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MidlandsThe East Midland Regional Championships is a swimming competition that is run for swimmers in over 80 ASA affiliated clubs from the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

To qualify for these Championships is an amazing achievement and that’s just what two of our swimmers did – Gaby and Beatrice.

This is how they got on over the Bank Holiday weekend ….

PARENT PERSPECTIVE

Gaby’s dad, Neil:
"The sun was shining as Gaby strode into Corby International Pool on the first day of her Midlands adventure. After her customary sleep in the car she was certainly more relaxed than her parents and was prepared for another good day at the office.

Temperatures soared uncomfortably for spectators whilst performances in the pool were red hot. After a long wait it was Gaby’s turn to compete in 50m Butterfly … “take your marks” ……… 33.85 seconds later she stopped the clock. Converted to short course that was 33.25 and a brilliant PB.

Lots of happy chatter on the journey home.

Day 2 arrived far too quickly and a very early and cold start saw Gaby arrive at the pool, after her obligatory snooze, in a less than excited mood.

The 100 Fly is not exactly her favourite discipline but she had a job to do. Exploding from the block she raced to a magnificent 1.18.05 which, when converted to short course 1:17.10, was another huge PB.

With the 100 Fly out of the way and the imminent arrival of Bea, spirits were now a lot higher. Gaby’s mood pick up massively as the magnificent two now eagerly awaited the 50 Free.

It was Gaby up first, racing to a 31.36 which converts to a 30.66 and her third PB of the Championships.

After a couple of further heats it was Bea’s turn. I’m not sure she expected much herself having not been able to train properly since the Counties, but defying the odds she smashed her way to a fantastic time … read on …"

Here’s Bea to fill you in on the rest …

SWIMMER'S STORY

"After an hour’s drive we arrived at the pool in Corby. As a towering figure on the horizon it was easy enough to find and parking was simple. I went to meet my fellow swimmer, friend and competitor, Gaby.

After a warm-up with tips from coach Matt, we were ready for anything, anything but a 1-and-a-half-hour wait. But, we kept each other entertained with multiple toilet stops, stories of me jumping off of a 7.5 metre diving board and endless doodles on the back of the race sheets.

Finally, the 50m Free race came round. Gaby and I lined up to get into our lanes. I was in heat 9, Gaby in heat 7. As usual, there were the pre-race nerves (they never go away - no matter how experienced you are) and Gaby was up first. She swam a stellar time of 31.36 and, as normal, there were many “well dones” and “great swims” afterwards. Then it was me on the blocks.

Now, these weren’t just any blocks, no, these blocks were so high that you had to have a little step to get on them. The designers didn’t make this particularly easy to negotiate either; this was located at the back of the block for extra awkwardness when trying to clamber onto the blocks in my usual ungraceful fashion.

I swam a time that I am super happy with, especially given that because of a toe which hadn’t wanted to heal after an operation, I had only been able to attend 5 training sessions in the ten weeks prior to the championships!! I got a time of 30.85. It was a PB and converts to 30.15 for a 25m pool. 

Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable meet and, thanks to friends and family, was made all the better. Looking forward to next year!" Bea

So Portland had representation in 4 events at the Midlands and in each a PB was set. Now that is progression.

Well done Gaby and Bea you both did Portland proud.

A big thank-you to extremely proud mums, Ann-Marie and Cathy, who were team managers over the two days.

Go to Swimmers’ Corner Gala News to see some photos from the weekend.

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