Annual Novice Gala
The logistically intriguing concept of a swimming gala for those generally new to the world of competitive swimming could be seen at the QDJC on Saturday night, as RSC held their annual Novice Gala.
In this case Novice doesn’t necessarily mean always mean new to competitive swimming, but not better than a given standard, though the two things are not mutually exclusive.
This means you have 9 year olds who are quite experienced and 11 year old who aren’t, as well as the slightly harsh, but strictly adhered to ‘speeding tickets’ for those going faster than a given time for any given race.
These do not apply to the relays, and on massive positive for the club was the fact Rugby won more than half of these, with only one DQ. Ultimately Rugby won, despite the speeding tickets, with 299 points, Coventry B, 267, Kingsbury, 246, Rugby B, 221, Daventry 199, and Linslade Crusaders, a valiant, 182.
As you can see Rugby had two teams, and as each event was swum twice, it meant there were four swimmers in each race and event, so 4 x 9 year old girls doing fly for example. Thus there were many new faces, in the younger ages, but also in the older ages, with successes in both.
These were backed up by the more expected regulars, such as Tamsin Kyte, Charlotte O’Brien, Harriet Troupe, Cerys James, Haydn Maher, Luie Gilroy, James Phillips, Lewis Cresswell, Toby Rigg and Ben Shurrocks.
The newcomers included Isaac Kayada, Clara Haywood, Reece Wallace, Tommie Olubisi, Nat Kayada, Nathan Chapple, and Cassie Reed. Cassie probably gets best judged swim of the night award. She won the girls’ 11 and under backstroke, with a cut off time of 20.00, as she swam clear of the field in 20.01, a fingernail away from no points, and unusually a less than great finish was to her benefit.
There was a great atmosphere, with children, parents, grandparents all joining in the friendly but competitive atmosphere. The club would like to thank the visiting officials, as well as the new recruits, all willing to have a go, if not officially qualified for more stringently officiated meets. The Rugby team was superbly marshalled by Vicky Armeson, and Cat Rimen, able assisted by Jasmine, Megan, Maddie, and Ellen, no small feat with two teams of such inexperienced swimmers.
Rugby Swimming Club, are always on the lookout for new swimmers, aged 7 and upwards, who have mastered two or three strokes, to join the teaching section of the club, or older more proficient swimmers. Rugby has several levels within the training squads, so everyone can be accommodated, and the Clubs recent improvements can only be reinforced with new blood.
One disappointment noted during the last few relays, was that the poolside looked pretty sparse as many children had already left. Swimming may be an individual sport in some ways, but team matches are just that, a team event. So unless there is a compelling family reason for leaving early then swimmers and parents should show support for all by staying to the end.