||Training Today: Reef: 6:00-6:45 | Makos: 6:45-7:30 | Gt Whites,Basking: 7:30-9:00|
Sharks swim in the Ice Championships
Posted by lisa on 09 April
Towards the end of the (usual) open-water season, last September, Stuart came up with the idea that we should partake in the upcoming “Ice Championships” which were to be held on Sunday 25th February at Hatfield Outdoor Activity Centre. Stupidly Greg Clarke, Erin Clarke and myself Jess Hather said “yes” to this idea, so we scrapped the wet-suits.
A new Saturday morning routine, getting up early and heading to Hatfield to brace the cold. At the start of each session we attended briefings warning us of the dangers, mainly being Hypothermia; it was at this point we really started to question our decision.
Week by week, degree by degree, the temperature of the water dropped until suddenly it was at 5 degrees celsius . Entry to the water became slower and slower as we didn’t like cold feet, listening to the encouraging words of Leon from Swim-your-Swim, and the groans of Stuart winging about who’s silly idea it all was (it was his), this only lasted a couple of weeks until Stuart had knee surgery which meant he no longer had to suffer the cold and we no longer had to listen to him screaming.
After Christmas the water temperature dropped to 4 degrees, this doesn’t sound like a large drop from 5 but a 20% decrease in temperature could really be felt. It was at this point Erin and I decided that the only way we were ever going to brace this temperature was if we faced out fear and ran straight into the water with no pause and just swam without hesitation- we had come too far to quit less than two months away from the event. It was at this point we all changed our mind-set and decided the faster we got in and swam, the sooner the cold was over with. All three of us swam with our heads out for the first 5 meters but then it was brain freeze time, dragging the weights of our arms over the water.
As the championships grew closer we began to realise the so called “British” Championships did not have people only from Britain; there were entries from Russia, China, South Africa, and Ireland- here the nerves really started to set in. It looked like Erin and myself (Jess), were the youngest competitors competing in an open age group until we noticed entries from an 8 year old boy from Russia.
Race day soon came round. Greg was entered in the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Individual Medley and 4x50m Freestyle relay; Erin in 50m Freestyle and the 4x50m Freestyle relay and me in the 50m Fly and 4x50m Freestyle relay. This meant we all had to brace the icy water once, get warm and recover and get back into the cold, the thought of this was enough to make us shiver.
First up was Erin competing in the 50m Freestyle, with all Sharks supporters standing on the lake side cheering she won her heat by a mile and came a very close second overall out of all the female competitors only beaten by a former National Champion. Soon after was Greg in the 50m breaststroke, he didn’t only come first in his heat, but overall and received the gold medal to be named Male Champion of ICE 50m Breaststroke. Next it was my turn to swim the 50m Fly, next to the Yorkshire favourite to win on one side and a 6 foot plus Russian male on the other side, I also won my heat and overall; obtaining the gold medal and hopefully NEW UK or World Record for the Women’s ICE 50m Fly. The final individual race was Greg’s 100m Individual medley, only Greg was brave (mad) enough to face the water for longer than 50m he again did Sharks proud and won his heat and received the silver overall.
Then came the relays, Erin and I were in the same team with Greg in a separate one. Getting in the water a second (or third) time was a great struggle, thankfully it was only for about 30 seconds. We had to adjust to our usual ways and ensure we didn’t tumble turn or go more than 5m underwater as this would result in a disqualification. Both our relay teams were successful, Greg’s team came second overall so Greg came home with three medals from a very successful day. Erin and my team just missed out on a medal place as we came fourth.
As the day came to a close we were all very proud of ourselves and what we had achieved as the months of early mornings to brace the cold had paid off. We are still going strong in the cold water weeks after, waiting for it to get warmer closer to summer.
By Jess Hather (Girls Captain)
Gala Points Rewards Reaches 750 Points. Well done Charlotte Wilson.
Posted by lisa on 09 April
Charlotte Wilson (Girls Vice Captain) is the first Sharks swimmer to reach 750 gala points reward. Charlotte has put on her Sharks swim hat and represented the Club 147 times (some meets are Head Coach Targeted, so get double gala points).
What an amazing effort. Charlotte started competitive swimming at the age of 9 and has represented South Axholme Sharks at the Yorkshire Championships on many occasions.
