04 Dec 2019

It’s this time of year when the leaves are falling from the trees into cold, long nights. The effort nature has put in to invigorate growth is draining away but leaving crystal clear views into what was and what could be next year. It’s also the time where friends and family come together to celebrate together what they have and what they can do.

As in life, as in Leander.

It’s been a stand out year for the club which has been delivered against the backdrop of change. Derby & Notts winners, national open water champions, national and regional age-group and Masters success, national recognition for our Water Polo players, holding all three Notts ASA Stage trophies (again), British records being smashed and returning to our home in the top echelons of the national league.

If we needed a homecoming celebration for all of the above, then the five sessions of the 2019 Club Championships were the perfect cherries on top of a glorious, luxurious cake. And a feast fit for the kings and queens in green.

The whole club came together; our youngest development swimmers alongside our Masters, our water polo players against our junior and senior squad members but all together as one.

County times achieved, PB’s set, records broken friendships made, friendships reinforced, happy noise coming from everywhere. These words cannot do them justice but the memories captured forever by our fortune to have such talented photographers as Steve Li and Mark Shipston.

To have swimmers like Andrew Hall, Annie Pearson, Chris Lambert and Jimi Knowles back home competing for us sets the inspiration for our youngest swimmers just embarking on their swimming careers. Therefore the promise shown by Lily Flint, Lily Batterham, Georgia Muldoon, Floss Bailey and Oliver Bisby to name but five can only improve with access to those who’ve been there and seen it all.

To our Masters like Colin Robbins, Graeme Scott, Angela Guilfoyle, Emma Carter. Connie Reynolds, Ngoc Tran and Bobbie Gordon and Emily Patch showing the youngsters that swimming doesn’t stop at 18 as well as class being a permanent thing.

To our triathletes like Lizzie Edge, Emily Patch and Will Inman showing their skills in the pool once again and showing the avenues and opportunities that swimming can provide. Emily making her return to the competitive pool after three or four years focussing on triathlon. Welcome back and hopefully we’ll always be here for you.

To the volunteers keeping time, selling raffle tickets, walking the pool and herding the swimmers to where they needed to be – thank you.

To those that have suffered broken bones over the past twelve months but have come back stronger than ever before e.g. Heaven Harris-Burton Elissa Bowen, Josh Jeacock and Katherine Hewing.

To the Polo players such as Paulius and Mattas Gabtrys, Hamza Tran and Saule Gabryte for showing the progress they’ve made in one discipline can transfer over into another.

For those making their debuts at the club championships for a range of outstanding swimming; Edith Hewing for swimming her first 100M backstroke with her goggles around her neck for the final 98 meters and not giving up. For Hannah Edwards, Gisele de Pont, Darren Milliers, Myleece and Kallum Quirke and Evie Johnson to show what they can in front of a home audience – here’s hoping the club records set by Kallum and Evie stand as an inspiration for others.

For everyone else not mentioned here there are stories of celebration and achievement unbound too. The only regret is we do not have the space to explain them all; please be assured that we know what you’ve done, and we couldn’t be prouder of who you are too. Each and everyone of you is a key component of this great, wonderful club and you will always be part of us.

All in all over ten hours of high-quality swimming, laughter, smiles were delivered. Another club championship full of champions and no better way to round off 2019.

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