SWIMMING: Rugby teams at the Nuneaton and Leicester leagues

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Rugby Swimming Club

As has been the case for the past few years, Rugby expansion in terms of members allowed the younger end of the club to compete on two separate fronts, confirming why RSC has just won the coverted ‘Club of the Year’ title in Rugby’s 2016 Sports Awards.

The ‘A’ team competing in the Nuneaton Junior League (NJL) and the ‘B’ team in the Leicester Diddy League (LDL). Strictly speaking it is not a true A and B situation due to the differing age bandings, but I think it is fair to say the LDL is to ensure swimmers get a regular chance to compete, some for the very first time in a competitive gala situation.

Both teams recorded a very solid fourth place in their respective meets, with the LDL team doing extremely well against five ‘A’ teams, and especially considering they only had a team of five boys in total, whereas 14 or even 16 would be ideal.

Clearly this means several events had an empty lane, but with new recruits joining every week, it is hoped to have a full roster by the third round in June, where the league is split by table standing, so everyone competes against similar standard teams.

So a great effort from the five chaps, who swam a variety of events, distance, and up, one, two or even three age groups.

These were Jujanna Desphande, Farrell Hennigan, Jamie Bexon-Walsh, Alex Bowler-Smith and Arpith Nair.

Over at the NJL, the more experienced team (assuming you can be experienced at nine?) were competing in the premier division, and as such were pitted against some very strong opposition, in Leicester Sharks, Halesowen, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Northgate, and Braunstone. Sharks won by a clear margin with 243 points, Rugby fourth with 161.

There were no DQs all evening for Rugby, always a positive in the gathering of points, as well as event wins for Erin Lloyd, Jess Mackenzie, Amelia Kerr, and some of the relay teams, girls 10s medley, Ava Rogerson, Libby O’Brien, Emma Jones and Annabel Crees, girls 12s free Jess, Anna Farrow, Ana Rath-Juanloa, and Harriet Troup.

There were also second places for Logan Wilson Shrubb, Annabel Crees, twice, Jess, Ava Rogerson, Anna Farrow, Erin, and more relay teams the boys 9s free, William Gower, Logan, Noah Unwin and Tristan Underhill girls 12s medley.

Individual success was just as hard to attain in the LDL, with Issy Hobbs, and Isobelle Clements having the honour of securing maximum points.

There were seconds for Jujanna, Savannah Holden, Briony Dew, and thirds for Yanna Villasis, Issy, Phoebe Faupel, Baileigh Kirkup.

The LDL relay teams struggled at times, with so many swimmers having to swim up and against such strong competition, but there were thirds in girls 12s medley and freestyle and also girls 11s medley and freestyle.

Rugby finished a distance behind the winners, but pipped Oadby and Wigston in a head to head for fourth. Head Coach James Dyer said: “Everyone enjoyed themselves and swimmers, parents and supports all had a great time.” - which in essence is the whole aim of the LDL team, finishing high up in the league is a bonus if these swimmers compete for the next five, ten or more years.

Simon Rigg