Gala points is an award scheme run within Sharks, and continues throughout your life as a competing member. Every time you compete as a Shark, whether it is at May Sprints, Club Champs, Team Galas or any Open Meet you are credited with 5 points, once you reach 50 points you gain your first reward.
First Gala of 2018
Posted by Sally on 30 January
The weekend of 20th and 21st January saw Sharks compete in their first open meet of 2018 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. There were lots of medals and PB's all round. Its always hard when the first competition of the year is Long course but when you have never swum long course or at Ponds Forge before it's even tougher. Here are two reports from young swimmers doing just that !!!
On Sunday 21st January I had 2 new experiences in my swimming career!
Number one was swimming at Ponds Forge for the first time, which is a huge swimming pool in Sheffield. As if this wasn't scary enough, it was a long Course meet which means the pool is 50m long!!!!!!!! (that is 2 1/2 lengths of our pool!).
Luckily I had my Brother Thomas with me and he has swum here lots of times so knew where to go and what to do. This was fine until I was stood at the starting blocks - on my own - and realised what a long way 50m is! On the bright side without my glasses on I couldn't see the other end! Mum and Dad told me to just keep swimming until I hit something!
I just did 1 event, the 50m breaststroke, which is my favourite stroke, as a first experience of Long Course swimming.
I was very nervous but when I'd finished I just wanted to do it again.
I would recommend for other younger Sharks to have a go at the bigger competitions as it's good to go to nice new pools with amazing facilities, and there is always someone to help you if you need to know anything.
My advice is to try to not get too nervous because as soon as you get in the water you know exactly what you're doing. My next Long Course swim is at Leeds in March, and now I've had a go and proved to myself I can do it I'm not too worried!
Bye for now!
My First experience of swimming at Ponds Forge(competitively).
On the journey there I was very nervous and very quiet. I tried to relax but I just couldn't. When we eventually got there I was feeling even more tense. My mind was buzzing thinking if anything could go wrong. I got changed and as soon as I walked on poolside I thought WOW this is huge.
After a few minutes of stretching, it was time to get in and do my warm up. It felt as if I wasn't moving but in reality I was. We did 15 mins of swimming and 10 mins of diving. Each time I dived I was scared I would drown. When the 25 minute warm up ended I was going for marshaling for my 200 m front crawl. When I got to the blocks I was shaking like mad. I got up onto the block. Take your marks.......BEEP and we were off. My goggles started to leak so I went straight into panic mode. After about 3 minutes of agonizing swimming I finally made it to the finish. I couldn't do any tumble turns, I was breathing every 2, I thought I would be disqualified, but I wasn't.
After my race my mum tried to tighten my goggles. My second race (50m Fly) went bad as well, my goggles leaked again, but I finished. I got back, we tried some spare goggles in the cool down pool but they still didn't work, so me and mum went to the shop and bought a new pair.
After lunch it was my 50m Backstroke. That went perfectly well and so did my last race 100m front crawl.
Although I did not come away with any medals, I felt pretty good because I tried a Long Course competition.
Grace's success with Sheffield Stingrays
Posted by Sally on 18 November
Below is Grace Kaye's account of a fantastic achievement playing water polo for Sheffield Stingrays.
I’m a Shark and a Stingray. I’ve been at South Axholme Sharks for 7 years and I’ve been a City of Sheffield Water Polo Stingray for 3 years, since I was asked to join them at Ponds Forge. I play in goal for the Ladies B team, known as Sheffield Stingrays and on the wing for Sheffield Juniors, which is a mixed team of boys and girls. I also play in goal for the North East of England team and the National Age Groups Championships (NAGS) for 2001s, 2002s and 2003s - you can play for a NAGS team for the year you were born or older.
We celebrated our biggest success in the NAGS 2003s for Sheffield in October at Manchester Aquatic Centre. This pool was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and used in the 2012 Olympics for training. The best water polo players in Britain compete at NAGS playing for teams including London, Manchester, Liverpool, the south west and north west England and teams from Wales and Scotland. The Sheffield coach chose a strong team with players from our club, Rotherham and Sedgefield playing together to create our ‘elite’ squad.
Our first round match was against Newton Abbott and it was tough. They were the favourites to win the whole competition. I played in goal and when one of our team fouled in the pit area I had to face a penalty, but fortunately, I saved it. I was so pleased. We went on to lose that match 11-3 but we knew we’d played well.
