1991- 2016, 25 Years of Swimming. This was the year that the Flitwick Dolphins Swimming Club celebrated its Silver Anniversary and as ever, it was a packed year full of many competitions, special events and activities for each and every swimmer and club member, no matter what their age or ability. The “Gallery” section on the club website is a pictorial journey of the year with fantastic photography capturing the essence of each and every moment and event.

2016 proved to be highly successful and enjoyable year for the Flitwick Dolphins Swimming Club. Not only was the year marking the 25th silver anniversary of the club, but it was kicked off in January with a highly successful Bedfordshire ASA county championships. All the club swimmers that took part were exceptional,  from their behaviour on poolside to the performances in the pool. A considerable number of personal best swims were achieved as well as medals and regional qualifying times with some very younger swimmers competing for the first time at the Bedfordshire County Championship.

January and February. The Bedfordshire County Championships were held at Inspire, Luton Sports Village. The Flitwick team achieved an amazing 17 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze medals, showing resounding results in the team relays winning gold medals for the boys 14/15 years 4x50m freestyle relay team of James McFarland (15), Kai Borromeo (14), Sam Dennis (14) and George Hart (15), and the boys 14/15 years 4x50m medley relay team of George Hart (15), Kai Borromeo (14), James McFarland (15) and Ben Rayner (14).  

Silver went to the girl’s 10/11years 4x50m medley relay team of Holly Cahill (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Sophie Fowler (11) and Holly Smith (11).

Bronze medals won by the boys 12/13 years 4x50m freestyle relay team of  Edward McFarland (13), George Maskell (12), Isaac Moon (13) and Tyler Watson (12), the women’s open 4x100m medley relay team of Gemma Trott (17), Molly Bow (15), Georgina Curtis (16) and Melissa Dolby (21), and the girls 10/11years 4x50m freestyle relay team of Holly Cahill (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Sophie Fowler (11) and Holly Smith (11).  

The Junior Championships trophies (under 16) were awarded to Molly Bow, with 1st place for the 50m breaststroke and 2nd place in the 200m breaststroke.  George Hart came 3rd for 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly, and James McFarland won 1st place for 50m and 100m butterfly, 200m breaststroke, 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley, plus 2nd place for 1500m freestyle and 3rd place for 200m freestyle.   

In the Senior Championships (all ages), Georgina Curtis was 3rd in the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke. Molly Bow received 1st place for 50m breaststroke and 2nd place in the 200m breaststroke, and James McFarland came 3rd in the 200m butterfly.      This was an amazing start to 2016 for the club.

The presentation evening in January was also an enjoyable event where the swimmers were presented with awards after achievements obtained at the club championships that had taken place towards the end of 2015. This included awards for the breaking of a number of club records by swimmers, awards for the most improved swims for the year, overall point’s winners and well as age group winners. Over 80 trophies and awards were presented for the outstanding achievements for the year, with a fish and chip supper to enjoy as well, great music and entertainment, everyone had an amazing time.

The early part of 2016 was alive with much anticipation and excitement for the new swimming pool that would be housed in the new leisure centre in Flitwick. This was a brand new, 8 lane swimming pool and was to be the new home of Flitwick Dolphins.  All the club members were very excited at the opportunity of getting into the pool and training at the new venue and Dolphins finally entered the water on the first day that the centre was opened in March.

Also in March the club took part in the Mid Beds Swim Squad Open meet and again this produced a number of personal-best times and medal winners.
Mid-Beds Swim Squad held their 6th Open Meet at Saxon Pool, Biggleswade, on the 12th and 13th of March and were joined by swimmers from 20 clubs, including Flitwick Dolphins, who had 27 swimmers competing over the weekend.

It was a great weekend of swimming achievements, where an amazing 158 new personal best times were gained, 3 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze medals were won, and a new club record was achieved.

Gold medal winners were: Francesca Baber (10) and Kai Borromeo (14).  Silver medals went to: Autumn Handscombe (13), Eloisa Miller (11), Kiera Williams (14), Ruby Blackmore (10), Francesca Baber (10), Imogen Thompson (13), Emma Boost (14), Kai Borromeo (14), Tyler Watson (12), Jake Hickmott (11) and Isaac Moon (13).
Bronze medallists were George Maskell (12), Tyler Watson (12), Jake Hickmott (11), Felix Moon (11), Francesca Baber (10), Sophie Fowler (11), Imogen Thompson (13), Autumn Handscombe (13), Eloisa Miller (11), Ruby Blackmore (10) and Ryhanna Cummins (10).

