Congratulations to our 49 swimmers who have been accepted to race at the Swim England Hertfordshire County Championships 2022 that kick off on the 8th January. We are keeping everything crossed that the event will go ahead and you get your chance to compete (and get the hoodie!).
After a year away, the Swim England National Winter Championships returned to Sheffield’s Ponds Forge in December 2021. The 2021 event was the largest Winter Championships in recent history, with more than 1,600 swimmers competing across the three days. Six local BSSC members and two overseas BSSC members qualified for a total of 28 events.
With just two age categories (Open and 16 Yrs/Under), competition was fierce but the whole squad had a successful return to National level competition with many personal best times and good progression. William Godsell was 9th in the 16 Yrs/Under 50m Breaststroke final and our youngest two competitors, Kirsty Neill and Toby Godsell, racing in their first National competition achieved PBs and multiple top eight finishes for their age group.
BSSC members: Alex Catton, Callum Davis, Kirsty Neill, Millie Fields, Niamh James, Sami Zemzami
BSSC Overseas: Toby Godsell, William Godsell
Late 2021, five swimmers from the Hertfordshire and Essex High School competed at the Secondary Schools National Team Relay Championships at the London Aquatics Centre. This event is the longest running championship series organised by the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) and is open to secondary school aged swimmers from across England.
The H&E swimmers had qualified for the National event a month earlier at the East & South East Division championships, coming 2nd in the 4x50m Medley relay and 3rd in the 4x50m Freestyle Relay.
In a National competition dominated by the top English specialist swimming boarding schools, the swimmers, who are also all members of BSSC, gave excellent performances with the 4x50m freestyle team finishing 18th and the 4x50m medley team reaching the national final where they came 9th overall in a time of 2:14.81. It was a highly competitive final with only two hundredth of a second separating 7th to 9th places.
Divisional Intermediate Team members: Ella Greatbatch, Ellen Millar-Bond, Emma Fields, Kirsty Neill, Miriam Moukdad.
National Intermediate Team members: Catherine Clune, Ella Greatbatch, Ellen Millar-Bond, Emma Fields, Miriam Moukdad.
With the early November weather turning colder, nineteen BSSC swimmers headed to Luton for the 2021 Swim England East Region Short Course Championships. This 3-day Winter competition gives the best in the six East Region Counties the opportunity to race in a 25m pool to find the fastest swimmers and maybe even qualify for the Winter National Championships. There’s just one set of qualifying times for Men and Women and one open age group for each event, so super speedy 12 year old girls and 14 year old boys could end up competing against 20+ year olds! For many of the BSSC swimmers, it was their first time at Winter Regionals.
All BSSC swimmers performed superbly against stiff competition in the Open age group, with many achieving personal best times in the sixty-one swims for which they had qualified, but it was Niamh James (20 years) who was yet again on sizzling form. She won the 200m backstroke 3 seconds ahead of second place and took silver in the 100m backstroke and bronze in the 200m IM.
Four other swimmers achieved top eight finishes in the East Region in the Open category:
- Kirsty – 4th 200m breaststroke & 8th 100m breaststroke
- Sami – 5th 200m butterfly & 400m IM
- Millie – 5th 200m freestyle
- Callum D – 7th 50m butterfly & 8th 100m butterfly
Given the single Open age category in this Championships, many of our younger swimmers found it tough to get into the finals, but they showed huge potential for the future being some of the fastest when results were split by age group. Continuing on from her summer regional successes, our youngest qualifier Ella Greatbatch was the 2nd fastest 13 year old in the 100m Breaststroke, and 3rd 13 year old in 200m Breaststroke.
Additional congratulations go to Kirsty, Sami, Millie, Alex, Niamh and Callum D who all achieved qualifying times for the Swim England National Winter Championships. Whilst they head to Sheffield in December, the rest of the club will be busy chasing times to qualify for the Hertfordshire County Championships in Jan 2022.
BSSC East Region Qualifiers: Ella Greatbatch (13yrs); Alice Longman, Kirsty Neill (14yrs); Callum Cox, David Badcock, Emma Fields, Grace Mason, Jago Derrington, Jessica Fields, Lauren Gore, Lilian Opiyo, Miriam Moukdad (15 yrs); Freya Reilly, Sami Zemzami (16yrs); Millie Fields (17yrs); Alexander Catton, Eleanor Mason (18yrs); Niamh James (20yrs); Callum Davis (21yrs).
29th – 31st October saw the return of the Swim England National Masters Swimming Championships, held in Sheffield. Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club (BSSC) trio, Sally Winter, Lizzie Bellinger, and Callum Davis excelled at the competition, coming away with some fantastic results!
The evergreen Sally Winter won a hat trick of titles in the freestyle events, coming away with golds in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events. Her 400m freestyle time of 5:19.37 was also an East Region record by 30 seconds!
Lizzie Bellinger continued her dominance in the butterfly events, adding two more golds in the 50m and 100m butterfly. She added further success in the 100m backstroke, setting a new East Region record with a brilliant time of 1:13.70! She added a fourth gold medal in the 200m IM, as well as snatching a silver in the 100m IM, ending the Championships with five medals from five events!
Callum Davis showed massive promise in the butterfly and freestyle events, coming away with several top 10 finishes. In a field consisting of several top British National open swimmers (many of whom were from the Loughborough National Performance Centre), Callum came away with a brilliant PB of 24.8s in the 50m freestyle, as well as finishing 7th in the 100m fly (58.66s) and 7th in the 50m fly (25.83s).