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The Portland Swim Club Summer Gala was a great success AGAIN in 2015 due to the enthusiasm and excitement of the 56 swimmers who took part, the parent helpers and the supportive audience of family and friends. The summer Club Gala is one of the highlights of the year for Portland Swimmers, who are offered the opportunity to swim in events that they may not normally race and in events that are not usually part of their League Galas.

The venue was the superb Nottingham University Pool, a pool where Portland swimmers and their dedicated parents (!) especially enjoy gathering. A big THANK YOU to all of the swimmers, the coaches and parent helpers, without whom this fun and motivational Gala could not take place.

This Gala is all about enjoyment and performance swimming, in a friendly competitive environment where skills learned in training can be shown off to family and friends. The swimmers responded to the positive team spirit within this familiar and friendly atmosphere by swimming many PB times or times very close to their PBs, which demonstrated their improved fitness and technique. Look how well they swam:

After the annual club photograph of the swimmers the evening kicked off with the first event, the Boys/Girls 12 Yrs/Over 100m Backstroke. This event saw 8 New Times, when a time is recorded for a swimmer who has not previously swum this stroke at this distance. There were also 11 PBs, which is just under half the number of swims for this event. Two PB swims among the older swimmers were just over 1 second faster and for the younger age category, the PB swims were up to 9 seconds faster.

The next event was the Boys/Girls 11Yrs/Under 100m Individual Medley, an event enjoyed very much by the swimmers. This event saw 30 swimmers, ALL of whom either swam a New Time (9) or a PB time (20) or a fraction off of their PB time (1). A great credit to the swimmers who gave it their all and undeniable proof that the swimmers are fitter than ever and are still improving on their technique ... The coaches must also take credit here!

The third event was the Boys/Girls 12 Yrs/Over 100m Breaststroke. Here there were 8 New Times, 13 PB times and a speedy time from a 15U boy who swam the exact Club record time of a senior male! A mighty fine swim by any standard and one that shows promise for when he swims in the senior male category. 30 swimmers took part in this event, which shows that nearly half the swims were PB times. Again, look how fit these kids are!

The fourth and final event was the Boys/Girls Open 200m Freestyle. This event records the most significant PBs as swimmers rarely have the opportunity to swim this lengthy event and so are often a year older and a year stronger. Still, PBs are not inevitable so they are still big achievements for the swimmers who can swim them. In more detail, this year there were 3 PBs over 1 minute, which for one child was the equivalent of finishing over two lengths ahead of herself compared to when she previously swam this distance! This is a massive improvement on just an 8 length race! Many of the older swimmers (5/6 boys and 2/7 girls) who will naturally find swimming PB times harder, still achieved PBs: one senior male swimmer shaved 38 seconds off of his PB, which there again equates to finishing over half of a length faster than the last time he swam the event!

What talent Portland Swimmers have! This fantastic and friendly group are clearly thriving and responding to their devoted coaches. THANK YOU to the coaches without whom any of this would be possible.

And all of this before the fun of games and medal awards at the Presentation Evening!

Log in to Swimmers' Corner and click on Gala News to see photos taken on the day.

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