Also congratulations to Francesca Baber for gaining a new club record for the 9 year-old girls’ 100m Butterfly.  

This swimming competition was followed quickly  with the Harlow Penguins Junior swim meet with the younger swimmers gaining some much needed experience in the competition environment. This also proved to be a highly enjoyable event for the swimmers with the production of more personal best times and an exceptional medal haul.

Fantastic results from Flitwick Dolphins Chilterns League team.      Saturday 16th April saw the final round of the Chilterns Swimming League Competition. Over the three rounds Flitwick Dolphins swimmers showed what being dedicated and supportive can do.  Finishing 3rd in the league is the best result for many years and a huge achievement for the club and the swimmers. Not to mention the 42 personal best times set over the three rounds.

Assistant Head Coach, Ronnie Curr, has said how proud she is of each swimmer for achieving such fabulous results, with a special mention to one of the Senior Squad swimmers, Luke Ford, who gained a 4 second personal best in 100m Breaststroke. Also a special mention goes to the coaches’ star relay teams: Boys 14+U Medley, Mens Open Medley: Boys 14+U Freestyle: Girls 14+U Freestyle.

Thank you to the swimmers:  10+Unders: Ruby Blackmore, Jake Hickmott, Connor Sweeney, Lily Moore, Ryhanna Cummins, Francesca Baber, Ruby Ryall, Felix Moon, Adam Thompson and Gabriel Young.

The 12+Unders: Holly Cahill, Finn Hague, Lillia Thompson, Tom Malia, Isaac Moon, Imogen Thompson,Tyler Watson and George Maskell.

14+Unders: Emma Boost, Emily Cullen, Olivia Fowler, Billy Cutler, Kai Borromeo and Samuel Dennis.

Open: Thomas Allen, Claudia Grant Dawson, Philip Cummins, Luke Ford and Chloe Ford.

As ever a huge thank you to  the clubs  coaching team, the volunteers who make these competitions possible and of course the mums and dads for their continual support of their swimmers and the club as a whole.

Also in April a strong squad of 25 Swimmers from Flitwick Dolphins competed at the City of Cambridge Open Meet on the 8th, 9th and 10th April along with a large number of other  swimming clubs. Competition was fierce, as for some swimmers this was their last chance to gain a qualifying time for the East Region Championships in May.  However the determination of the Flitwick swimmers saw 3 days of fantastic swimming achievements, where an amazing 72 new personal best times were gained, 3 gold, and 6 silver and 3 bronze medals were won, and a new club record was achieved.

Gold medal winners were: Sophie Fowler (10), Katie Tompkins (15) and Eloisa Miller (10).  Silver medals went to: Katie Tompkins (15), Eloisa Miller (10) and Ben Rayner (13) who also achieved his regional qualifying time.  Bronze medallists were Eloisa Miller (10) and Katie Tompkins (15).

There were fantastic swims and personal best times from the rest of the squad: Ryhanna Cummins (9), Felix Moon (10), Francesca Baber (10), Jake Hickmott (10), Emma Schofield (11), Daniel Miller (11), Maddie Phillips (11), George Maskell (11), Mari Cutler (11), Tyler Watson (12), Autumn Handscombe (12), Imogen Thompson (12), Lillia Thompson (12), Isaac Moon (12), Olivia Fowler (13), Billy Cutler (13), Kiera Williams (13), Adam Schofield (13), Sam Dennis (13), Emma Boost (14) and Phillip Cummins (14).

Also congratulations to Jake Hickmott for gaining a new club record for the 10 year-old boys’ 100m Backstroke.  

May proved to be a very busy month indeed with some fabulous swimming achievements from Flitwick Dolphins competing at two separate venues.

Congratulations go to a small contingent of swimmers that competed over the weekend at the Luton Long Course Open Meet, fantastic swimming results, where they achieved some great new long course personal best times.

These swimmers were:  Imogen Thompson (13), Sam Dennis (14), Olivia Fowler (13), George Maskell (11), Ben Raynor (14), Jack Hickmott (10), who also gained the 10 year old boys 100m Long Course  club record and Sophie Fowler (10) winning Silver and gaining a new long course club record in 10 year old girls 400m IM and winning Bronze and a Long course club record in 10 year old girls 400m freestyle and Lilli Thompson (13).