We played 8 matches in total in group and play off stages and got to the semi finals. We faced Otter, a team from London, in this match and battled to win 8-6 but it was a close game. Then it was straight on to the final, only to face Newton Abbott again, who we had played in the first round. They hadn’t lost a match all day and had goals into double figures in some matches and even winning one match 16-0. Sheffield played well but couldn’t match Newton Abbott and lost out on the gold medal by 3 goals to 9. But we were still happy and proud of ourselves and to go home from a national competition with a silver medal is an amazing achievement which now means we’re the second best team in the country.
By Grace Kaye
Sharks at the NER'S
Posted by Sally on 06 November
This year Sharks had 3 swimmers qualify for the Swim England North East Regional Championships.
Thomas Crow, Lizzie McCallum and Annie Wilson have all penned reports about their experiences. Read on . . .
When I went to the NER’s back in May I thought it would be a one off, but then I qualified for double the swims at the October NER Championships. I had my events spread out over 3 sessions, which was a bit boring, but it was definitely worth the wait in the end.
The pool at Sunderland is really nice, and though it is a big event it isn’t daunting at all. I swam 100m backstroke, 50m backstroke, 100m IM & 50 free. I was pleased with my swims and came away with 3 pb’s which was great. Because Sunday was the same day as Halloween Meet, I managed to pb my IM twice in one day – I don’t think I’ll be able to do that again.
It was good to experience Sunderland with two other swimmers from the club, Annie & Lizzie, and they did well too. It felt great for the three of us to represent Sharks at such a big meet and I’m proud to represent my club there.
The whole weekend was very tiring, my dad said we had driven about 500 miles, but it is a great experience and I can’t wait to get back in the pool to try and qualify for next year’s championships, but I know it is going to get harder.
On Saturday 28th October, I was still shocked about going to the North East Regionals and was pleased not to be going on my own. I had Annie and Thomas for entertainment. After waiting for what seemed like hours finally it was time for my IM race (luckily I wasn't in the first heat). I managed a time of 1:19.10, not a Pb but a great experience.
Going to regionals for the first time was a great opportunity and great fun. The day really started the night before when the nerves appeared and I realised we had NER's tomorrow.
After a good nights sleep the big day had finally arrived and the nerves had gone. The two hour journey up to Sunderland was great as we travelled with the McCallums, it was good being with Lizzie as she had experienced it all before as had Thomas.
As we arrived at the Aquatics Center we ate our lunch and got changed, then we were met by Thomas who had swum in the 50m Backstroke earlier in the morning. He showed us where we were sitting and then Lizzie and myself were in for warm-up. We were sat with Dartes who were lovely, but we certainly missed having Stuart with us to share the experience. After a while Sharks were in the water, Thomas first in the 100m Backstroke then Lizzie in the 100m IM, finally it was my turn with the 50m Breaststroke. Marshalling was great, with a fantastic
atmosphere and everyone was chatty and supportive. After all the swimming was done, three happy Sharks headed home with great memories that will never be forgotten.
Howling success at Halloween Meet 2017
Posted by Julie on 01 November
Congratulations are due to our new qualified timekeepers, who were assessed at the recent gala at Beverley:
Well done everyone!
LIFE SAVERS DONATE TO L.I.V.E.S
Posted by lisa on 10 October
On the 21st June 2016 the Lifesaving Section of South Axholme Sharks, took part in a Towathon, as part of Drowning Prevention Week. They had to tow their friend for as many lengths of the pool as they could manage in the hour as well as fund raising for the RLSS.
On the 21st June 2016 the Lifesaving Section of South Axholme Sharks, took part in a Towathon, as part of Drowning Prevention Week. They had to tow their friend for as many lengths of the pool as they could manage in the hour as well as fund raising for the RLSS. The RLSS is the UK’s only drowning prevention charity so any money raised would aid them massively with the fantastic work they do.
During the course of two hours the Lifesavers managed to complete a total of 506 lengths of the pool. That’s a massive distance of 10,120m! They completed these lengths with the aid of a torpedo buoy (a lifesaving aid) as well as being dressed in shorts and shirts.
The total amount raised was a brilliant £660.50p! That amount of money could help 300 people be trained in CPR or could train 264 children in personal survival and rescue skills.
