News Archive

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 hit top form at Regional Summer Champs


The 16/ 17th May saw the first weekend of the South West Regional Swimming championships at Hengrove in Bristol. This was an opportunity for our swimmers to test themselves against their peers from other clubs across the region. It is the next step up from County swimming and races can be decided by the smallest of margins, so performing at your very best is key to success.

Tigersharks had a fantastic weekend with 99% of performances resulting in personal best times. Andrew Smith led the way with 2 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze medal over the weekend. His first came in the 400m FC where he led from start to finish. The shorter events in the swimming programme have heats and finals at the regional level and Andrew showed he can raise his game when required by winning the 200m FC final in style. The 200m fly was desperately close and Andrew was unlucky losing on the touch by 2 hundredths of a second to take silver; he backed this up with another silver in the 50m Fly and a bronze in the 50m FC.

Dina Nejkic is turning into an accomplished sprint breaststroker. Qualifying in a PB for the 50m final in 3rd place, she swam even faster in the final, as the top 3 got away from the rest of the field, taking a fantastic bronze medal. Recent illness has hampered Dina’s preparations for these championships and took its toll as Dina just missed out on making the final of the 100m Breaststroke as a reserve finalist.

Gabriella Doughty had fortune on her side in the 200m backstroke. Having put in a solid swim in the heats she found herself in 9th and first reserve for the final. Fortunately a withdrawal gave her another opportunity and she grabbed it with both hands, swimming far more aggressively to finish in 6th place overall in a new PB.

Marshall Fitchett came close to making the final of both the 200m Breaststroke and the 200m Fly but despite huge PB’s, he had to sit and watch as no-one withdrew. No doubt he will go one better at the next round of the championships and get that place in the final.

The entire team stepped up and delivered some great swimming over the whole weekend: Jasmine Poole went under 10 minutes for the first time in the 800m FC, Matilda Hart smashed her previous 200m backstroke PB in her first regional championships, Abi Cook returned to form with huge PB in the 100m Fly and Laura Edwards continued her progress with a fine 100m breaststroke. James Andrew (200m Breaststroke) and Ryan Lawrence (200m Fly) took part in their first Regional championship despite being a year out of age and both swam exceptionally well as they moved themselves up the rankings. The rest of the team comprising Sophie Walker, Poppy turner, Grace Osman, Sam Dubarry and Alex Reeves also produced PB’s in all their events.

This was a great set of results for Tigersharks and the coaching team were delighted with the attitude and application that the team showed throughout the weekend. The next round of these championships takes place at the end of May where Tigersharks will be looking to continue their success and hopefully add a few more medals to the tally. We wish them well.

Bronze for Becky at ASA south West Champs

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The first weekend in May saw Tigersharks compete at the ASA south West Youth (15 yrs. +) Summer Championships in Plymouth. With many of our older swimmers focussing on exams at this time of the year the team was smaller than usual with only Becky Cook and Rebecca Maddox attending but that didn’t stop them from putting on some fine performances.

Both girls specialise in the 200m breaststroke and the heat swims were interesting as Becky Cook found herself in the same heat as Olympic Champion and world record holder Rūta Meilutytė. Fortunately Becky took this all in her stride and laid down a solid performance which saw her qualify 4th for the final. Rebecca Maddox also put in a fine swim which saw her join her team mate and qualify 9th for the final.

At his point it wasn’t job done but it was certainly first goal achieved with 2 finalists to show. The gap between Becky Cook and the 3rd ranked swimmer in the final was 2 tenths of a second. The final saw more great swims with Rebecca Maddox moving up two places from her morning swim and finishing in a well- deserved 7th spot.

Becky Cook was out for her second successive bronze medal in this event; and at the half way mark Becky was 4th, 1.5 seconds off the bronze medal. Swims are not won at the halfway point and Becky always has strong second half of the race; at the 150m turn the gap had halved but it was still going to be desperately close for the bronze medal. At this stage of the race it’s all about pain and who can tolerate it down the final length; with one final push to the finish, Becky won a fantastic bronze medal by just over 2 tenths of a second. This is great achievement and whilst just outside her PB, reinforces her continuing development into a top 200m breaststroke swimmer.

The younger members of the club have their championships over 2 weekends and we are hopeful that they too can bring some medals; only time will tell………………….

The ‘Long and Short’ of it – Tigersharks on form again

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Tigersharks took part in 2 open meets over the weekend of 10/11/12 April as the club hosted another of its popular short course open meets at the Link Centre in Swindon whilst a few swimmers went down to Bristol for some well needed long course practice.

At the Link Centre James Andrew was in top form as he secured 3 additional Regional Qualifying Times (RQT) over the weekend in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 200m IM. Joining his team mate was Ryan Lawrence who got his first RQT in the 100m Fly. Both boy’s performances are particularly impressive as they will be in the same age group next year and come as a result of some great work in training. Matilda Hart added to her list of RQT’s in the 50m back with a strong display of sprinting; Matilda now has RQT’s in both the short backstroke events. Amy Jackson got her first Regional Consideration Time (RCT) and only just missed out on her RQT with a superb new PB also in the 50 back and Harvie Greenwood clocked up 2 more RCT’s in the 200IM and 100m Breaststroke.

The younger swimmers cannot qualify for the regional competitions but that didn’t stop them from producing some outstanding swimming. Lavinia Morsani-Jones and Ethan Nicholas both put in some fine performances throughout the weekend showing great talent for 9 year olds as they smashed their PB’s across a multitude of events. They were not the only young swimmers to perform well; Gracie Gardner, Niamh Preston, Milan Thapar, Owen Jackson and Harriet Hillman joined them in swimming really well over the weekend.