Over at the Dunstable Leisure Centre a selected team of swimmers competed with 5 other swimming clubs for the Tom Williams Cup.  This team gala, hosted by Dunstable Swim Club was in memory of Tom, a young swimmer from DSC that sadly passed away last year, and all proceeds made were donated to the charity  “CHUMS”.

It was a fast, furious and noisy Gala with every parent, swimmer and coach cheering on their clubs. Dolphins swimmers were once again amazing, not only with the swimming but the continuous support towards each other, and achieving a 4th place result on the night.

The team of swimmers competing at this gala were 10 years and under: Francesca Baber, Lily Moore, Ryhanna Cummins, Ruby Blackmoore, Jack Williams, Max Thomas, Gabriel Young and Adam Thompson .  12 year and under: George Maskell, Tyler Watson, Daniel Miller, Finn Hague, Maddie Phillips, Eloisa Miller and Mari Cutler.  14 years and under: Emma Boost, Ben Raynor and Kiera Williams, Lillia Thompson, Autumn Handscombe, Rebecca Grogan and Billy Cutler.      Open: Katie Tompkins, Carl Halford, Chris Murphy, Claudia Grant-Dawson, Rebecca Grogan, Thomas Allen, Chris Murphy and Melissa Dolby.

Very well done to all the swimmers with a special mention to Jake Maskell (8) and Max Thomas (10) as this was their very first swim gala and with fellow team swimmers Jack Williams (10) and Adam Thompson (10) they came 3rd in the boys 10 and under 4x25m freestyle relay. Also to Melisa Dolby who won double points by playing the joker card in the Ladies Open 100m Freestyle.

With the warm weather approaching it was time to turn our attention to the open water season. A special training session was held at the Luton Inspire Pool and the uptake for this swimming discipline was encouraging. In the event,  the club was able to produce highly effective and successful open water swimming team.  

Beds ASA organised two open water training sessions. The first, in April, was at Inspire, Luton. The swimmers attended a talk explaining what to expect when swimming in open water. They then split  into groups in the pool to learn various techniques when swimming in open water. The second weekend, at the beginning of July, was held at Box End Park. The swimmers were coached by various coaches from Bedfordshire clubs, including Nigel Halford, in the lake (no wetsuits were allowed!) for 2 hours. The swimmers were able to put into practice what they had learnt in the pool. The swimmers who took part were Philip Cummins, Madeleine Phillips, Sophie Fowler, Olivia Fowler, Emma Boost, Lillia Thompson, Tyler Watson, Oliver Hunt, Felix Moon, Isaac Moon, Adam Schofield with Judy Thompson and Nigel Halford as their coaches.

In May the club put on a special family event at the Oasis swimming pool in Bedford to celebrate the clubs 25th silver birthday.  This was for swimmers as well as their family members and siblings and the club had the entire Oasis Beach pool to itself and it was a huge amount of fun.   At the event the swimmers were presented with a special commemorative swim hat with the swimmers individual names on them to celebrate the clubs 25th Silver Anniversary year as well as Silver Anniversary Drinks bottles being available to purchase as special commemorative items.

Also in May 2016   the club had swimmers at the European Masters competition being held at the Aquatics Centre in London. Six Masters from Flitwick took part in the European Masters at the Olympic pool In London and FDSC  swimmers acquitted themselves well with a number of PB’s and most swimmers beating their entry times.  Star of the Flitwick swimmers was Liz Woolner who won 2 Bronze medals in her age group in the 100m and 50m Butterfly setting a new club record in the 50m Butterfly and narrowly missing the British record by 0.05 secs and with a time of 30.67. A fantastic achievement.

The other swimmers that took part were Judy Thompson, Ian Murray, Nigel Halford, Owen Jones and Simon Dove. Special mention should also go to Phil Winder from Flitwick Dolphins who was one of the many officials who put in some long hours ensuring the competition ran as smoothly as possible. Having gained the international experience there is of course the World Masters in Budapest.

Dolphins continued to take part in competitions during the year including the Windsor Spring Development meet as well as the Biggleswade open meet, again all producing significant results and achievement of medals for the swimmers.

