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Winter Gala2015

15 swimmers from Nottingham Portland took part in the 2015 Winter Gala at Beechdale Swimming Centre over the frosty weekend of 17th & 18th January.

For several of our families, it was their first experience of drawn-out waits for races and early morning warm-ups (swimmers in the pool, parents in the spectator gallery after de-icing the car); but our young competitors were accompanied by seasoned open-meet-ers to show them the ropes and keep boredom at bay.

Once again, Portland swimmers did themselves proud. Not only were some fantastic new times set (8!), 20 PBs were recorded (nearly half the events!), great camaraderie was felt in the Portland camp over the whole two days and, with awards for the top 3 in each event of each age group, a haul of medals (gold, silver and bronze) were won.

New times and PBs were set by:

  • Dahlia – 50m fly (PB), 100m freestyle (PB)
  • Stanley – 100m backstroke (over 7 second PB!), 200m backstroke (over 28s PB!!!), 400m freestyle (new time)
  • Gaby – 200m freestyle (over 10s PB!), 50m freestyle (PB)
  • Edward – 50m breaststroke (PB), 50m freestyle (PB)
  • Chelsea – 50m freestyle (over 6s PB!), 50m backstroke (nearly 3s PB)
  • Alice – 50m freestyle (over 5s PB & a County Time!!), 50m breaststroke (nearly 4s PB), 50m backstroke (PB)
  • Lucy – new times in 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke & 50m backstroke
  • Tilly – 50m freestyle (PB), 50m breaststroke (PB), 50m backstroke (PB)
  • Grace – 50m freestyle (PB), 100m freestyle (new time)
  • Chloe – 100m freestyle (new time)
  • Ben – 50m backstroke (2.5s PB)
  • Dylan – 50m backstroke (nearly 3s PB), 200m IM (new time)
  • Ava – 50m backstroke (PB), 100m breaststroke (new time) 

Age Group Medals were won by:


  • Gaby – 50m butterfly
  • Dahlia – 50m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle
  • Edward 100m backstroke,
  • Rebecca – 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke
  • Emma – 50m breaststroke


  • Gaby – 50m freestyle
  • Chloe – 50m backstroke
  • Rebecca – 200m backstroke
  • Emma – 100m breaststroke
  • Dahlia – 100m breaststroke


  • Edward – 50m breaststroke
  • Alice – 50m backstroke

Well done to Alice, Ava and Dylan for setting some fabulous new times and PBs at their very first Open and to Lucy, our youngest competitor at her first competitive swimming event of any sort, taking it all in her stride and putting in some great swims.

Congratulations to Tilly, Chelsea and Alice for achieving PBs in all their races.

Special mentions for: 

  • Alice who at only 9 years old, first-time at an Open Meet, won a bronze medal, achieved PBs in all three races and a County Time in one!
  • Stanley who took on longer distance swims, achieving huge PBs, finished 5th in 400m freestyle and, if the age rules hadn’t been changed late last year, would have qualified to swim it at the County Championships!

Special thank-yous to Jake, stand-in Head Coach on Sunday morning, for giving such fantastic support to our swimmers - if only you lived closer!! To Dan for putting in the miles before going to work to make sure Jake could make it and for running the show the rest of the weekend! Finally, to Dahlia for looking after our youngest swimmers on both days, giving them the low-down on everything Open-Meet with a smile :)

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