News Archive

Top Notch Swimming in Hengrove

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Over the weekend of 9 & 10 April Tigersharks took a squad of swimmers to the City of Bristol Level 1 Open meet. With qualification open for both the National Championships in August and the Regional Championships in May the ‘older’ members of the squad were looking to put down some good performances as the hone their skills for the long course season whilst the 9 & 10 year olds were trying long course for the first time and trying to win some medals.

Gabriella Doughty rounded up the medal totals with her first sub 70 second clocking in the 100 backstroke as she seeks National qualification for the first time. Her time ranks her 9th in England at the time of this report but more importantly puts her in a great position for National qualification.  Andrew Smith also seeking his National qualification, despite being bottom of the age group, did himself no harm with a superb 100m Fly and just missed out on a medal as he finished 4th.

Charlie Griffiths, in his first long course meet, was the team’s most successful swimmer claiming 6 gold medals in the 9 year old age group in the 200 Back, 50 Br, 50 FC, 200 FC, 200 IM & 200 Br. Team mate Alfie Smithson also added more golds in this age group as he collected the 50 Fly and the 50 back as well as a silver in the 50 Breaststroke. Owen Jackson is developing into a fine young swimmer and showed his turn of speed as he won the 10 years boys 50m backstroke.

Isabella Thomson also had a fine start to her long course career in her favoured breaststroke taking gold in the 200 and 100m as well as a silver medal in the 50m event. Grace Osman likes the tough event and took gold with a strong swim in the 400IM and put in a great performance to take silver in the 200 Fly in the 11 year olds.

Leia Griffiths and James Andrew both showed their versatility as they won medals in the 400m FC events and the 100m Breaststroke; James going on to win more medals the 100m FC, 200m FC and the 50 Br. Lavinia Morsani-jones was also a double medallist with a silver in the 50m Fc and a bronze in the 200 FC.

Ryan Lawrence and Rory Halliday got amongst the medals in the boys 200m Backstroke with a silver for Ryan and bronze for Rory in new personal best times. Ryan also delivered a big PB in his 100m backstroke but just missed out on the medals in 4th.

Perhaps the swim of the meet came from Sam Dubarry as he put in a stunning 100m Breaststroke in a huge PB that gained him his first actual regional qualification time of the campaign.  Sophie Walker also made big improvements on her 200m breaststroke to get her Regional Qualifying time in this event.

There were also PB’s for Becky Cook, Laura Edwards, Matilda Hart, Amy Jackson, Lauren Curtis, Tom Dubarry, Poppy Turner, Alex Reeves, Dina Nejkic & Marshall Fitchett.

Overall it was a very encouraging start to the long course campaign. The team now look forward to Millfield where they will hope to build on their performances ad swim even faster.

Tigersharks – Developing Talent for the future

Tigersharks joined forces with Wroughton and Swindon ASC to host a development meet on Sunday 17 April under the SX3 Swim squad banner. The aim of this open meet is to give the swimmers both old and young an opportunity to improve their competitive skills or take their first steps into competitive swimming in a warm and friendly environment.  Taking place over one day the programme consisted of 50m of each stroke plus the 100IM giving the swimmers  taste of what to expect if they continue in the sport.

As hoped for, team Tigersharks put on a great performance with multiple best times and medals for the young swimmers. In the 8 year old age group Ryan Sheehan and Jayden Adams dominated the swimming ensuring that one of them picked up the gold medal in every event. Ryan finished with 4 golds and a silver and Jayden 1 gold, 3 silvers and a bronze.

In the girls 8 years age group Rebekkah Mawer swam strongly to record 5 PB’s and take 5 silver medals as she battled it out with Isabella Stenson from Cirencester. In the 9 years girls Tigersharks were in great form with medals in every event with Isabell Thomson leading the way with 4 gold medals. Jessica Smith and Lena Nejkic also won 2 silver medals. Developing talents Maddison Gottfried and Ffion Mathias also caught the coaches’ eyes with their first taste of competitive swimming.

In the 13 year old boys age group Sam Hockin took 4 golds and a silver as his hard work in training continues to pay off.

