First Swimming Gala of the Season

Yesterday we hosted our first swimming competition of the season- an Invitational Gala for U8-U11 pupils. It was lovely to welcome back Highfields, St Martin's and Wellow House (Alpha Schools) once again.  With over eighty-five competitors and a very large crowd the poolside was buzzing!  

Swimming competitively can be quite a daunting prospect for some, particularly for the U8's, with it being their very first experience of competitive swimming (other than our intra-school competitions).  I was most impressed by how our youngest swimmers embraced this challenge and what a performance it was! St Hugh's got off to a very positive start, with the U8 Girls Backstroke race won by Michelle. In fact, this was the stroke where we earned crucial points for the team with St Hugh's achieving 1st and 2nd place in every race.  Following the final backstroke race, confidently won by Harrison, St Hugh's were leading by fifteen points.

Our breaststrokers saw a mixture of results with Alicia setting the tone by finishing first in the U8 Girls race! Swimming captain, Helena, also clinched another five points with a pleasing win in what proved to be a competitive race.  It was nice to see Helena being challenged at a school event; she is always a pleasure to watch and a great role model for our younger aspiring swimmers.  It was great to see St Hugh's swimmers swimming legal breaststroke including Euan who swam in the U8 Boys race.  There were some disqualifications for illegal turns and finishes which does of course come as a real disappointment.  However, at St Hugh's we embrace challenge and learn from our mistakes in order to make us better swimmers.  The St Martin's squad performed well in the breastroke races, scoring three more points than the St Hugh's side and narrowing the gap.

St Martin's continued to perform well; they dominated in the U10 & U11 butterfly races with St Hugh's, Highfields and Alpha Schools being very much on par.  A huge well done to Elliot, Lucy and Freddie who did this for the first time. 

The individual races finished with front crawl and there were some pleasing performances by the St Hugh's side.  Megan and Euan were the first to race as our U8's and they did extremely well, both finishing in second place. There were some extremely competitive races, with St Hugh's taking second place in  6/8 races. A special well done to Sophie who won her front crawl and set a new personal best in a time of 13.64s.  It was a much closer contest in the front crawl races, but St Martin's earned themselves one more point that the St Hugh's swimmers. 

It could not have been any closer going into the relays, with both St Hugh's and St Martin's on 93 points!  With relays worth double points, it was clear that we had to swim well and get our changeovers spot on. It is always great to see our pupils performing as a team and they did not disappoint today.  For them, it is perhaps the most enjoyable part of the afternoon, and seeing them work together for a common goal is always a real pleasure.  They were proud to represent St Hugh's and this was evident in their determined faces as they watched their incoming swimmer approach. It was our U8 and U9 teams who really dominated in the relays, finishing first place in both the freestyle and medley event and earning the well deserved points. Our U11 team also achieved a first and second place. 

With some outstanding team performances, St Hugh's scored an impressive 155 points and won the event. A huge well done to all competitors for a great afternoon of sport.  Many thanks to the St Hugh's games staff and to our supporters on poolside. We look forward to our next event on Friday 29th November.

Final Results:

St Hugh's - 155

St Martin's - 135

Highfields - 105

Alpha Schools - 74