Bassetlaw Swim Squad had five swimmers qualify for this year’s British Swimming Championships, although only four got the chance to compete.
The flagship event took place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre from 5th to 10th April, with British Olympians contesting for places at June’s World Championships in Budapest – the first of three major international meets across the year after a historic 2021 for Britain’s swimmers. The opening night saw Adam Peaty storm the 100m Breaststroke and the closing night saw Olympic Gold and Silver fight it out on the men’s 200m Freestyle with Duncan Scott just edging Thomas Dean in a reverse of the result in Tokyo.
The boys team captain, Callum Kettlewell – 18 from Retford Swimming Club and New College – swam a near-perfect race in a new lifetime best 2:10.95 which puts him comfortably inside the top 20 in Britain for his age-group. Callum is a perfect example of resilience having suffered a stress fracture to the spine in primary school.
The girls team captain, Amelia Stevenson – 16 from Retford Swimming Club and Tuxford Academy – along with her teammate Rachel Webb – 15 from Retford Swimming Club and William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School – both contested the Women’s 200m Backstroke event, and both learned valuable lessons on how to deal with swimming on such a big stage. Both just outside their personal best times with Webb’s 400m and 1500m Freestyle events going in a similar fashion, but very solid debuts nonetheless.
Lewis Warner – 16 from Retford Swimming Club and Toot Hill School – qualified for a hattrick of Backstroke events, the 50m, 100m and 200m races, but illness meant he could not compete in the 200m Backstroke. Lewis did, however, set two new lifetime bests earlier in the week in the 50m and 100m and represented Team BSS in the British Junior Final for the 50m Backstroke.
Head of Performance Swimming, Michael Glossop, said: “I am incredibly proud of all four athletes in how they conducted themselves on their debuts at this level of competition; they did their clubs and families proud. As a team we learned some good lessons and we’re looking forward to the Regional Championships and Summer Competitions.”
BSS would like to thank principal partner and leisure provider Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) for providing a quality training programme through the Your Space Swim Academy Performance Squads and ensuring our swimmers receive the highest levels of training right on their doorstep. Callum and Amelia both learned to swim in their local leisure centre in Retford, and they are now competing on the biggest stage in the UK.
Other sponsors who have been key in ensuring BSS’ survival through the pandemic are B&B Tractors, Bawtry Accountants, Candeo Vision, Global Windows and Lawn Master Notts, and the Allianz Sports Fund. Thanks go to all of these.