Another very busy weekend in May for Flitwick Dolphins with three separate open meets attended by 28 swimmers. At the Windsor Short Course Open Meet in Maidenhead, 24 swimmers competed resulting in fantastic swimming achievements, where an amazing 118 new personal best times were gained, plus a massive haul of gold, silver and bronze medals won, and a 10-year-old club record was broken.

On what was the hottest weekend of the year, thanks must go to the continuing support from the swimmers’ parents, who sat in the unbearable heat at the Magnet Leisure Centre cheering on the swimmers.  Also to the coaches, Nigel Halford, Ian Fowler and Judy Thompson and of course the swimmers themselves for making the meet so successful.

These truly dedicated and awesome swimmers were   Lily Moore (9), Francesca Baber (10), Ruby Ryall (10), Shannon Ryall (10), Ruby Blackmoore (10), Sophie Fowler (10), Felix Moon (10) and Jake Hickmott (10), George Maskell (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Emma Schofield (11), Maddie Phillips (11), Mari Cutler (11), Jessica Dennis (12), Autumn Handscombe (12), Lillia Thompson (12), Isaac Moon (12), Tyler Watson (12). Sam Dennis, Olivia Fowler and Billy Cutler (13), Emma Boost  and Katie Tompkins (15).

Special congratulations to Sophie Fowler for breaking a 10-year-old club record for the 10 year-old girls’ 400m Individual Medley.  

On Saturday the 7th, Liz Woolner competed at the Norfolk County ASA Long Course Open Masters meet in Norwich with fantastic results. She won gold for her age group and was third overall in the 50m butterfly, then topped that in the 100m butterfly by winning gold in her age group and taking the overall title.  In doing so, Liz set two East Region Masters Records and Flitwick Dolphins Club records: truly outstanding achievements.

Also on the 7th May, sisters Kiera and Freya Williams and brother Jack competed at the West Suffolk Spring Development Open Meet at Bury St Edmonds. All achieved new personal best times and Kiera won gold for the 50m breaststroke.  They also got some tips from Liam Tancock, the backstroke specialist who has represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games and is three times World Champion and four times Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

After an extremely busy first half of the year the club had its AGM in June with the appointment of a new committee and two new club captains by the way of  James McFarland and Katie Tompkins.

Flitwick Dolphins Swimmers Triumphed at Biggleswade Open Meet.      Biggleswade Swim Club held their 17th Annual Open Meet on 18th and 19th June at Saxon Pool, Biggleswade, – making it a Father’s Day to remember for Flitwick Dolphins.

It was a totally amazing weekend of swimming achievements and massive congratulations must go to all the swimmers that competed over the 2 days, with 121 new personal best times gained, and a very impressive haul of 32 gold medals, 38 silver medals and 37 bronze medals won and Seven new club record were achieved, and not only that but…..

Flitwick Dolphins won the ‘Best Visiting Club’ trophy. With special congratulations to: Sophie Fowler for being awarded ‘Best Girl’ award and Tyler Watson awarded Runner-Up for ‘Best Boy’

These totally dedicated and amazing swimmers were:   Lily Moore (9), Ryhanna Cummins (10), Francesca Baber (10), Ruby Ryall (10), Shannon Ryall (10), Ruby Blackmoore (10), Sophie Fowler (10), Felix Moon (10), Jake Hickmott (10), Zalan Velich (10), George Maskell (11), Holly Cahill (11), Emma Schofield (11), Maddie Phillips (11), Mari Cutler (11), Holly Smith (11), Imogen Thompson (12), Autumn Handscombe (12), Lillia Thompson (12), Isaac Moon (12), Tyler Watson (12), Charlotte O’Dell (13),Ben Rayner (13), Edward McFarland (13), Billy Cutler (13), Rebecca Grogan (14), Kai Borromeo (14), Sam Dennis (14), Adam Schofield (14), James McFarland (15), Georgina Curtis (15), George Hart (15), Katie Tompkins (15) Thomas Allen (20) and Chris Murphy (20).

Congratulations also to Sophie Fowler for gaining 3 club records for the 10 year-old girls’ 400m Individual Medley, the 200free and 50fly.  James McFarland for getting the 15 year old Boys’ 200 breastroke club record, Georgina Curtis for getting the 15 year old Girls’ 100breastroke and 50fly club records and Charlotte O’Dell for getting the 13 year old Girls’ 100free club record – fantastic swimming achievements.

