5 swimmers from the Disability Squad represented GCSC, competing against swimmers from 19 countries, at the recently refurbished Tollcross International Pool in Glasgow, during the British Para –Swimming International Meet over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Despite some having arrived for warm-up on the Thursday, the chill of the pool was still a shock when the competition started on Friday 18th April.

First up was Sallie Phillips (S8) in the 100m freestyle, achieving a 1.3 sec long course PB. With barely time to catch a breath, Levana Hanson (S8) snatched a 1 sec LCPB. The success continued with Daniel Bennett (S8) taking over 4 seconds off. Finally, Ryan West (S9) secured a place in the ‘B’ Final, where he got a 0.3 sec LCPB in second place.

For Sallie and Daniel, there was no chance to rest, with the 100m breaststroke soon after. Sallie got close to her short course time, creating a LCPB and Daniel knocked a whopping 7.5 seconds off. The swimmers got chance to relax during the afternoon, taking advantage of the unexpected weather. Who knew it was so sunny in Glasgow?

Sallie led the team out on Day 2, leading from the start in the first heat of the 50m freestyle, getting plenty of camera coverage and touching first with a 2.7 sec LCPB. Levana followed this with another 1 sec LCPB. Despite having spent most of the night at hospital, Gareth Picken (S7) met his entry time, while Daniel managed another 1.2 sec LCPB – qualifying him for the GB final, where he improved by a further 0.3 sec. Ryan matched his entry time – getting a place in the B final, where he took another 0.15 sec off finishing in 3rd place.

Daniel was the only GCSC swimmer in the 200m individual medley, but achieved an amazing 9.5 sec improvement, so well deserved the afternoon break in the sunshine again.

Levana started Sunday’s session with a comfortable 1 sec LCPB in the 100m backstroke. Gareth followed with a 1.9 sec LCPB and Daniel rounded off with a 3.7 sec improvement.

The 100m butterfly was up next, with Daniel achieving another 9 sec improvement. Not to be outdone, Ryan pulled out all the stops and clocked an equivalent improvement, finishing just 2.5 sec ahead of Daniel, but injuring his shoulder in the process.

Having avoided the temptation of Easter eggs, all 5 swimmers rounded off the event in the 400m freestyle on Monday. Sallie started the girls’ event with a bang, gaining a 23 sec LCPB. Levana followed with just over 9 sec LCPB. In the last boys’ event, Gareth and Daniel came within a whisker of their short course times, creating LCPB and despite his injury, Ryan only missed by a few seconds.

The event was a great experience for the swimmers, with an opportunity to swim alongside Paralympians, who were qualifying for the European Championships. Lots of long course personal best times recorded so a really successful event. Thanks to Josh for his support throughout the session and congratulations to Ryan for achieving Commonwealth Games qualifying time in the previous week.

Thanks to all the club swimmers who supported the squad, by watching the live streaming and recorded event on YouTube, which is still available via http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/para-swimming/british-international/

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