It’s been a busy end to 2021 for Hart Swimming Club. After a quiet start to the year due to COVID, competitive swimming ended the year on a high.
Hart Swimming Club is one of North Hampshire’s largest swimming clubs with members across the region traveling to Fleet for training and competitions. It’s been a strong finish to the year with a lot of success in the pool. Hart SC held two major Open Meets, attracting swimmers from across the south of England to compete in Fleet. The Masters Squad (18+) had continued success in the Masters competitions, Hart SC squad members competed Nationally and Hart SC put out a strong team for the final round of the Arena League
The Arena League, Round 3 was held in Mid December. This was the 3rd and final round for a very tough and competitive National Arena League Division 1 West, South. Hart SC finished 3rd in the event, just behind Littlehampton, whilst Guildford City (current National Champions), finished on top. The results from the final round ensured that Hart SC finished a strong 9th place in the League (out of 18) with Maidenhead Marlins finishing in 1st place. Head Coach, Darren Buchan said “We are thrilled to have finished so strongly in the league. The club only got promoted two seasons ago and this is an extremely tough division. I’m delighted with all the swimmers. Great achievement!”
Members of the Hart SC Masters Squad (age 18+) travelled to Newport, Wales to take part in the Welsh Masters National Competition. The event saw swimmers from across the country, travel to Wales to represent their clubs and individually. Congrats to Lara Charton, Clive Benson, Michelle Laverick and Tony Clark on claiming 25 medals between them over the course of the event. Darren added “ Really thrilled for the Masters squad. Coach James, our Masters coach, has worked really hard with the squad since joining the team. I couldn’t be more proud of the swimmers and James for all they have achieved in 2021. Cant wait to see what they can do in 2022. We have a record number of Masters swimmers attending the South East Masters Regional Champs in late January. Really exciting for the area.”
Hart additionally had a swimmer competing in the National Winter Championships. Katherine Cairney competed in the 50 m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle events. This event saw Katherine competing against the very best in the country in her age group. Katherine managed to PB in the Backstroke which is a fantastic achievement.
Chairman, Spencer Farmer said “Its been great for Hart SC to help produce National level swimmers over the last few yrs. It really shows how the club has grown from strength to strength. Katherine shows really strength and determination in the pool and we are so pleased all her hard work has paid off!”
Hart SC swimmers also saw success outside of the club, with their schools. Several members of Hart SC took part in the ISA National Schools Championships held in the Aquatics Centre in Stratford London. Congrats to Hart SC’s Finley B, William N and Alex H on getting to the National Schools champs. Alex H and William N were part of London West Regional Freestyle Relay team that set a new National Record for Year Group 11-13. Finley, alongside Tommy and Sam from Hart SC also took part in the English Secondary School Champs, a separate competition, also held in London, finishing 3rd in their Relay. Darren added “Its really wonderful to see these talented swimmers take all they are learning from Hart SC and apply it for the success of their schools as well. Especially in National Finals. Setting a new National Record is a dream come true for most. Well done all!”
Hart SC also held two major Open Meets in November and December. In late November, Hart SC held its annual Distance Open Meet. This unique competition gives swimmers the opportunity to race in the 800 and 1500m freestyle events. These events can be hard to come by due to the time taken to swim. The event put on by Hart is one of only a few in the region. Clubs and Swimmers from across the South Coast gathered at Hart Leisure Centre for the competition which saw swimmers gaining qualification times for the County and Regional Championships in 2022.
In December, Hart put on the Last Chance Qualifer Open Meet. This event in December gives swimmers a final attempt to race and achieve times for the Hampshire County Championships in January and February.
Farmer said “We’re really grateful we were able to host this event at Hart Leisure Centre in cooperation with our partners Everyone Active. COVID has disrupted many swimmers abilities to register qualifying times this year, so these events are vital to enable our really talented swimmers get to Counties! Well done to all the swimmers who competed from Hart SC and all the other clubs that travelled to compete with us. Here is to a really strong 2022 for Hart SC”.