Nationwide Junior and Youth Disability Swimming Championships

THREE  Hoddesdon swimmers travelled to Sheffield to compete in the  prestigious Nationwide Junior and Youth Short Course (25m) Disability Swimming Championships on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd March 2013, where  five World Records were broken and fellow Team East swimmer Paralympic Medallist Jessica Jane Applegate broke four British Records over the weekend.

Grace Harvey
(S7, SB8, SM7) aged 15 who has  the condition cerebral palsy, a pupil at Presdales School in Ware,  represented Team East.  Grace swam in three events and one relay  on the Saturday  because she is recovering from an operation. In the 50m butterfly she came 2nd in her age group with a time of 54.89 (263  points); 100m freestyle  Harvey  won gold  with a time of 1:32.76 (404  points) and she achieved an 8 second personal best time in the 200m Individual Medley 4:00.52 (373 points)  winning a silver  medal.Swimming the breaststroke in the medley relay, the team finished 2nd winning the silver medal for the  team  which  consisted of Emily Harris; Grace Harvey, Scarlett Merrill and Alice Rush.

Charlotte Mills (S7, SB8, SM7) aged 12  who also has the condition of cerebral palsy is a pupil at Heath  Mount School, Watton at Stone,  and was in Team East. Lottie  competed in  three events 50m breaststroke, 50m backstroke  and the 50m freestyle  over the weekend. Starting with a few nerves  on the Saturday, Charlotte swam the 50m breaststroke in a time of 1:34.90  (111 points) finishing 2nd and receiving the silver medal;  the nerves  were  all gone by the time the 50m backstroke event came along and she smashed her time achieving a 16 second personal best time of 1.18.08 (98 points) coming 2nd and finally the 50m freestyle left mum in tears as Lottie broke the minute barrier and swam a massive 9 second personal best time of 53.87 (214 points)  and winning the silver medal.

Grace Whitford (S12), who was 13 and celebrated her birthday at the event on the Sunday, has a visual impairment. Grace attends  New College in Worcester  and because of this  represented Team West Midlands. Grace, swimming in her first National event swam in two events: 50m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle. Swimming the 50m breaststroke in a time of  59.32 (323 points) finishing 2nd and winning the silver medal. In the freestyle event  we saw Grace and Charlotte battling it out and it was a very close  race  Grace achieved  a new personal best time of 53.30 (123 points) winning the heat on her birthday.

Team East  won  overall and were presented with the Team Trophy  (42968 points). Jessica Jane Applegate and Keiran  Neary won  the Top Youth Boy and Girl trophies.Head Coach for Team East Janet Warrington said “It has been a pleasure to coach Team East,  the swimmers’  have shown a professional attitude to their warm up’s, cool down’s and generally looking after each other and making sure they are prepared for their events  which is  a very important  part of their preparation if they want to perform well – and they did.” “I am very proud of the  three  young  Hoddesdon swimmers,  they are doing extremely well and the future is looking good for them all.”