As a result of the amazing effort the club received an award which came in the way of a Defibrillator.
The Club decided that due to there being a Defib at the adjoining Leisure Centre that they would like to donate their prize to L.I.V.E.S where it could be used within the local community.
Presenting the Defibrillator to John Jowitt (L.I.V.E.S) are some of the members of the Lifesaving Section.
Back Row: Nisha Prabhakar, Christopher Grayson, Jessica Hather
Front Row: Leo Maloigne, Alfie Nixon, Elodie Maloigne and Daniella Milner.
Sharks Life Saving Section split into junior and senior groups. All aspects of Life Saving are taught during these sessions, from CPR, using a spinal board, to water safety and how to competently rescue a casualty. Skills for life are learnt in and out of the water. For our junior ‘rookie’ life savers ASA certificates are gained. Then, at the age of 16 years, seniors can gain qualifications which may lead to employment in lifeguarding. (There is an additional charge for the Life Saving Sessions). Please speak to the pool reception for further information on times and costs.
Dan and David compete at National Lifesaving Competition
Posted by Sally on 21 September
Dan Leggott and David Eke represented South Axholme Sharks and South Yorkshire at the recent Lifesaving Nationals held at Leeds, please read Dan's report below.
On the 3rd of September David and Dan represented South Axholme Sharks and South Yorkshire at the 2017 RLSS Yorkshire heat for the National Lifesaving Championships at the John Charles Centre in Leeds.
The competition was fierce with over 100 lifesavers of age 12 years all the way to masters competing for the accolade of Yorkshire Lifesaving Champion and for places at the national lifesaving championships. All competitors take part in all events, as individuals for men and women and as a pair for seniors and junior competitors. The four events are a wet simulated emergency response competition (SERC), a dry SERC, a rope throw race and a swim and tow race. The wet SERC was very challenging with seven casualties requiring attention. The dry SERC was very closely contested. The rope throw and swim and tow were quite successful for the boys with the highlight being a 2nd place in the swim and tow by David.
David and Dan came 7th and 6th respectively in their age category with several places being decided by a very small points difference. Efforts will be redoubled to increase the squads’ size and success for next year.
David competes abroard in the Vidosternsimmet 21+km swim.
Posted by Sally on 24 August
Vidosternsimmet 21+km swim
The concept of the swim is that you take yourself to four checkpoints, three of which are on land, and the navigation is up to the swimmers. The organisers have posted 20 large (don’t look so large from 1km away) yellow buoys over the 21.5km course.
Here is Davids account of the race.
06:45 – Nervous
We arrived at the start area:
Mist rolling off the lake, inspirational music pouring from the speakers, announcements been made in gibberish (or Swedish as they like to call it).
I collected my assigned tow float and decided to make my way to a collection of swimmers gathering around a bonfire. Just behind this I noticed a large red fire engine, which struck me as a little excessive, considering we were next to a lake, even for safety-conscious Swedes. (I think they'd explode if they ever went to the Haxey Hood where they set a man on fire!)
07:00 – Very, very nervous and I need a wee
Stood on the start line my main thought been: this is a terrible idea; maybe if I could fake an injury I’d leave without my pride too badly hurt. Before I could fully formulate my escape plan, Boom! We were off. Damn-I might actually have to do this.
I managed to settle into a nice steady rhythm early on finding a pair of feet and just staying on them to draft off. This worked brilliantly for the first 3km but then I noticed a gap forming between the guy I was drafting off and the next group up the lake so at Funtabo (the first stop - 3700m) I decided to ditch this group, quickly have a gel and see if I could hitch a ride up the lake.
08:05 – Felt good but wanting to keep it steady
After 1km of chasing down the next group I attached myself to the back of the perfect swimmer - 6ft 3 and big-boned. His style was very much to try and pound the water into submission instead of gliding effortlessly through it; This aggressive style did make him perfect to draft off. Because of this, km 4 - 8 were delightful.
09:15 – Screw it, Let’s go for it!
Arriving at Tanno (2nd stop, 7600m) I decided that mine and Arnold’s relationship wasn’t going to last so I again quickly shoved a gel down and chased down the group in front - why not? I’m feeling good so what could possibly go wrong?
