Masters Gala Reports 2017

Masters Block 3 Gala – 7th October 2016

On 7th October, the Masters [Adult] Squad of Warminster Swimming Club sent a strong team to compete in the final County level Gala of the year at Salisbury. Given how well the All Age Team in the Club had done in earning promotion to Division 2 of the Wiltshire ASA Moonraker League in late September Chairman and Head Coach Anthony Phillips was very keen for the Adults to do as well. Given the amazing performance of the Squad he just did not have to worry. The swimmers excelled themselves and won the Wiltshire ASA Masters Trophy – the first time in 31 years that a Club outside Salisbury or Swindon has ever won it. This was due to a combination of first class coaching by Anthony Phillips and his Coaching Team plus sheer guts, determination and enthusiasm to do the absolute best by the swimmers themselves. The Salisbury Club was beaten into second place – by a margin of 31.5 points with Swindon finishing in third place – by a margin of 131 points ! On top of that Club President Doug Winstone set a County record as did Jane Snedden and Simon Mullinger. It was a hugely successful evening.

Individual medals were won by Stephanie Bremner, Beth Hargreaves, Muriel Hitchcock, Anthony Phillips and Ross Dewey all winning five each. Four each were won by Helen Mullinger, Rebecca Austin, Bee Esdaile, Jane Snedden, Simon Mullinger and Stuart Bremner. Following along were Judith Dando [3], Sarah Jeffries [3], Adam Tinkler [3], Kevin Hands [3], Nick Pyne [3], Julian Morgan [2], Gary Bellfield [1], Doug Winstone [1] and Martin Somervell [1].

Although there are only two relays in this Gala, the Club did exceptionally well in both with a silver in the 100m mixed Medley – Beth Hargreaves, Helen Mullinger, Simon Mullinger, and Stuart Bremner. Then the most prestigious relay of the year which is the Head Cup  which traditionally is competed for in the final event of the season and here Warminster entered two teams in this 6 x 25m front crawl sprint relay. The A Team – Muriel Hitchcock, Ross Dewey, Jane Snedden, Anthony Phillips, Simon Mullinger and Stephanie Bremner – won a silver medal. Had they taken point 07 of a second less they would have beaten Salisbury and taken first place !!! The B Team also did well winning a Bronze Medal – Nick Pyne, Julian Morgan, Helen Mullinger, Gary Bellfield, Emily Finch, and Beth Hargreaves. Whilst Dan Hawley and Gavin Saunders did not feature in the medals list, they swam really well and achieved good timings.

The mood amongst the Team at the presentation of the Trophy at the end of the Gala was quite simply one of sheer delight that their very hard work had been rewarded with this win. Chairman/Head Coach Anthony Phillips was really thrilled with the result and the swimmers were so pleased that after all his hard work they were able to reward him in this way. Undoubtedly it was, for all, a ‘Night to Remember’.

Martin Somervell

Masters Block 2 Gala –  3rd June 2017

Given the prevailing high standard of swimmers competing in County level Galas and notwithstanding the steadily improving performance of the swimmers of Warminster and District Swimming Club Chairman/Head Coach Anthony Phillips was only reasonably confident of achieving the quite exceptional standard needed for the Masters [Adult] Squad to do outstandingly well in at the second County level Gala of the year in Trowbridge on 3rd June. As it turned out the Swimmers did an amazing job and out swam not only the Swindon Club but also that based in Salisbury both very strong Clubs coming first in Wiltshire. This was an exceptional achievement and the fulfilment of a long held aspiration. Throughout they displayed massive determination, skill and enormous team spirit to achieve this.

From the start of the Gala the Club set the tone for the evening scoring top points at the end of the total heats for each stroke. Individual medals were won by Sarah Jeffries and Lloyd Short leading the way with four each, Anthony Phillips, Judith Dando, Simon Mullinger, Beth Hargreaves, Stephanie Bremner, Jane Snedden, Muriel Hitchcock, Esther Levin and Rebecca Austin won three each and Helen Mullinger, Kevin Hands, Club President Doug Winstone, Stuart Bremner, Kevin Hands, Gary Bellfield and Julian Morgan won two each with one each won by Dan Hawley and Martin Somervell. Indeed Stephanie Bremner, Jane Snedden and Simon Mullinger broke County records.

Besides making an impact at individual level, the Club also excelled in the relay races with Gold medals being won in the Mixed 200m Free relay, the Ladies 100m Free relay and both ladies and then the men’s 100m Medley relays. To put the ‘icing firmly on the cake’, in the Mixed 100m Free relay Jane Snedden, Helen Mullinger, Stuart Bremner and Simon Mullinger not only won Gold medals and but also broke the County record as well!

The Club ventured home feeling rightly very satisfied and delighted that they had represented the Town really well. Indeed in living memory such a performance has not been achieved before. That said the Club faces a very challenging third round Gala in early October when at least two Clubs will definitely be after us. However with Anthony Phillips expert coaching we will be ready to meet that challenge. In the meantime it was quite definitely a ‘night to remember’ !

Martin Somervell

Masters Block 1 Gala –  18th February 2017

On 18th February, the Masters [Adult] Squad of Warminster Swimming Club sent a strong team to compete in the first County Gala of the year organized by Wiltshire Swimming Association and hosted by the Club based in Swindon. With no less than 21 swimmers taking part – a big increase over the size of the Squad last year, expectations were high even though two very strong swimmers had had to withdraw due to illness at the last moment. Given the quality and determination of those concerned the results certainly met expectations with Warminster coming third in the County out of thirteen Clubs and with four more points would have come second overhauling Swindon into second place !  With this and 55 medals won together with a County Record broken by Club President Doug Winstone and medals won in four relays it was a most successful evenings swimming.

Leading the way in terms of individual medals won, Club Chairman/Head Coach Anthony Phillips won four, as did Rebecca Austin and Esther Levin win four each. Following on with three each, were Muriel Hitchcock, Bee Esdaile, Simon Mullinger, Sarah Jeffries, Kevin Hands and Jane Snedden. Doug Winstone won two as did Lloyd Short.

Judith Dando, Gary Bellfield, Nick Pyne, Julian Morgan and Martin Somervell all won one medal each.

Whilst Paula Farrell, Ian Parker, Guy Farrell, Bill Fryer and Dan Hawley did not feature in the individual medals table, they swam really well and much contributed to the success of the evening. Relay results included four gold and twelve bronze medals – a very pleasing result.  Chairman/Head Coach Anthony Phillips was delighted with the performance of the Squad which has enabled it to start the season from a strong position. Much work will be done to maintain this success at the next Gala in Trowbridge on 3rd June.

Martin Somervell