Overall this was great meet for Tigersharks as the swimmers produced a host of best times and the new comers to the sport really showed off their potential. We look forward to seeing their development over the coming years.

A week later Tigersharks took a small group of swimmers to Millfield School to take part in the Taunton and Millfield super series level 1 long course meet. Events opened up on the Friday with the long distance events and Tigersharks had representation in both the 800m and the 1500m. Lauren Curtis smashed her previous life time best with a great swim to open proceedings with a regional consideration time. Leia Griffiths recorded a long course PB dipping under 11 minutes and getting her regional qualifying time in the process.

In the boys 1500m event Marshall Fitchett put in a strong swim to better his long course best performance and James Andrew was desperately close to breaking 20 minutes as he destroyed his previous best at this event getting his regional qualifying time.

Becky Cook, Dina Nejkic and Gabriella Doughty were at the meet to get rankings places for qualification for the Nationals. Dina was up first in the 100m breast stroke where she equalled her life time best and then went on to set new best times with some strong swims in the 50m and 200m events, sailing under 3 minutes long course for the first time.

Becky Cook boosted her chances of National qualification as she set a season’s best performance in the 200m breaststroke and then recorded her long course best time in the 50m breaststroke with a great display of sprinting.

Gabriella Doughty waited until the final day to compete but stormed her heat to set a new lifetime best of the 50m backstroke and at the time of writing sits at number 10 in the UK rankings for her age group.

The performances over the weekend were very encouraging and the swimmers will now turn their attention to the regional competitions where they will test themselves against the best in West of England. We wish them the best of luck and will let you know how they get on.

Tigersharks Spring into Action

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Tigersharks swimmers found themselves in action at 2 different meets in March. The club hosted another very successful open meet on the weekend of the 12 & 13 March whilst some of the swimmers looking for National Qualification attended the Rushmoor Royals Long Course open meet on 19 & 20 March as they aimed to lay down some fast swims at the opening of the qualification window.

With so many swimmers at both meets it was key for Tigersharks to perform at their best if they wanted to get amongst the medals.

At the link centre the swimmers were in great form with numerous PB’s being recorded. Owen Jackson is developing into a fine young swimmer and racked up 7 PB’s over the course of the weekend taking 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal to boost his collection. Alfie Smithson is also fast improving posting PB times in every race he entered. Marshall Fitchett was also on a PB hunt as he matched Owen with 7 PB’s taking 3 gold medals over the weekend and posting four Regional QT’s.

Lauren Curtis is closing in on her regional times as she added 2 regional Consideration Times (RCT) in the 100 Fc and the 400 FC to her tally. Another 5 best performances over the course of the meet made this a very good weekend for Lauren.

Sam Dubarry was also on the hunt for regional times and delivered 3 RCT’s in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke backed up by 2 further PB’s in the 50 and 400 FC. Sophie Walker smashed her previous best in the 50 Fly and just outside the Regional qualifying time but picked up a consideration with her new lifetime best. Another swimmer taking a big chunk out of her PB was Lavinia Morsani-Jones as she clocked a RCT in her 50m FC despite having another year in the age group with a sub 32 second clocking.

Many other swimmers produced numerous PB’s over the weekend; Sam Hockin and Charlie Griffiths both delivered 6, Alex Reeves, Alfie Smithson and Tom Dubarry chipped in with 5 new lifetime bests each, Isabella Thomson and Sebastiano D’Onofrio recorded 4 new PB’s and Lena Nejkic and Niamh Preston added 3 to their tally for the year.

There were many medals won over the weekend with Tigersharks even recording a 1,2 3 as Charlie Griffiths, Alfie Smithson and Freddie Logan took home all the medals in the boys 9 years 200m Breaststroke.

Overall it was a great weekend of swimming for the club as the swimmers keep on delivering success time after time.

The following weekend a small group of swimmers entered the Rushmoor Royals level 1 open meet looking for an indication of early form in the 50m pool. Dina Nejkic was first up and produced a fantastic 100m Breaststroke taking 4 seconds off her previous best time taking a bronze medal in her age group. She followed this up with another PB in the 50 Breast and was just outside her PB in the 200m Breaststroke. Dina has done really well to get back her fitness after 10 weeks out with a double leg break at the back end of last year.

