Happy New Year and welcome to the start of a very busy 2019!

I hope by now you’ve recovered from what was a pretty hectic end to 2018, taken down your Christmas decorations, finished all the mince pies and made sure your swimmers are well fed and rested (and hopefully not dreading their return to school too much).

As I’m sure most of you know, we had plenty to celebrate last year, and lots to look forward to this year. First, a quick look back on some of our successes in the last part of 2018.

  • In October we ran our first proper Open Meet, a brilliant success – although only one that was achieved with a LOT of hard work behind the scenes. We had ten clubs entering and around 260 swimmers taking part, with loads of positive comments from visiting teams and officials. As well as lots of great swimming leading to plenty of personal bests, county times etc, the meet also made a profit which we plan to plough back into the club to help our development.
  • In November it was Club Champs. Again, this was a success – especially given how quickly it came after the open meet. This event was notable for the wide participation across CSWPC’s swim section, including some of our youngest swimmers who were getting their first official times.
  • We also ran a fun sprint event at the end of the year, in December. This gave parents who haven’t been involved in helping to run the swim section a chance to dip their toes in the water of volunteering – and we hope some of them will come back for more!
  • Our Arena League team took part in three rounds, placing well each time and finishing an excellent eighth out of 24 teams overall. We hope to be able to build on this position next year – one day we might even make it into the top division of what is recognised as the top league in the country!
  • We welcomed 14 new swimmers into our newly established Academy – the bridge between swimming lessons and the swim section of CSWPC. It’s been brilliant to see the progress of our youngest swimmers – some have even managed to get County times already! Hopefully we will be able to add more Academy swimmers later this year.

So that was last year – what does 2019 hold?

By the time this update goes out, many of our swimmers will already have participated in their first meet of the year in Bristol. But this is just a warm-up for the busy months ahead – January through March will see all swimmers invited to participate in either the PGL or Cotswold League as well as around half the club swimming in the Counties.

And for some it doesn’t stop there, with the Regionals happening later in the year as well as our next target meet at Millfield School.

Look out too for news of our presentation night (a social event combined with medal giving from the Club Champs), which we hope will be in early March.

Looking further ahead, we plan to run our second Swim Fest over the weekend of 26-27 October – as before, we will be looking for volunteers to help us with this.

Finally, we have some exciting developments we hope to see come to fruition this year: a long-term swimming section development plan has been submitted and is being considered by the club’s main committee. Through this plan, we are very hopeful of main committee support to help us grow the club, develop competitive swimming and provide a more structured programme – watch this space for more information!