Hart Swimming Club, in collaboration with Hart Leisure Centre, played host to the ‘Hart SC Autumn Open Meet 2021’ on the 30th & 31st October. The two-day event saw 350 swimmers from 22 competitive swimming clubs come to Fleet, to take part in a range of swimming races.
This was the first major swimming event held at the £23million competition pool at Hart Leisure Centre since COVID Lockdowns have eased.
Swimmers from local swimming clubs such as Hart Swimming Club, Alton, Andover, Eastleigh, Farnham & Fareham swimming clubs, all based in Hampshire, where competing to try and gain Hampshire County Championship qualification times, for the Championships that kick off in January. However, the event brought swimmers from across the South Coast and London, including as far as Devon to Fleet.
Swimmers compete, in their age groups, across a range of strokes and distances aiming achieve new personal bests and/or qualification times for their local County, Regional and National Championships.
Many swimmers taking part did just that. With an unprecedented number of swimmers gaining County Champs Qualification but also several getting National Qualification times for the Swim England Winter National Event taking place in early December. Congrats to Hart SC’s own Emma Jones, Katherine Cairney and Tamsin Wheeler on their qualifications for the Southeast Regional Winter Championships in early November and also Katherine Cairney on her qualification for the Swim England Winter National Championships.
Head Coach Darren Buchan said “Everyone at Hart SC couldn’t be prouder of Emma, Katherine and Tamsin on their qualifications for the Regional Champs and Katherine on her qualification for Nationals. These are hard events to qualify for and hence it’s a massive achievement! Really well done!”
“It was just awesome to hold an Open Event again at Hart Leisure Centre, its such a massive event. Its why all our swimmers dedicate so much time to training, mornings and evenings every day. It’s been a long time since they swam in such a big event, and I’m delighted it has gone so well. Congrats to everyone, the coaching staff are all very proud.”
Heidi Christensen, Meet Secretary at Hart Swimming Club added “Pulling off an event as large as this in these challenging times is no mean feat. Weeks of organising and planning is required with an army of volunteers behind us to ensure the event is successful. We had over 50 volunteers involved. Thank you to all our volunteers helping over the weekend, we really couldn’t do this without you.”
Spencer Farmer, Chairman of Hart SC finished with, “An event such as this brings some of the best competitive swimmers from across the South Coast to our town. It’s a real honour to see swimmers across a wide range of ages and disciplines compete – there was a lot of smiling faces! In addition, an event as big as this also bring a lot of added benefits to local businesses such as hotels and restaurants as many swimmers and their families are here for the entire weekend. We are always looking to work with local businesses for our events, do get in touch if you want to get involved next time.
Over the 29th,30th & 31st October, Hart SC also had representation at the Swim England Masters National Championships, held annually at Pond’s Forge, Sheffield. The Master’s category includes Senior swimmers between 18-25 yrs old and Master’s swimmers from 25yrs+ competing in 5 yr incremental age groups across all strokes and distances. The best of the best competes at the Nationals, with many ex-Team GB Olympians still swimming against Hart SC Masters squad swimmers.
Competitive swimming is very much back into full swing for Hart SC, with a busy schedule coming up over the next few months. November see’s swimmers from Hart SC compete in the Southeast Regional Winter Championships. The club will also compete in Round 2 of the National Arena League, hoping to build on its success from Round 1’s joint 1st finish on points. The club will also play host to a Long-Distance Open Meet which see’s swimmers compete in the 1500m and 800m Freestyle events and finally, Master’s swimmers will also be representing Hart SC at the Welsh Masters National Open Event. Good luck to all swimmers during a busy November.