Andrew Smith produced a stunning swim in his 200m Fly as he also recorded a 10 second long course PB to win his age group despite being one of the youngest swimmers. Despite a mishap in the marshalling area, which meant he missed his original heat, he also recorded a PB in his 100m FC and held his nerve in a very fast heat.

Gabriella Doughty limited her entries to her backstroke events and recorded some big PB’s with some strong swimming. Coming off the back of a heavy cold she produced an 8 second PB in the 200m back and a 2 second PB in the 100m back where she currently heads the rankings.

Over the 2 weekends Tigersharks have really stepped up to the plate. The next meet sees the whole squad come together for a long course meet at Bristol in preparation for the upcoming Regional Championships in May. The club is in a really good position to challenge for medals, deliver best times and hopefully get some National Qualifying times to boot.

Wiltshire Counties Part II – Tigersharks bite back

Grace News

Tigersharks attended the final sessions of the Wiltshire County championships over the last weekend of January and the first weekend of February. Having already started well the club went from strength to strength as our younger swimmers showed us exactly what they can do.

The senior members of the team were up first as they finished off their county swims with some success. Becky Cook put in a great performance on her 400IM to win the county title in a regional qualifying time. Laura Edwards was also in good form as she claimed victory in the 200m Breaststroke. Andrew Smith added junior 200m Fly title to his 100m title despite still having 2 years in the age group.

Tigersharks are very strong in the age group competition. Andrew Smith dominated the 13 boys age group winning 10 gold and 2 silver medals as he showed not only great determination but was able to find another gear when it mattered the most to secure a string of victories. Andrew was also the only swimmer to achieve an Age Group Best Time throughout the whole age group competition as he clocked 1:06.21 seconds for his 100m Fly to break the 8 year old record. This should not be underestimated as the records still reflect age on day rather than age in the year so many of them are held by swimmers who would be in an older age group under the current regime.

Gabriella Doughty was not far behind Andrew with her haul of 9 gold medals and a silver to her name as she dominated the girl’s 13 year old age group. Gaby is a prolific backstroker and she cleaned up the backstroke events from 50-200m as well as the 50 & 100m events in Freestyle and Fly. She also showed that her weakest stroke is coming along as she took the 200IM and 400IM titles with some determined swimming.

Leia Griffiths and James Andrew took 5 golds a piece in the 12 year old age group with both swimmers putting in some fabulous swims and increasing their tally of regional qualifying times in the process. Leia showed real grit and determination as she battled out her events with Caitlyn Fry from Calne Alpha with honours even over the course of the championships. James Andrew is continuing to develop his skills as he won victories from 50m Breaststroke through to the 400m FC smashing his PB’s in the process. Ryan Lawrence also got in on the act as he won gold in the 200m backstroke and later added a silver in 100 Backstroke.

Grace Osman is turning into a fine distance medley swimmer who builds on her strong fly stroke. Her 400 IM swim was not only a winning performance but clocked a huge PB and a Regional Qualifying time. Grace also took 2 silver medals in the 100m and 200m Fly respectively.

Dina Nejkic is still not back to her best after a double leg fracture but showed she is well on her way to recovery with 3 silvers and 3 regional qualifying times in the breaststroke events and Poppy Turner also produced 3 regional qualifying times a won a silver and 2 bronze medals in the 13 years fly events. Sophie Walker finished strongly in 200 Freestyle in the same age group to grab a bronze medal as she recovers from illness.

In the 11 year age group Lavinia Mosani-Jones recorded the fastest time of the day for the 50m FC but couldn’t quite repeat that time in the final finishing in a close second place and Tom Dubarry recovered from the disappointment of losing a medal through a DQ in the 100m breaststroke to win silver in the 50m event the following day. Owen Jackson continues to make fantastic progress as he picked up a bronze with a big PB in the 100m Fly.