The open meets are not just about the established swimmers, they also provide a great opportunity for the youngest and newest swimmers to get their first taste of competition. Sebastiono D’Onofirio, Tannaz Hooshyarabnavi, Chloe Hartnoll, Alex Smith, Emily Preedy and Lauren Curtis all donned their Tigersharks hats for the first time and swam really well in their first competition for the club.

Whilst most of the club were engaged at the Link, a small group of swimmers went to Bristol to swim in their long course meet. Whilst the distances are the same as in the short course pool the pace judgement is slightly different as you have less turns, so less reference points to help you control your swim. With a full event programme available, the meet started on the Friday night with great success for Tigersharks. Andrew Smith put himself at the top of the South West Regional 1500m rankings in his age group with a fine performance. Andrew continued to perform superbly over the weekend putting himself at the top of the South West rankings for a 12 year old in almost every event he entered and winning 5 medals in the process, with only swimmers in the year above for regional competition getting the better of him over the weekend – it really was a dominant display.

Rebecca Cook, continues to improve and produce outstanding Breaststroke performances. Rebecca has posted in particular a superb 5 second PB on her 200m Breast in her quest to secure a place in the National Competition in 2015. The surprise was the 2 second PB on the 100m Breast which is not her favoured distance and PB swims in all her other events.

Gabriella Doughty continued her improvements over the weekend with an outstanding 100m backstroke taking her to 2nd in the rankings for a 12 year old in the South West and swam outstandingly well in her other events beating all her previous PB’s.

Laura Edwards continues to make great improvements and took a bronze medal with a fabulous 400m IM swim and was unlucky with a 4th place in the 200m Breaststroke. Jasmin Poole continued her success at 800m this year with victory in her age group. Jasmin continued to swim very well setting new PB times over every event she swam. Dina Nejkic battled hard to get her regional 100m FC time with a really determined swim after a few weeks out of the water.

Sam Dubarry, Marshall Fitchett, Abigail Cook and Ollie Howitt also put in some solid swims over the weekend taking long course PB’s in their events.

Overall this weekend proved to be very successful for Tigersharks with some top performances both in Bristol and at the Link. The swimmers are really stepping up to the mark as the club continues to improve on what has already been a very good year for Tigersharks. Well done to all those involved and as always a huge thanks to those who helped us run another great open meet.

Tigersharks shine at the Wiltshire County Championships

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March saw the main block of the Wiltshire county championships take place with Tigersharks performing well in all across the board. The championships are split into 2 groups with the Youth categories taking place in early March and the younger age groups following on soon after.

In the Youth championships Rebecca Cook took a clean sweep of the 16 year old breaststroke events, all in Regional Qualifying Times (RQT), and came close to repeating this in the medley events but was denied by team mate Rebecca Maddocks who took the 100 IM title with a fine swim.

Jasmine Poole continued her rivalry with Eloise Sutton of Trowbridge in the 400m FC just losing out on the title but getting a RQT in the process and backed this up with another RQT in 200 IM as she took the bronze medal.

There were medals for Alex Boxall, Abigail Cook, Laura Edwards, Oliver Howitt, Luke Morgan, Bethany Wakefield and Elliot Willoughby as well as many fine performance and numerous PB’s from across the squad also adding more RQT’s and Consideration times.

The younger swimmers followed up with some very impressive swimming. In the 12 year old boy’s age group, Andrew smith had an electrifying meet with huge PB’s in many events. His 200m Fly was not only an Age Group Best Time but took him to the top of the rankings in the South West. At this point in time he heads the South West rankings for not just the event above but also the 100m & 200m backstroke and the 400m FC. Marshall Fitchett swam really well to seal the 13 year old 200m Fly title in a RQT and also made the grade in the 400 IM.

Dina Nejkic and Gabriella Doughty were also in fine form in the 12 year old girl’s age group taking multiple county titles each and putting themselves into the medals in every event they both swam. Gabriella took all of the backstroke events with Dina matching this in breaststroke. With the exception of the 50m FC, they shared the FC from 100 - 800m events with Dina also edging the 200 IM. They were not alone in their success as 12 year old Poppy Turner took her first county title with a fantastic 8 second PB in the 200 Fly in an RQT and backed this up with silver and bronze in the 100m and 50m Fly respectively also both RQT’s.  Matilda Hart added the 100m back RQT to her list as she took bronze behind Gabriella. A returning to form Alexander Reeves also scored his first RQT of the season as he continues to improve and swim superbly.

For the 11 year olds RQT’s are the same times as the 12 year old swimmers so they are particularly tough to come by. James Andrew put on great display as he took silver in 100m FC in a RQT with Ryan Lawrence just outside the RQT but getting his consideration time. Both boys continued to be amongst the medals with James winning the 400m FC in a consideration time and Ryan again coming close to an RQT on his 100m backstroke.

The 11 year old girls also swam well with Tigersharks taking a 1-2-3 in the 200m Fly as Grace Osman, Juliet Durrant and Ella Reindl dominated the event with Grace achieving a regional consideration time. Joined by Amelia Skitrall and Leia Griffiths (Lia is recovering from a long illness) they continued to take medals and achieve PB’s across the whole event.

The junior championships was made even better as Mia Smith and Sam Dubarry collected the Winter League trophy on behalf of the club something that many of the swimmers worked really hard to win.

There were many other great swims across the board in both sets of championships with far too many personal bests to mention. The commitment of the swimmers is really beginning to pay dividends and they should all be really pleased with the progress they are making. The qualification window is still open for the regional championships and many of the swimmers are very close to achieving their goal. Open meet season will now begin and with a little bit more hard work we can convert a lot of those consideration times into qualification times.


Tigersharks are always happy to hear from you.

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

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