will go. We look forward to seeing how they all get on in the New Year

Tigersharks off to a Flyer


Tigersharks hosted another successful open meet over the first weekend of October. For many of the swimmers this is their first outing of the new season and with only have a few weeks training under their belts the team were going to find it tough to produce personal best times. That said there were some fine swims and a large number of PB’s which is encouraging for the rest of the season.

Poppy Turner was in good form all weekend and recorded a number of personal best performances across many events over the entire weekend. The pick of her swims was probably the 200m Fly where she extended her lead at the top of the Wiltshire rankings to 11 seconds, improving her PB by 3 seconds to boot.

Leia Griffiths was also in impressive form and started her campaign with some big improvements in many of her events. Her 200m breaststroke saw her take a massive 11 seconds off her best time to top the Wiltshire rankings so far this year.

Another swimmer recording multiple PB’s was Marshall Fitchett with his best performance taking 6 seconds off his PB in the 200IM.

Many of the other swimmers recorded best times over the weekend which is really encouraging with very little training behind them.

Meanwhile, Andrew Smith was up in Leeds swimming for the south West at the English Schools National championships. Andrew was swimming the 100m and 200m FC at this meet and was simply in stunning form all weekend taking huge chunks of his already impressive times. In the 100m FC he took 2 seconds off his best to close in on a sub 1 minute swim and took the silver medal in the process. His 200m FC was equally impressive with an 8 second PB and another silver medal. Andrew sits at number 2 in the UK on both events. His medal haul was further enhanced as he linked up with his team mates to take yet another silver medal in the medley relay, giving him a total of 3 silver medals over the course of the weekend.

These performances are hugely encouraging for all concerned, particularly off the level of training that has lead up to them. No doubt we will see more improvements over the autumn as the training ramps up and the swimmers get fitter and stronger. We look forward to good times ahead.

Tigersharks Perform outstandingly at National Competitions!


Two of Tigersharks swimmers were in action at the ASA National championships last week. Unlike previous years qualification has been based on invites to the fastest Long Course swimmers from a very short qualifying window.

For Tigersharks Marshall Fitchett was first up in the open water swimming at the Rother Valley Lake. Unfortunately conditions were not great with a strong breeze making the water choppy and slowing the swimmers down. Open water swimming is a far more physical form of the sport as swimmers start en masse and unlike the pool where painted line help you swim straight, the swimmers have to lift their heads to get an sight of where they are going and keep them on track. Go ‘off-piste’ and you could end up swimming a lot further than you intended.

Marshall, however, is a hardened swimmer when it comes to this discipline and set about his task with great enthusiasm. Starting in the second wave of swimmers he worked hard and although his time was slightly down on his best (due to the conditions), he finished a fantastic 12th place in the 13 years age group.

In the pool Becky Cook found herself in the fastest heat overall but despite a delay in proceedings, which held up the heats, she held her nerve well. Finding herself in about 6th place at the first turn, she slowly moved through the field and at 100m was sitting in 3rd place; as the other began to tire Becky used her strength over the final 100m and was pulling away at the end twin the heat and qualify for the final in 2nd place with a massive new lifetime best of 2:42.54 seconds.

The final itself was a tough race with all the girls looking to raise their game. Becky had a solid start and produced another great swim, finishing strongly as always but in a very tight finish was just edged out of the medals in 5th place in a time of 2:43.05. It’s often the case that finals don’t produce fast times as the swimmers are naturally more tense going into them, but to get that close to her new PB was a brilliant swim and a fantastic performance from Becky.

To put this into context, as a personal achievement this cannot be under estimated. 18 months ago PB’s for Becky were few and far between, it’s at this point that the sport becomes very tough on the individual and many fall by the way side. To her credit hard work, determination and the right mind set has seen Becky start to win medals at Regional level and put her where she wants to be, at the National Championships. When you add GCSE’s this year into the mix and the disappointment of missing out on the British championships by 1 place, the performance in these championships is even more special.

Meanwhile 9 year old Harriet Hillman fresh from the world GB Biathle world tour travelled tothe National Biathle championships Salford Quays, Manchester. Swimming at the bottom of the U10 age group, the event consisted of a 500m run, 50m open water swim, and further 500m run.  Harriet had a strong first 500m and led the race from the front, also coming out of the swim in first position.  She then got passed in the transition, but pulled herself back into first place in the second run, crossing the line first and claiming gold!  She has now qualified for the World Championships so will represent Great Britain at the World Biathle championships in Georgia in September.

Unfortunately Tigersharks Andrew Smith had been too ill in the weeks leading up to his National event to be able to compete.  He will look forward to aiming just as high next year.

The club will now take a well-earned rest over the summer and come back in September and start to build towards next year’s National championships, where we hope that Marshall Becky and few more will also earn their place all over again.


Tigersharks are always happy to hear from you.

For all ‘Competitive Training’ enquiries
please contact Lesley Leffers on mobile 07707 470100

For all ‘Learn to Swim’ enquiries
please contact Zoe Salmon on mobile 07849 393054

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