In July the East Region Open Water Championships were held at Whittingham Lake in Norwich. The club sent a good contingent of swimmers to this event achieving some brilliant results. The club also entered the Northampton swimming club 2016 summer festival meet at Corby pool and the club also travelled to Windsor for another swimming competition both yielding excellent results for the club swimmers.

Some of the Open Water Squad will be embarking upon a challenge in 2017 whereby they are going to take part in a relay swim of the English Channel.   Good luck to them in 2017 with their endeavours and also with their sponsorship requested for such a worthy venture.

In July 2016 the club also did well at the East Region Open Water Championships in Norwich, with Emma Boost (14) winning the Junior County Championship in the 5km event with Georgie Halford taking silver in the Senior County Championships, and Tyler Watson (12) won County gold in the 1500m, with Philip Cummins (15) taking silver in his first open water competition.  The performances of Tyler Watson and Rhianydd Jones were good enough to qualify for the National Open Water Festival at Rother Park near Sheffield the following weekend. Rhianydd was unable to compete, but Tyler made the trip north for the Boys 12 year 1500m event, producing a really strong swim to finish 28th.

The Open Water Squad for 2016 consisted of Dan Georgescu, Eloisa Miller, Emma Boost, Georgina Halford, Ian Murray, Judy Thompson, Katie Tomkins, Lilia Thompson, Maddie Phillips, Nigel Halford, Olivia Fowler, Owen Jones, Philip Cummins, Rhianydd Jones, Simon Dove, Sophie Fowler, Thomas Allen and Tyler Watson.

Also in July a number of the club swimmers represented the county at the Inter-County competition held at Norwich, The Bedfordshire team included Autumn Handscombe and later in September Autumn, along with Francesca Baber and Ed McFarland represented Bedfordshire in the Junior Inter-counties held at Luton.  The National Inter-Counties saw Rebecca Grogan being selected as part of the Bedfordshire team

The first half of the year was then duly rounded off with our end of season party as all the swimmers look forward to the season ahead in the autumn. Of course the summer allowed us to indulge ourselves in the Olympics and the Paralympics with not only the swimming events to watch but all the other sports to enjoy as well.  July saw much success in the ASA National Open water festival and in September, with  the new season ahead of us everybody look forward to the FDSC Open Meet in the autumn as well as taking part in junior league, national arena league and many other competitions.

In October the club hosted its ever popular Open Meet at Saxon Pool in Biggleswade. A fantastic weekend of swimming, with an impressive 181 PB times gained and 33 Gold Medals, 25 Silver Medals and 28 Bronze medals won Congratulations also go to Francesca Baber for breaking the Girls 10 years 200m Butterfly Short Course Club Record and Special Congratulations to Georgina Curtis for breaking an amazing 4 Short Course Club Records: Woman’s 16 & Over 100m Individual Medley, 100m Butterfly Woman’s 50m Butterfly and Woman’s 200m Butterfly.

The autumn of 2016 also saw the Flitwick dolphin’s master swimmers excel at Newmarket.  A strong team of Masters Swimmers travelled to Newmarket to take part in the East region Masters Championships.

The team which consisted of Judy Thompson, Alistair Shaw, Owen Jones, Rhiannyd Jones, Claudia Grant Dawson,  Rachel Stevenson , Nigel Halford,Liz Woolner, Dan Georgescu  and Ian Murray

Flitwick Dolphins demonstrated complete domination of the events bringing home double the amount of medals compared to  previous years. Not only did the Masters Squad achieve fantastic results on the medal table but they also managed to achieve County records. Judy Thompson swum home to a 50 breaststroke county record, Alistair Shaw managed to achieve 200 breaststroke record and the mixed 200 years plus medley and freestyle relay teams also swam to the County records.

First Masters Competition for Claudia Grant Dawson resulted in 10 medals from 10 swims, four golds which were achieved in relays with 4 gold medals for individual swims as well as one silver and one bronze. Rhianydd Jones and Owen Jones also swam to victory and medalled in their events.  The Dolphins medal haul consisted of 23 gold, 12 Silver, 15 Bronze and 4 County, Records (Judy 50 Br, Alistair 200 Br, 200+ team Medley & Free). An amazing achievement from the Masters Squad.