8 - 10km was going well, I really pushed hard thinking that I could expend energy now and again draft off the next group as a rest. I caught up to next swimmer but then, suddenly, I couldn’t swim in a straight line; every time I lifted my head my vision would just be a blur and be spinning; my shoulders became lead weights. I tried desperately to get behind him but every time I lifted my head I got the disappointing sight of seeing the guy I’d tried so hard to catch just slip away from me. Now I couldn’t draft off him anymore and, equally important, I would now need to sight for myself which was becoming harder and harder.
10:55 – UGGHHH!!!
13.1km, miserable, I arrived at the next stop. Arnie and the group I had ditched came in just minutes later still looking fresh. Determined not to make the same mistake, I stayed for 3 minutes loading up on mint cake and gels and attended to a matter of re-heating the wetsuit whilst waiting for the next group to start so I could use them to draft or just to use their tow floats to sight since the buoys were so hard to see.
(Warming up strategy)
I did try offering my services to let someone draft off of me but they quickly gave this up when they realised I had no idea where I was going so the effort saved was not worth the extra distance covered (overall in the 21.5km race I actually managed 22.7km according to my Garmin, whoops). The next 3.4km went by fairly unremarkably taking me to 16.5km and the last stop before the finish.
14:00 – Ouch, ouch, ouch, breathe, ouch, ouch, sight and breathe
With 3km to go I developed a very real hatred of swimming. I could see the end yet every time I lifted my head to sight the end stayed stubbornly a long way away. This constant reminder of future pain to be had was quite demoralising for a body that had had enough by this point.
14:54 - Relief
Soon, just like the other stages, I was through, and managed to catch a second wind (which would have been appreciated earlier instead of 500m from the finish) under the bridge and there it was. The only thing I had cared about for the last 7 hours: the finish.
I neither slapped the water like Peaty nor climbed up onto the lane ropes like Phelps; I just sort of held onto the raft – knackered, just thinking of sleep and food - relieved.
Exhausted, I clambered up the cramp ramp, and an organiser began walking towards me with a microphone
Interviewer: “David Eke from Great Britain, Doncaster, Congratulations!”
Now it’s fair to say at this point I was a little tired therefore the interview I gave was not one of the most scintillating pieces of literature you’ll ever hear
Interviewer: How was the swim for you?
Interviewer: (undeterred by my lack of enthusiasm) “And how did you find the event”?
Me: ………I googled “long swim”…….
Interviewer: (deterred by my lack of enthusiasm) – Well congratulations!
- A very friendly atmosphere throughout the day
- Finished in 6 hours 54 minutes and 1st from the whole of Great Britain (admittedly there were only two of us)
- Swimming is hard work!
Sharks In Deep Water
Posted by Sally on 27 July
This year so far we have seen 4 of our older swimmers and 5 ex members take to the waters of the Lake District. Jonathan Grayson, David Eke, Jackie Buxton , Jordan Buxton, Alex Cook, Hannah Hirst, Sam Cook and Richard Eke swam Lake Windermere while Sam Smith swam Lake Coniston. Here is Sam's report
Earlier this month on a very wet Saturday morning I swam Lake Coniston. Coniston is the third largest of the Lake Districts’ sixteen lakes. In length it is approximately 5.25 miles/8.45km long, and at its’ deepest point is 184ft/56m deep. I had the option of swimming 1 mile or 4.53miles/7.3km I chose the latter. We attended a briefing at the finish location, we then travelled by bus to the start location. We were allocated to a pod of swimmers of similar abilities along with a kayaker. Alistair the coach from www.swimyourswim.com advised that I needed to not look for the finish but to focus on the sides as it would be a while before the finish line was in view. The water temperature was 15c. After the first mile or so I settled into a steady pace and kept up this speed throughout. Everything went smoothly with great support from the pod kayaker. As I went through I managed to overtake and join the front pod of three and kept up with them for the last two miles or so. You can see me finish on the following link https://youtu.be/JEQnq0xja_k As this was a challenge the event was not timed but I completed in just over 2 hours. The pictures show me just before the race and the day after.
My next challenge is on 13 August when I am going to Llanberis in North Wales to take part in The Big Brutal Swim in Llyn Padarn which is the sixth deepest lake in Wales. I am going to swim in the 5km race. We are camping the night before because it is an early start. http://www.brutalevents.co.uk/bbs.html
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