Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Scottish National Age Group Championships return to Glasgow

After a three-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are delighted that the Scottish National Age Group Swimming Championships are back! Over 1000 athletes representing 92 clubs from across the UK will descend on Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, for five days of great competition, running from 13 to 17 April.

A number of athletes who raced last week in Sheffield return to the action this week in Tollcross, including Katie Shanahan, Drew McKenzie (City of Glasgow Swim Team), Anna Morgan, Natasha Simson (Warrender Baths Club), Evan Davidson, Katherine Bailey (Perth City), Keira Stericker (South Ayrshire) and Holly McGill (Heart of Midlothian). For the majority, however, SNAGS may provide the first long course racing opportunity for a couple of years.

For many, Age Groups is usually the event which provides the first opportunity to win that first National Championships medal, make a final or score points for their club in the Top Team competition (Warrender Baths Club from Edinburgh won the Top Club Title back in April 2019). Athletes can also gain ranking positions for the British Summer Nationals along with the Scottish Summer Meet held in July, if they perform well enough.

Milngavie & Bearsden have a team of around 20 athletes competing, and for a number of them, this year will be their first SNAGS experience. During a training session the day before the competition, there was more an air of excitement, than of nerves. 13-year-old Joanna said,

“I’m just really looking forward to the experience, and my 100m free, as I think I can do well in that.” Her team-mate, Abi (14), was also excited at the prospect of racing, she said,

“I’m most looking forward to the atmosphere. I’m also confident about my 200m back, so I’m looking forward to that event.”

Chloe (12) said, “I think it will be a great experience, and I’m looking forward to just getting to know the event, because it’s not been on for a couple of years, and I’ve never been to SNAGS before.”

With the British Championships only finishing on Sunday, the girls also spoke about some of the inspiring performances they watched last week. Emily (13) had a keen eye on the fly swimmers, she said,

“I really want to improve, so I was watching the butterfly finals closely to see if I could learn anything. I’m looking forward to racing new people here.”

Rebecca (13) who will be representing South Lanarkshire Swimming said,

“I think I’m most looking forward to standing behind the blocks and getting ready to race. At the British Championships, everyone stood up so tall behind the blocks and looked so confident before their race, I’m hoping I can do that here too.”

Heat sessions for the 15, 16 and 17-18 age group categories will take part in the morning, with heats for the 11-13 and 14 year age group categories in the afternoon, with all finals raced from 5.15pm. Scottish Swimming is partnering once again with Streamscence with all sessions being livestreamed and available to view on the Scottish Swimming YouTube Channel.

Tickets for the event will be on sale at the door only, there are no advanced ticket sales.

The event programme can be found here and results will be provided by Swim Scotland.

Session times are as follows, from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 April:

Morning heats: 9.00

Afternoon heats: 13.40

Finals: 17.15

The action can be followed across social media using the hashtag #SNAGS2022 

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