Another piece of fantastic news announced later on in 2016 was that from the competition at Newmarket some Flitwick Dolphins swimmers have been selected for the inter-county Master championships which took place again at Newmarket congratulations must go to   Rachael Stevenson, Judy Thompson, Alistair Shaw and Liz Woolner for their selection.
 
Competing at Regional level in 2016 were: Kai Borromeo (14), who swam in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke; Ben Rayner (14), who competed in the 50m freestyle and gained a club long course record; and Autumn Handscome (13), who competed in the 50m backstroke and also achieved a club long course record – great swimming achievements from all three of them. Also competing in the National Inter-Counties in October were George Hart and Georgina Curtis.

The late autumn months saw Flitwick dolphins go to the three rounds of the arena National League hosting the last round and winning the first place pennant with promotion to division two for 2017. It was a very tense and exciting team gala and as Flitwick Dolphins had already won rounds 1 and 2 and were hosting round 3, with amazing team spirit and fantastic swimming, the club won.

Flitwick Dolphins swim club held the first part of their Club Championships competitions in September, on the 17th , 18th and 24th   and they were concluded over the 19th and 20th November – this was a huge success as this was the first time that they had hosted a gala at the new Flitwick Leisure centre .   Over the five competition sessions congratulations must go to every Swimmer that competed as amazing achievements were gained with 519 Personal Best times, and County Times reached, and there were 152 Gold, 141 Silver & 113 Bronze Medals Won.

Plus an outstanding 24 Club Championships Records and 7 Short course Records, these were gained by Jack Williams - Boys U10 100m Freestyle, Daniel Miller – Boys U12 50m Breastroke, Autumn Handscombe – Girls U14 50m Backstroke and  Breastroke.  George Hart – Boys U16 100m Backstroke and also gained the Short Course record. Lauren Murphy – Girls 16&over 50m Freestyle and her brother Chris Murphy who gained the Boys 16& over 50m Backstroke, 200m Butterfly and 100m Butterfly.
 
A special well done goes to James McFarland for gaining 5 Club Champs and 2 Short Course records in the Boys U16 100m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 100m IM, 200m IM, 50m Butterfly plus a Short Course Record and the 200m Butterfly and the Short Course Record.

Massive congratulations go to Georgina Curtis who achieved 8 Club Championship Records and 4 Short Course Records and is now officially the fastest girl swimmer by gaining the Girls 16&Over 50m Breastroke, Girls 16&Over 100m Butterfly, Girls 16&Over 400m IM,  Girls 16&Over 50m Butterfly, Girls 16&Over 200m Butterfly and Girls 16&Over 100m Backstroke plus Short Course Record, Girls 16&Over 200m Breastroke plus Short Course Record, Girls 16&Over 100m Breastroke and Short Course Records and finally the Girls 16&Over 200m IM and Short Course Record – a truly outstanding achievement.

Weekend of the 26th and 27th November a team of swimmers competed at the Linslade Crusaders Open Meet, held at the Bletchley Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes.      Fantastic Swimming Performances by every swimmer, with 141 Personal Best times gained and some much deserved County & Regional Times reached including Eloisa Miller who achieved her first reginal qualifying time.  

 A fabulous haul of 27 Gold, 47 Silver and 44 Bronze medals were won by Tyler Watson (12), Francesca Baber (10), Ryhanna Cummins (9), Jack Williams (9), Oliver Hunt  (12), Jake Hickmott (11), Eloisa Miller (11), Ruby Ryall (10), Lillia Thompson (12), Katie Tompkins (15), Imogen Thompson (13), Lily Moore (10), Jake Maskell (9), Sophie Fowler (11), Max Thomas (10), , Adam Thompson (10), Ben Rayner (14), Connie Booker (9), Kiera Williams (14), Adam Holmes (12), Isaac Moon (13), Maddie Phillips (12), Olivia Fowler (13), Billy Cutler (14), Emma Schofield (12),Autumn Handscombe (13), Emma Boost (14), Mari Cutler (12), James Handler (15), Conor Sweeney (11), and Liz Woolner (49)!!

Further congratulations for obtaining Short Club Course Records go to Eloisa Miller – Girls 11year 50m Breastroke and Francesca Baber – Girls 10 year 100m Butterfly.

