The 2016/17 season has proven to be its most successful to date with the club continuing to go from strength to strength.
Sharks was well represented in the recent medal haul at CARIFTA where Bermuda won 39 medals, of which Sharks swimmers won 25. In addition 11 of the 15 Bermuda swimmers were from Sharks, namely Jesse Washington, Maddy Moore, Skyler Powell, Keagan Woolley, Gaby Pitman, Brian Desmond, Logan Watson-Brown, Jessica Bruton, Ethan Daley, Elan Daley and Sam Williamson. Not only that, but Sam Williamson was the Boys 11-12 High Points Champion, as was Elan Daley in the 11-12 Girls – both Sharks swimmers. This is a tremendous accomplishment against stiff competition.
This week the Bermuda CCCAN team was announced and Sharks was again strongly represented with 12 of the 16 CCCAN swimmers.
The Bermuda Development swimmers also attended the Mallards Swim Meet in Toronto. Five of the six participants were from Sharks namely Daria Desmond, Tayla Horan, Bella Howes, Chelsea Lomas and Abigail Powell. During this meet 92% of the swims were personal bests. These swimmers brought home 11 medals – Bella Howes (6), Daria Desmond (3) and Chelsea Lomas (2).
However the success in the 2016/17 season has not just been in the Senior and Elite programs, the medal haul continued across all age groups. At both Winter Age Groups and Schroders Spring Age Group Championships, 4 of the 8 age group champions were from Sharks. At the recent Validus Nationals, Sharks swimmers boasted 7 of the 8 age group champions.
Sharks swimmers have continued to shine on the international circuit. Jesse Washington and Maddy Moore will represent Bermuda at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas, as well as Junior Worlds in Indianapolis; and Rebecca Heyliger will be representing Bermuda at the FINA World Championships.
Sam Williamson has gone from strength to strength. He started in the Juniors at age 8, and now aged 13 is ranked fastest in Great Britain in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, second fastest in the 200m breaststroke, third in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 11th in the 200m IM and twelfth in the 50m butterfly – as ranked against all the 13 year old boys in Britain. He has qualified for British Nationals (which selects the top 24 swimmers in the 13-14 age group) which will be swum in July in Sheffield England.
Brian Desmond has also qualified to swim in the Irish National Age Group Championships from July 19th to 23rd.
Sharks swimmers have not just shone in the pool. Philip Hagen, previously Sharks Captain, was selected to represent Team BDA in the upcoming Red Bull Youth Americas Cup. He had no prior sailing experience but attributes much of his success to the mental and physical attributes developed during competitive swimming. http://www.acbda.bm/philip-hagen/
To achieve these standards all swimmers have to start with the basics; developing sound stroke technique, breathing skills and eventually learning endurance. This is achieved by starting in the Puppy program which takes place twice a week for half an hour (in the warmer months). Swimmers then move onto the Junior, Intermediate, Seniors and Elite programmes. The club trains at Warwick Academy and occasionally at the NSC to take advantage of the long course facility.
Finally, many swimmers have found that the fitness and endurance that they develop in the pool allows them to participate in many other sports with ease.
The Sharks continue to hold tryouts for all levels of swimmers for the upcoming September season; if you would like to try out or simply find out more, please contact Janice Irby on firstname.lastname@example.org.