Despite being bottom of the age group Harriet Hillman (50 Back), Charlie Griffiths (200 Back) and Isabella Thomson (200 Breaststroke) all recorded big PBs and won medals in the 10/11 years events and their success so early in their careers bodes well for the future.

The competition can be very tight ant these events and we had swimmers producing many PB’s and making finals. Lauren Curtis is closing in on her Regional time in the 100m Fc and Matilda was denied a medal on many occasions by some very tight margins but produced some strong displays of swimming, particularly in the distance and the backstroke events as she closes in on regional qualifying times. Alex Reeves was also in the mix as he produced some good swims to make the 50m and 100m backstroke finals.

Overall, it was a very successful campaign for Tigersharks with a huge medal haul for a club of our size. We continue to produce swimmers of the highest calibre. The work is not yet done; as we hope to add to our regional qualification tally. March sees the Nationals qualification window open and with some performance above we have some very real chances of National Qualification. We look forward to seeing the progress continue.


Tigersharks on form at the Wiltshire County Champs

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In line with the new timings within British swimming Wiltshire is now holding its county championships earlier in the year which means the swimmers are back in competition very quickly after their short Christmas break.

Andrew Smith has carried on in 2016 where he left off in 2015. Competing at the senior championships as a 13 year old he tested himself against the older swimmers with great aplomb. In his 100m Fly he recorded a time faster than the age group record that has stood since 2008 but cannot claim the record as it was not done in the age groups events. He performed so well that he also won the Junior (15 and under) title beating all the swimmers in the 2 age groups above him and puts himself number 7 on the UK rankings at this time.

Gabriella Doughty (also 13 yrs) was in the same position as Andrew looking to make some inroads into the Junior ranks within Wiltshire and like Andrew she was in top form over the weekend. The 200m backstroke is not always Gaby’s preferred event but the winter training has given her some new strength as she dominated her heat to record a new personal best time by 4 seconds. Like Andrew this time was good enough for Gaby to not only win the Junior title but comer 3rd overall in the Championships. Gaby followed this up with another personal best in the 100m back where she took bronze in the Junior age group and was 4th overall in the championships. Gaby is still 12 and her time took her to the top of the Wiltshire all-time rankings for a 12 year old girl (age on day).  Both Gaby and Andrew will have their age group swims in these events in late January and early February.

Laura Edwards put in a great weekend of swimming showing her ability as an all-round IM swimmer. After picking up a silver in the shortest IM event over 100m she showed great strength and determination over the 200m event to record a new PB and take the gold medal in the 15 years age group and also picked up PB’s in the 50 FC

Marshall Fitchett also swam strongly over the weekend picking up a bronze in the 400m FC and PB’s in the 50m Fly. Becky Cook picked up bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke and the 100 Fly. There were a number of other good swims with Harvie Greenwood, Sam Dubarry, Sam Hockin and Jasmin Poole all recording PB’s over the weekend.

The previous weekend saw Tigersharks take on the longer distances in the programme as the Wiltshire hosted its long distance county championships. Once again Tigersharks put in some great swims. In the girls 12 years age group Leia Griffiths dominated taking the gold medal in a new PB. Leia was joined on the podium by her 2 team mates as Grace Osman took silver and Lauren Curtis took bronze with her first regional consideration time.

In the 13 years age group Dina Nejkic took the gold despite having 8 weeks out with a double fracture just before Christmas as she retained the title she won last year. Sophie Walker took a well-earned bronze medal in the same age-group with Matlida Hart and Poppy Turner hot on Sophie’s heels.

Andrew Smith led the way in the boys 13 years age group taking the gold medal by 22 seconds as he continues his good form. His swim also won him the bronze medal in the Junior championships. James Andrew also took the 12 years age group with a confident swim and a new PB. Ryan Lawrence was not far behind him with a great bronze medal.

Marshall Fitchett wrapped things up for Tigersharks with a really solid silver medal which was just outside his PB.

The championships have started well for Tigersharks so far and we look forward to rest of the events as the younger swimmers begin their campaign for success at the Wiltshire championships. Judging by some of the performances so far there will plenty more success for the club. We wish all our swimmers the best of luck.


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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