Poolside with Portland, you really feel part of a team. So, the Peter Pink Trophy Gala at Hucknall Leisure Centre, neatly divided into 16 relays, 16 girls’ individual and 16 boys’ individual 50m races, was the ideal showcase for the infamous Portland team spirit.
What better way to start this gala then than with a cannon relay, in which 10 of our swimmers (5 boys, 5 girls) each did a 25m sprint to get us off to a flying start in 3rd place. 4 points!
First individual race of the night, in fact her first individual race ever, Isabelle stepped up to the blocks. If she was nervous she didn’t show it, briskly backstroking in 2nd place in the 10 & Under age group. 9 points now!
This sparked a flurry of PBs, one after the other, from Maddie and Jack in the 14U breaststroke (you are both forgiven for your speeding tickets!), Jaime and Mikey in 12U butterfly, Lizzie and Andrew De Boer in Open freestyle; then a succession of exciting relays. Up to 60 points!
How can you follow that? With a 4 second PB, that’s how, in Holly’s 10U breaststroke! Other PBs ensued for: Connor, Olivia, Rebecca and our swimmer coaches Jo and Dom; 2 for Dahlia and a second for Jack and Andrew De Boer.
Anthony was 1st in 12U freestyle, Ben 2nd in 14U backstroke, Emma 3rd in Open butterfly and Dan was just outside his PB in 10U backstroke. Cecily, Rose, Phoebe and Freya gave some wonderful relay performances. Sam swam breaststroke and freestyle superfast to help get 2 relay wins. Ethan produced some fabulous freestyle in 5 relays! Andrew Tsolakis took part in the first and last race and seven in between – awesome energy! Dylan, our youngest team member of the night, marked his gala debut with 4 excellent relay swims. Well done everyone!
The last race was another cannon relay. Could we better the 3rd place achieved in the first cannon? Indeed we could – 2nd place and a further five points …. What did that mean? From 3rd position at the halfway point, we’d battled to the top – 1st place with 224 points! A huge cheer, fireworks lighting up the night sky and a blooming great trophy! We were going to enjoy our chips tonight!
It was a very successful event, long awaited and well deserved. Exactly half the individual swims resulted in PBs and, of the total races, Portland finished 1st in 20, 2nd in 14, 3rd in 9 and 4th in 5. At this gala the following swimmers attained 50m qualifying times for the 2013 County Championships: Mikey – butterfly, Holly – breaststroke, Andrew Tsolakis – breaststroke and freestyle, Isabelle Day – backstroke. Congratulations!
Above all, the Peter Pink Gala was an immensely enjoyable event, such fun, so uplifting. Portland really is a great team. If you get the chance to become involved with galas – whether as a swimmer or poolside helper – jump at it!
`Thank you’ to the swimmers – you were great! Thanks to the volunteers, the inspirational coaches, Dom and Jo, and parents for supporting your children and Club.
Peter Pink Gala team list:
Freya McGarva, Phoebe Mackay, Cecily Kay, Isabelle Day, Dylan Hughes, Andrew Tsolakis, Dan Hardy, Ethan Pywell, Rose Archibald, Holly McGarva, Olivia Misiuda, Jaime Misiuda, Rebecca Horne, Sam Mackay, Anthony Tsolakis, Mikey Pawluk, Dahlia Brinklow, Lizzie Mulligan, Emma Horne, Maddie Mackay, Ben Hardy, Jack Harmer, Connor Cruickshank, Andrew De Boer, Jo McGarva, Dom Misiuda.