Monday, July 19, 2021

First Festival of Swimming a Success

“It’s been fantastic to see so many swimmers getting back to racing across the country, re-connecting with friends and peers and enjoying the experience of racing once again. The Festival of Swimming is a great starting point for the sport for next season as we get the sport moving forward again after a tough 18 months." Ally Whike, Performance Director

BOOM! We’re back – says it all as we delight in seeing swimmers from clubs all over Scotland enjoy racing again at the Festival of Swimming. The event saw Scottish Swimming join up with British Swimming and the other Home Nations earlier in the year to plan this celebration of swimming across the UK and get club swimmers back in the water doing what they do best.

The Scottish Festival of Swimming was the first event to take place in the UK as we launched ourselves into uncharted territory last Friday with three simultaneous meets in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to create one big national swimming festival across Scotland.

The meets were held under strict protocols, put in place to comply with Government, sportscotland and venue Covid guidance and we thank everyone for complying with these procedures which has enabled this event to go ahead in a safe and successful way.

Performance Director Ally Whike commented

“It’s been fantastic to see so many swimmers getting back to racing across the country, re-connecting with friends and peers and enjoying the experience of racing once again. The Festival of Swimming is a great starting point for the sport for next season as we get the sport moving forward again after a tough 18 months. Clubs and coaches have done an excellent job of keeping swimmers involved with the sport – it’s clear from the feedback received from each of the meets that the swimmers have loved being back.”

The event could not have gone ahead without the continued and consistent support from our army of volunteers, including those on both the wet side and dry side of the competition, the technical officials and our commentary team in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh who brought the event alive for parents spectating at home with their enthusiasm throughout the weekend! We are grateful for everyone’s contribution to this groundbreaking event.

We also thank Aberdeen Sports Village, Glasgow Life’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre and Edinburgh Leisure’s Royal Commonwealth Pool for putting on such a great competition in venue and helping our athletes, coaches and clubs get back to where they belong.

There were a number of Scottish and British records during the course of the competition. On day one Laura Pilkington who swims for FIRST smashed her own record in the SB5 100m Breaststroke in a time of 2:17.35. Cults otter swimmer Toni Shaw, who trains with Aberdeen Performance swim team and is part of the ParalympicGB squad, also set a new British record in S9 200m Freestyle of 2:15.20.

Day two saw Dundee City Aquatics swimmer Jack Milne set a new record for S14 200m Butterfly in 2:24.89. Oliver Carter of University of Stirling also broke the Scottish record in the S10 200m Freestyle setting a new record of 2:01.61. And Laura Pilkington added to her achievement on day one setting a new British record for SB5 200m Breaststroke of 4:55.12.

A further three Scottish records were set on day three with Neil Ferguson achieving two of these. The Musselburgh swimmer set a new record of 1:32.39 for S6 100m Butterfly and then later set a new record for S6 100m Freestyle in 1:27.12. Louis Lawlor, also selected for the ParalympicsGB team, set a new record in SM14 400 Individual Medley in a time of 5:02.78.

For every race, results have been collated from all three venues with top ten leaderboards published for each age group in every event. British leaderboards will be published as other events are completed around the UK. We look forward to eventually collating our results across Britain once the Swim England and Swim Wales festivals are complete in a few weeks time.

This Festival of Swimming has been an amazing start to a summer of competition with the Olympics starting in just 4 days time and we look forward to following our Olympians and Paralympians over the coming weeks and wishing them well as part of Team GB.   #festivalofswimming #oneteam