Wow! What a great year 2018 has been for our club.
Rikki Morris joined as Head Coach at the beginning of this year and his vast know of swimming has helped both coaches and swimmers. Under Rikki’s guidance the club is moving forward at all levels.
He has introduced some new squads, one of which is the new Academy Squad. This has allowed us to bring in swimmers who aren’t quite ready to join one of our competitive squads. By working on their skills and confidence in the water they are getting a better all-round start in the swimming world. Our membership has grown over the past 12 months and, with the new coaches in place, swimmers are being given better opportunities to move through the squads.
The first big competition of the year was the Bedfordshire County and Age Group Championships. Team Luton had a very successful championship, winning 14 senior and 11 junior titles. We had 350 swims, won 160 medals with 84% of swimmers getting a personal best time.
In May, 16 swimmers went on to compete at the Swim England East Region Championships where, between them, they won 15 medals, 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 10 Bronze.
In July and August, 10 swimmers took part in the Summer Nationals at Sheffield, Swansea and Dublin. We had 6 finalists, 4 medal winners including one English Champion. In early July, 6 of our swimmers went to the East Region Open Water Championships in Norwich. We won 3 Regional and 6 County Medals and one swimmer qualified to swim at the National Open Water Championships.
The club competed in the London National Arena League Division One, and made it to the promotion final, which saw us finish in 7th place. Our junior swimmers competed in the M11 League where they finished in 5th place which kept them in Division Two.
Our club Compendium Challenges saw over 70 swimmers taking part. At our Summer Social they were all rewarded with medals and trophies for their success. Dates for next year are still to be finalised but the challenges are a must for the younger swimmers to start gaining times.
Our own open meets have been hugely successful over the past year and we have enjoyed welcoming swimmers from local clubs as well as those from across the UK. Luckily this year the snow kept away in December and we were able to run our Development Meet for younger swimmers in the area.
Our Masters have progressed from strength to strength. They have competed throughout the year at regional and national competitions. As a team they compete to earn points to go towards rankings in the GB Masters Team Decathlon. This year they finished in their highest every position, with the Male team finishing in 9th and the Female Team in 92nd. The Male team were the highest in the East Region and Bedfordshire.
Because of the success of the swimmers at the major competitions they are being rewarded for all their hard work by being invited to Talent programmes at County, Regional and National level.
Over the past year over 66 club records have been broken. We have broken 6 Junior and Senior County Records and 8 Masters County Records.
Massive thanks goes to everyone who has kindly volunteered their time to support the club – at Open Meets and in training. None of our success would be possible without this help. 2018 was definitely a great year for Team Luton and everyone is now excitedly looking forward to what 2019 will bring!