Saturday 3rd of December was Flitwick Dolphins Splash night – a fun and exciting gala to celebrate the clubs 25th Anniversary. Split into 6 teams, the swimmers made up of all ages and ability across all the squads and including some of the coaches too, raced against each other in whacky races such as the cork-screw, the caterpillar and the T shirt sprint race – the winning team received the Vanilla – Properties of Distinction Splash Night Trophy. Afterwards they all enjoyed a special celebration cake, crisps and refreshments. This was a brilliant way to round off the Silver Anniversary year.

The Crystal Palace Swim camp in December proved to be a resounding success, let’s allow the swimmers to speak of themselves:-

swim camp 2016 feedback
 
Throughout the year there have also been a number of newly qualified ASA technical officials and new volunteers to the existing team of volunteers and qualified officials. The club is very fortunate to have such a large contingent of parents that are prepared to give up their time to take up qualifications and also volunteering for non-technical roles. Without them the swimmers would not be able to compete and excel in what they do or have the opportunity to be able to reach their full potential. These volunteers are a highly valued section of the club, they are a very large part of why the club is so special and why the swimmers are able to enjoy the sport as much as they do.

The volunteers are just one part of the jigsaw that fit together with the other elements of the club that help make the Flitwick Dolphin Swimming Club be so well organised and create an atmosphere in which everyone , swimmers and all club members , thrive .   Here’s just a few comments and thoughts from some of the clubs swimmers:-

Alexa Johnson – Flippers Squad and now moving into Fins Squad

"I really like swimming for Flitwick Dolphins, everyone is so friendly and I do work hard but really enjoy it. I had my first club champs last year and tried my best, I didn't win a medal but the evening was so much fun and I cheered on my Flipper friends. I am making sure I attend all the sessions so I can win a medal soon. I'm moving up a group so will keep training hard as I have my first gala soon which is nerve wracking but exciting too"

James Handler – joined the club in 2016

“Everyone at the club has helped me so much after my long break from swimming. I was worried that I could never get back into the sport, but all of the coaches and other members of Dolphins make me realise otherwise. After only five months at the club, I was invited to go on the camp to Crystal Palace, which massively improved my swimming, and opened my eyes to 50m pool. Also, being given the chance to swim competitively, is another point that makes Flitwick such a great club to be a member of.  A huge thanks to Nigel in particular for being such a motivational coach, and for inviting me into the senior squad at Flitwick straight away. He has made me realise my full potential as a swimmer, especially in the Butterfly and backstroke events, and for that, and for everything else the club has done for all of us, I am massively grateful”

Liz Woolner - Masters Swimmer has this to say about the club.
 
Two things I really, really like about Flitwick Dolphins:

Support for all.  I feel that FDSC is a very inclusive, friendly and supportive club. I am very happy that the Masters section of the club has grown significantly over the past few years (11 swimmers at the regional championships and 5 in the Bedfordshire team at the intercounty masters in 2016). I am sure this is because FDSC is such a friendly club that supports swimmers of all ages and abilities. I have always felt to be part of the team even when I am the oldest (sometimes by many years!) training in the lane or in a competition. I also think FDSC does a fantastic job with its officials. The club supports them through their training and does all it can to provide the mentoring opportunities that are required to reach the next level.   
 

Celebrating success.  I like the way FDSC celebrates success. Of course there is the fantastic awards evening where nearly everyone gets some sort of award and those that don’t can see what they need to aspire too. But there is also the swimmer and coach of the month and all the wonderful press coverage that FDSC receives as a result of the clubs willingness to promote the success of its swimmers. There are also are the regular mails  that share the results of each meet that FDSC swimmers have competed in with a list of PBs, records and medals so success is shared with everyone in the club. And it’s nice when the club captains send out notes. And the Facebook page too……
 
 
Over the 25years that the club has been running there has been an emphasis on “team spirit”. As well as nurturing individual successes for swimmers both at open meets and at county and regional swimming, the club fosters a strong support and encouragement network with the senior swimmers often encouraging and supporting the younger swimmers, especially at the younger swimmers’ first competitions. Senior swimmers, over the years, have gone on to take courses in teaching and coaching as well as becoming ASA qualified officials and this has greatly enriched the club and continued to make the club successful at all levels.

The club is looking forward to the next 25 years of swimming, it’s an interesting thought to imagine that those swimmers who may become a part of the club in the future may not yet be born and, some, already in the club, may go on to become Masters swimmers, coaches, officials  or parents of swimmers!!