Bognor Swimming Club’s valiant attempt to compete with much larger clubs sadly ended in a last-place finish in a recent Sussex Swimming League competition in Eastbourne.
Despite sterling performances from the youngsters and adults alike, it was not enough to avoid defeat - but they did not let their heads go down.
Determined swims from every member of the squad meant for the majority of the event Bognor were in second place.
This was achieved with many of the swimmers competing in double or even triple the number of events as the other competitors. However, with fatigue clearly showing in the latter stages of the meet, last place became inevitable. This was compounded by the squad being unable to enter relay teams, missing out on valuable double point opportunities in each event they missed.
With nine-year-olds competing against 14-year-olds as well, the children’s ability to keep up with these more physically developed swimmers was in itself a great achievement. They finished a remarkably close 12 points behind the second-placed team. Sara Boote-Cook, the Bognor chairwoman, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the boys and girls and the effort they put in. However, without more swimmers, particularly boys, the club’s ability to compete is seriously depleted.
“While we have excellent coaches and a great swim school, until we get more bodies into the water, we cannot compete on an equal footing with the other clubs.”
She said recent leaflet drops and advertising had encouraged new swimmers into the club, but more would be welcomed with open arms.