Amersham Reaches Cup Final


AMERSHAM Swimming Club will dive in at the deep end after earning their place at the National Arena Swimming League Cup Final in Cardiff next month.
They will now take their place on the blocks alongside Olympic, GB and international swimmers in the showcase event of the national calender.

For a club of their size and stature, it’s a startling achievement. In swimming terms, it’s like a local football team getting to Wembley and the club say that while they have enjoyed individual successes in the past, reaching the A final is easily the highwater mark in their 47-year history.

Amersham were originally set to compete in the B Final, which put them in the top 20 clubs in the country out of the 450-plus that compete throughout England.
But their promotion to the A Final means they immediately leapfrog nine of the other top clubs in the land to take their place in the top ten. Amersham Swimming Club President Bob Odell said: “This is the high point in our 47-year history and is the climax of six years hard work under the leadership of our head coach Malcolm Staight, who is retiring in the near future.

“The focus of the club has always been keenly competitive, with the vast majority of swimmers qualifying for the county championships.  “Large numbers represent the club at regional and national competitions each year, with some progressing to British championships and Olympic trials.

“Amersham is a relatively small club with 210 members, including Masters. Our opponents at Cardiff in this Final will include the likes of Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Plymouth, Guildford and Hatfield who all boast many times the membership of Amersham. “However, what we lack in numbers we make up for in team spirit and work ethic and we are very much looking forward to the event.”

That’s not the only reason for celebration at the club though. They recently won the 9-12 years Thames Valley Junior League for the fourth year in a row and fifth time in the last six years. Amersham went to the final round in Maidenhead having won the first two events, but after the first section of relays and individual races there were only five points between themselves, Newbury and Windsor. It was still nip and tuck after the second of three sections, meaning the final relays would be critical.  Four victories and two second places eased Amersham away before the final race, an eight-leg squadron freestyle relay involving one boy and one girl from each age group. And that was decisive. Amersham just got faster and faster as the race developed to touch the wall four seconds clear of second place and a full 20 seconds ahead of last. That moved them up to 191 points, 19 clear of Windsor and 25 ahead of Newbury.

Meanwhile, the Amersham B team were also swimming in the league, finishing fourth overall with 16 top finishes.  “Large numbers represent the club at regional and national competitions each year, with some progressing to British championships and Olympic trials.

“Amersham is a relatively small club with 210 members, including Masters. Our opponents at Cardiff in this Final will include the likes of Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Plymouth, Guildford and Hatfield who all boast many times the membership of Amersham. “However, what we lack in numbers we make up for in team spirit and work ethic and we are very much looking forward to the event.”

A squad of 50 swimmers, aged ten-years-old to adult, will compete in Wales.

Origional article published in Bucks Free Press

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