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21 April 2017

King's Swimming Goes from Strength to Strength

The start of 2017 has been exceedingly busy in our pool at King’s.

At the start of the Lent Term, our Third Form pupils took to the pool

during their PE lessons. Coached by Miss Hollands, each week our girls and boys

practised skills and drills, concentrating on one stroke per week. This gave

all pupils an opportunity to develop and enhance their swimming as well as

learn new skills, such as swimming butterfly, and learning to dive.

For those who were less confident in the water, one-to-one

lessons have been made available to ensure that at King’s we can be confident

that all pupils feel safe in and around the water.

Early in February, our swimming squad competed in their

first fixture of the season. The gala was against Clifton College and hosted at

King’s. We fielded a full team of swimmers from all year groups and everyone

performed fantastically well.

The final score was 67 to King’s and 43 points to Clifton – an

encouraging start for the swimming squad. Notable swims came from Jamie Chang,

Thomas Tsai and Jenna Craig, who stepped in at the last minute to help the team

to victory. There were also a number of swimmers who competed in other fixtures

that day, and there was impressive commitment from Ollie Piper, who despite

feeling very unwell, helped the U19 boys to “smash” the relay events with

incredible times.

Our boys’ swimming Captain, Ben Atal, has had a busy season,

with numerous external competitions across the region with his local club,

Wellington Swimming Club. In the recent Somerset ASA County Championships, Ben

competed in 13 different events, gaining a personal best in each. He also

managed to gain two regional times and a further two consideration

times

and came home with an impressive haul of medals and trophies.

At the end of February, six squad swimmers went to Bath

University for a long-course training session hosted by Miss Hollands. Long-course

is the name given to a 50m training and competition venue; most swimming pools

(including our lovely pool here at King’s) are a standard 25m. The aim of this

session was to give our pupils the experience of swimming in an Olympic-sized

pool as it is very different from a standard training session. The swimmers

worked incredibly hard and came away extremely motivated to train harder.

Some of our Fifth Form pupils have been practising their

personal survival skills as part of their GCSE PE course. Personal survival

includes such skills as treading water, fitness swimming, retrieving items from

the bottom of the pool and safe entries into unknown bodies of water (such as

lakes and rivers). Pupils also learnt about the potential dangers of open water

and have developed their understanding of how to remain safe in these

environments.

On 10 March the swim team travelled to London to compete in

the prestigious Bath and Otter Cup, a national swimming competition for

independent schools.

Hosted at the iconic London Aquatic Centre, our pupils had

the opportunity to experience swimming in the same venue as swimming heroes

such as Michael Jamieson, Rebecca Adlington, and Michael Phelps.

Charly Beak, Lottie Cannons, Hannah Jewell and Jennifer Iong

were the first pupils from King’s to represent the school at this of level

competition, competing against 81 different schools from across the UK and

other British Territories such as Bermuda and Fiji.

Our boys’ team of Ben Atal, TJ Haller, Ollie Piper and Ryan

Lui excelled themselves in the competition by making the final of both the

4x100m freestyle relay and 4x50m medley relay. In the freestyle relay, the boys

put in an impressive performance and finished in 4

th position,

seeding them in the top 10% in the small schools competition. In the medley the

boys placed 7

th. This is an incredible result for our King’s

swimmers at the first ever national competition, demonstrating our growing strength

in the sport.

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