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Tigersharks close their season on a high

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Tigersharks hosted their end of season meet that represented the finale of the competitive season for many of our swimmers. There are still the National championships to come for Rebecca Cook, Marshall Fitchett and Andrew Smith but for the rest of the squads this meet represented a final chance to post some PB’s for a few months.

Leia Griffiths was in fine form all weekend. Having missed a huge amount of training earlier in the year due to illness, Leia has fought her way back in last few months and now back to full strength continued from where she left off, pre-illness. Leia recorded 10 PB’s over the course of the weekend and has put herself right up there in the South West Rankings with a number of top 5 rankings across different events.

Another swimmer returning to form was Dina Nejkic. Dina has been training well over the last few months and put this training into action as she too collected PB after PB. Dina’s performance in her favoured breaststroke events saw her top the South West rankings in both the 100m and 200m and sit at number 2 in the 50m events.

The meet provided many more PB’s for Tigersharks swimmers with everyone stepping up and hitting their PB’s. It has been a strong summer season for Tigersharks and the team will be looking forward to their summer break.

For a couple of our swimmers, it’s not over yet. Rebecca Cook & Marshall Fitchett still have the National championships to contend with but in very different events. Marshall is in the open water while Becky goes in the 200m breaststroke. Tigersharks 3rd qualifier, Andrew Smith, has had to withdraw due to illness but he will not doubt be looking to make amends next year.  The whole club is right behind them and we are all looking forward to seeing how they perform. We are sure they will do us proud.

Tigersharks Club Together

1 7 year olds CCs

June saw Tigersharks host their club championships over a number of weekends. The new position for this competition in the calendar has been dictated by the changes to the British swimming competition structure and the way that shifts county qualifying period and championships.

The club champs is often the first step into competition for many swimmers as they seek to gain valuable racing experience in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Tigersharks have always had a good crop of young swimmers and this year was no exception.

Our 7 year old swimmers were out to make a splash and try events for the first time. There were some excellent swims throughout the whole weekend from Jayden Adams, Ryan Sheahan, Neve Porton and Freya Preston as they challenged themselves across an array of events.

Our 8 years were also in fine form with some looking for medals in the 9 years and under category. Charlie Griffiths continues to impress with a great 200m BR amongst other swims. George Reindl, Freddie Logan, Isabella Thomson, Rebekkah Mawer and Megan Penny all made great improvements over the course of the competition across a huge spectrum of events.

By the time the swimmers reach 9 years they can start to participate in a few more competitions so for many of them the club champs gives them their first chance to qualify for the county championships next year. Ethan Nicolaas, Lavinia Morsani Jones and Amelia Pirt were putting themselves in a great position to make the counties next year. Also getting amongst the medals with some great swims were Owen Jackson, Niamh Preston and Harriet Hillman.

It’s really encouraging for the club to see so many young swimmers make such positive first steps in their competitive career. Their development is key to the future success of the club but they have made a great start.

The club champs also provides the older swimmers another go short course swimming after the regionals which are held in the longer 50m pool.  There were a huge number of PB’s across a range of events.

A couple of the highlights were Andrew Smith’s 200m Fly where he dominated the filed in a fantastic time that takes him to the top of the UK rankings. His 100m Fly was another very strong performance as he broke 70 seconds for the first time and now sits at number 2 in the UK rankings on this event. Gabriella Doughty also broke 70 seconds for the first time, but in her case it was in the 100m Backstroke and her performance sits at number 5 on the UK rankings this year and number 1 in the South West.

Overall it was another very successful champs, with some great swimming all round, providing further evidence that the club continue to go from strength to strength.

Harriet takes Gold for Great Britain in Italy

Harriet Hillman

Tigersharks Harriet Hillman travelled to Cascina in Italy as part of the Great Britain team to take part in a Biathle event which was part of the world GB Biathle world tour.

I temperatures of 32 degrees, 9 year old Harriet embarked on her event which comprised of 500m run – 50m swim – 500m run - (with full transition included in the overall time). Harriet had a strong start to the race taking the lead almost immediately in the first run. After the first transition she was then first into the pool and maintained her lead in the swim. She had a very smooth second transition and lead the final 500m run for the girls streaking over the finish line with a time of 4mins 40secs (a new PB and 7 seconds ahead of the second place athlete).

An international event that also doubled up for the Italians as their National Championships, Harriet was competing against Italians, Hungarians, Germans and an Austrian (along with 3 other GB girls).Harriet was also one of the youngest in the group and still has another year competing in this age category.
Her next big event is the Biathle National Championships which will be held in Salford Quay, Manchester at the beginning of August, where she will be hoping to qualify for the World Championships and European Championships later this year...... Tigersharks wish Harriet the very best of luck.

Tigersharks ‘open’ all sorts …...


Swimming takes place in many guises, most swimmers will experience swimming in the comfort of an indoor heated pool but for some this is not challenging enough and they take their chances in the open waters of the lakes at South Cerney.

