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IASC duo help Scotland West to best ever result at National County Championships

IASC swimmers Aimee Watson and Matthew Garrity were part of the Scotland West swimming team which came second in the recent National County Team Championships just behind Yorkshire – the best ever result by a Scottish team.

The National County Team Championships is a UK wide event for regional swimming teams. This year’s event was held in Sheffield on October 7th with 36 counties and more than 900 swimmers taking part. The Scotland West team, which is made up of swimmers from clubs as far afield as Oban and Stranraer, were predicted to finish in 11th place with 332 points. But our coaches and swimmers had other ideas, racking up 431 points and 16 top 10 finishes to secure that second place.

Hopes were high for a good performance from Aimee and Matthew in the 100m breaststroke, but few were expecting the massive personal bests they achieved. At just 14 years old, both are at the younger end of the 14/15 age group that they are eligible to swim in. Just being selected over older swimmers was a great achievement, and a testament to how talented they are. Aimee finished 4th in her event in a time of 1.11.86 – a massive 4.21 seconds off her previous best. Matthew swam in a time of 1.06.69 to finish 6th with an equally impressive 2.84 seconds off his PB. Aimee also swam the 50m breaststroke for the 14/15 girls medley, securing another 4th place.

Our Head Coach Shirley Redford was part of the coaching team for the competition. She said, “The atmosphere poolside was electric and I felt privileged to be part of the Scotland West team. The team ethos and spirit were superb throughout the whole competition. I was especially proud to see our two IASC swimmers showcasing their talent alongside the best young swimmers in Great Britain. They both rose to the occasion and produced amazing performances and great personal bests.”

Their selection for the Scotland West team came off the back of months of successes from the pair. Both became Scottish National Age Group champions in March. Aimee won gold in the 50m breaststroke and Matthew in the 200m breaststroke. Both then went on to win silver in their 100m breaststroke events. And just a few months later, both competed in the British championships. Aimee came 5th in her age group for the 50m breaststroke and Matthew came 6th in the 100m breaststroke.

So just what is it about Aimee and Matthew that makes them such an exciting prospect for Scottish swimming? Shirley puts their success down to a mix of natural talent and a lot of hard work and dedication. She said, “Swimmers at the top level of our club train 7 days a week, often twice a day, balancing swimming with gym work. We try to make the training as varied as possible to keep the swimmers motivated and challenge their fitness. But to be a top swimmer, there’s just no getting away from those early morning training sessions. Several mornings a week, our swimmers are training hard while most people are still fast asleep! Talent will only get you so far – it’s the commitment to training that really turns potential into success.”

Since returning from Sheffield, there hasn’t been much time for Shirley and the dynamic duo to celebrate their success. All three are preparing to fly out to Lanzarote for the club’s annual training camp at the fabulous La Santa resort. I’m sure they all feel like they’ve earned a holiday, but if Shirley has her way, rest is the last thing they’ll be getting!

50/50 fundraising draw

***💷💷AND THE WINNER IS…💷💷***

Congratulations to the lucky winner of our 50/50 draw… Mrs Helen McEwan.

Helen’s was the lucky number scratched off in the live reveal on Sunday morning via our club’s Facebook group. Her grandchildren Kian and Mya both swim in the club, and she bought two numbers as she loved the idea of having a chance to win big while supporting the club at the same time.

Helen was over the moon to find out she had won. It was a bit of much needed good luck as she recently fractured her hip and had to cancel her holiday to Turkey. She plans to spend some of it on her grandchildren and will treat herself to a new outfit for some up-coming nights out.

It was our first time trying the 50/50 draw as a fundraiser, and what a huge success it was! All 100 numbers were sold within 24 hours, thanks to the enthusiasm of our fundraising team and the generosity of all our family and friends. Helen is £250 richer and the club has vital money to put towards training and development. I think we might need to do it again!

Thank you to everyone who took part and supported the club. Enjoy spending your money Helen – you’re a deserving winner!


Swimmer of the month – September 2018

Congratulations to our September swimmers of the month – Lucy Campbell and Charlotte Jones.

Lucy won the award for her determination and resilience in working consistently on her skills. The coaches think Lucy has shown great improvement and produced some great results recently.

Charlotte won the award because the coaches agreed that she has worked hard and shown a great attitude which has improved her swimming skills.

Both this month’s winners prefer breaststroke and their favourite part of swimming is competing as part of a team for the club. Charlotte swims for the club in mini league and Lucy now swims in the winter league having swum in mini league when she was younger.

Well done girls – the club is very proud of you both!

Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club makes bumper donation to Compassionate Inverclyde

During the summer, Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club organised a collection for the Back Home Boxes project run by Compassionate Inverclyde.
The idea behind the project is simple – to provide everyday essentials to people who are discharged from hospital and live alone. The boxes enable patients to settle in at home without the pressure of having to get to the shops in the first couple of days.
The decision to support the project was driven by the club’s committee, many of whom work in the NHS and see first-hand the positive impact the project has. All swimmers were invited to donate an item or two from the prescribed list to enable the boxes to be made up.
The response was so amazing that Compassionate Inverclyde needed a van to collect everything that was donated! Compassionate Inverclyde commented, “Thank you to all your hard-working members for the fantastic donation from all of us here at Compassionate Inverclyde. Good luck in your club’s 40th anniversary year and thanks for the very special touch for the cards with your logo to go into the boxes.”
When asked about the club’s decision to get involved, Club President and local NHS pharmacist Jennifer Garrity said, “To succeed in swimming you need a support network of relatives and friends, which our swimmers are lucky enough to have. However, through our day-to-day roles in the NHS, we see so many people who don’t have that. As a club, we try to give back to our local community as much as possible, and Back Home Boxes was the perfect way to do that.
“We thought our appeal might be popular, but we were completely blown away by the generosity of our swimmers and families. It was a special moment to be able to hand over so many donations, knowing they would make life a little bit easier for people who really it. We are incredibly proud of all our young swimmers.”
Following on from this success, another collection is being planned for the Club in the next few weeks. Better get another van booked…!