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Venue: Alfreton Leisure Centre

Date: Sunday 8th July


The long-awaited coaches’ challenge day had arrived!  Some weary Portland swimmers were soon revitalised by the sight of Dom and Grant limbering up to prove that training is, ultimately, to ‘do as we do, not just as we say’!  No pressure then…

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Venue: Bramcote Leisure Centre

Date: Saturday 7th July 2012


Our turn to host and a big well done and thank you to Andy Mulligan for a very smoothly-run event.  This was a gala notable for some very big efforts, impressive PBs and first time appearances, including Sue Mulligan on door and Sue Pawluk as starter!

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Venue: Beechdale Swimming Baths

Date: Sunday 24th June 2012


Was this a first?  For once Portland swimmers outnumbered Leander swimmers on poolside and certainly got themselves noticed at this event which saw some swimmers ‘trying out’ for their very first time in an open meet, some trying some different events and some making finals.  It was fantastic to see finals featuring more than one Portland swimmer, an achievement which did not go unnoticed amongst the swimming fraternity.
Altogether (if I’ve got my sums right and forgive me if I haven’t) swimmers posted 30 PBs, 1 new time and 6 new PBs from heats to finals.  We had 12 finalists, with 3 of the finals featuring two swimmers.
Special mentions to:

  • Enid Williamson on some very brave swims in her first Open Meet, especially in the 50 free where the goggle gremlin once more reared its ugly head.  Enid was very nervous but you would never have known.
  • Hannah Williams for either a first or a rare Open Meet appearance, once again giving two confident performances, with a PB in the 50 free.
  • Jaime Misiuda for the swims of the meet, especially in the 50 free and 50 breaststroke finals where she edged ever closer to one of her main rivals, with PBs in both.
  • Holly McGarva, Jaime Misiuda, Olivia Misiuda and Jack Harmer for PBs in the heats which they then bettered again in their finals.
  • So once again, the Portland kit bags were chinking nicely as the collection of trophies made its way home but, whether they were a trophy winner or not, all swimmers should be proud of themselves for confident, competitive swims representing our great club.   This was a really good meet for anyone wanting to try an open event for the first time so it might be one to look out for next time.

Thanks to Nottingham Northern officials for allowing some of us to shadow for the day and, as always, thanks to Grant for hanging on in there despite a marathon 14 hours on poolside altogether!

Venue: Hucknall Leisure Centre

Date - Saturday 26th May 2012


If the ‘big guns’ thought they would gain a psychological advantage with all that arm swinging and thigh slapping then it was time to think again.  Un-phased the hats went on and, in their usual style; Portland swimmers gave it their very best.  This was night of many very close touches, some going for us, some against and some really hard-fought points.
Special mentions:

  • Jacob Goodliffe, swimming his first gala for Portland.
  • Stan Toplass and Dan Hardy, the 9/10 boys team!
  • Tim Simmons for his ‘post-retirement’ appearance and some fine swims.
  • Rebecca Horne who, after a very (!) last minute goggle adjustment, still lost them but swam to a fantastic 3rd place in the 50m backstroke.
  • Bethan Simmons for an amazing final 10 metres to clinch 2nd place in the 50m breaststroke.
  • Olivia Wright who just keeps on going from strength to strength in competition.
  • Esther Simmons for battling brilliantly in her leg of the 50m freestyle relay.
  • Matt Price for another awesome 50m freestyle 1st place.

PBs for Andrew de Boer (200 IM), Stan Toplass (50m free, 50m back), Gen Poon (50m free), Esther Simmons (50m breaststroke), Matt Price (50m back), Olivia Wright (50m fly), Maddie MacKay (50m free), Jaime Misiuda (50m fly), Michael O’Shaugnessy (50m free), Hannah MacKay (50m free).
Well done, as ever, to ALL the swimmers.  Another overall 4th place with much to be proud of - keep it up!
Thanks as usual to the poolside helpers on the night and to the pre-gala organisation team.

After what seemed like copious pre-meet warnings about the logistic challenges ahead, it was with some trepidation that a crew from Portland headed off to this meet.  Would we be able to park?  Would we get a seat?  Would we even see our swimmer from the beginning to end of the day?  Not only were none of the above a problem but this was a highly organised day where the ‘holding room’ sports hall - complete with live video and results feed – far from detracting from the atmosphere, contributed to the excitement and relieved the boredom and heatstroke for swimmers as well as supporters.

So, in this very civilised environment Jack, Mikey, Lizzie, Alice, Olivia (M), Jaime, Holly and Olivia (W) started their campaigns.  Swims of the event came from Olivia Wright for both freestyle events, swum in times already close to next year’s county qualifying standard; Holly for a 13 second PB in the 200m freestyle;  and Jack for a 100m backstroke time only 2 seconds away from a national qualifying time. Well done also swimmers for the following PBs: Jack (200m IM, 100m back,100 fly, 200 free, 200 fly); Holly (200m free, 200 back,); Alice (200m free; 100m breast, 50m free, 200m IM, 200m breast, 100m free); Olivia Wright (200m free, 100m free); Olivia Misiuda (100m breast, 100m free); Jaime (50m free, 100m free).  It really says something about the levels of achievement our swimmers are reaching when the PB average is approximately 3.7 seconds!

This should definitely be one for the diary and, in the humble general opinion of those attending, the way forward for swimming events.  Oh, do they already do this at the Olympics?

Thanks as ever to Grant for his usual vigil on poolside for the whole event, offering guidance and support.

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