Swimming over longer distances a small team of Tigersharks swimmers tried their luck at the Wiltshire Open water championships. Whilst the strokes are the same there are additional skills required to swim open water as the swimmer has no sight of where they are going and the swimmers all start together so there can be a bit of rough and tumble if your unlucky as swimmers try to get the best position. The course is laid out around marker buoys and the swimmers have to lift their heads every few strokes to make sure they remain on course. A swimmer will often pick a tree or a land mark that is easily visible and aim for that as they navigate the course.

The distances vary from 750m for the younger swimmers up to 3,000m for the older ones. The first in the water was Leia Griffiths in the 11 years 750m event where she continued her good run of form in taking gold. James Andrew and Ryan Lawrence were not to be outdone by their team mate as they dominated their event with a gold and silver respectively in the boys 11 years 750m, finishing over a minute ahead of the rest of the field.

Jessica Lawrence was next up in the 1500m where a PB by over 3 minutes saw Jess take silver in both the 12-14 years age group and the overall Junior championships. Erika Mawer also put in a strong performance in finishing 2nd out of all the 12 year olds in the same age group.

In the boys 12- 14 years Tigersharks took 3 out of the top 4 places with Marshall Fitchett and Sam Dubarry taking gold and silver, with Alex Reeves just outside the medals in 4th. These performances saw Marshall and Sam take silver and bronze in the junior championship (15 & under) as well. Marshall also took the bronze medal in the overall championship to take a clean sweep of medals – and all for one swim!

Given the training programme at the club does not gear itself to this type of swimming, this was an impressive set of the results from the swimmers and should lead to the regional championships for many of them in 2 week’s time. Having got some good experience here they will no doubt do themselves and the club proud. We wish them well. 

A Golden Weekend for Tigersharks


The last weekend in May saw Tigersharks swimmers split over 2 locations. Millfield School were hosting the 2nd round of the age group Regional summer championships whilst the others went to Cardiff for their international level one meet.

The team at Millfield were quite simply outstanding with every swimmer putting in PB performances as the whole team rose to the occasion. Andrew Smith has been in stunning form all year and he capped off a hugely successful championships with 4 more gold medals, winning every event he swam at the weekend. He dominated the 100m FC with a huge new PB, showed his all-round talent in both IM distances and took revenge in the 100m Fly with a clear margin of victory, having been so close in both the 50m and the 200m Fly. Andrew’s haul over the 2 weekends stands at 6 golds, 2 silver and a bronze medal, one of the most successful swimmers at the championships.

Gabriella Doughty had hopes of winning a medal coming into these championships. A great heat swim in the 50m backstroke set her up as fastest going into the final where despite swimming even faster, she was just touched out but finished 3rd to take the bronze medal. This gave Gaby a huge amount of confidence to attack her best event, the 100m backstroke. She powered her way through the first 50m and at 75m was a long way clear. The field came back at her over the last 25m but she won convincingly to take her first regional title in a huge PB. Gaby now sits in the rankings at 8th in the UK on the 50m back and 9th on the 100m back. The 50m FC also proved to be incredibly close but despite a huge PB Gaby was just outside the medals in 4th, but she can be really pleased with a great weekends swimming.

Dina Nejkic took on the 200m Breaststroke having taken bronze in the 50m event a few weeks back. Qualifying in 6th place for the final Dina showed her strength and was an agonising 0.08 seconds of taking another bronze as she moved up to 4th place overall.

The biggest PB of the weekend came from Marshall Fitchett who took massive 40 seconds of his 1500m FC, a PB that had only been set 4 weeks early. Sophie Walker also took a huge 18 seconds of her best time for the 200m breaststroke only 6 months after her recording previous best time. Marshall Fitchett also put in some strong swims on the 200m & 400 IM as he, Ryan Lawrence, James Andrew, Sam Dubarry, Matilda Hart and Poppy Turner all put in massive PB performances.

At Cardiff the competition was also tough but again Tigersharks had some strong performances. Laura Edwards, Ryan Lawrence and Matilda Hart had the pleasure of swimming at Cardiff and Millfield, recording good swims at both locations. Laura was desperately close to breaking 3 minutes for the 200m breaststroke at Cardiff, whilst Ryan and Matilda swam the same event at each location recording PB’s at both pools in the same event on consecutive days.

Leia Griffiths and Grace Osman both made finals with some excellent swimming in the 100m FC and the 100m Fly respectively and picked up much deserved medals in the 200m Butterfly. Grace scooped the Silver and Leia the Bronze medal. Amelia Skittrall joined her team mates swimming her best times in every event she entered. Our 14 year old girls put in a string of fine swims with Jess Lawrence, Amy Jackson, Abi Cook and Jasmine Poole all recording PB’s over the weekend. The boys were not to be outdone as Harvie Greenwood and Alexander Reeves added to their PB tally as well.

There is no doubt about it, May has been a great month for Tigersharks. We have more regional titles, medals and finalists this year than we have had for a long time. There is a great attitude and ethic within the club and we are moving forwards at pace. It is great to watch the swimmers reaping the rewards of their hard work. With the National Qualification window now closed we are hopeful that both Andrew Smith and Becky Cook will make qualification for either British Championships or English Nationals, we will wait and see.


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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