After numerous team events and the County Championships it was the turn of the younger swimmers from the teaching groups, development and junior squads to showcase their talent at the Tornadoes of South Dorset splash gala, held at the Osprey Leisure Centre.
The improvers’ teaching groups swimmers swam both 25m freestyle and backstroke races, while the beginners’ groups competed in a one-width dash, with medals presented for the top three finishers and ribbons for the fourth to sixth-place finishers.
The girls’ beginners one-width dash was won by Jessica Bulli-more, with Amy Bullimore second and Imogen Hooper (who turned four the day before the gala) finishing third.
The boys’ beginners one-width dash resulted in victory for Jack Pearson, followed in second place by Henri Barrow and Jayden Walburn in third. The ribbons were won by Lucas At-kins, Toby Barrow and Rudy Falconer.
Alfie Barrow also completed the swim and was awarded a certificate of participation.
In the beginners’ two, the girls’ race and gold medal was won by Mollie Butterfield, with the silver going to Erin Penny.
The gold medal in the boys’ race went to George Emery, silver to Rhys Hills, bronze to Fred-erick Baldwin and Ellis Bowkett won the fourth place ribbon.
The girls’ improvers’ one group was dominated by Sinead Card as she won both the freestyle and backstroke events.
In the backstroke, Sophie Thorne won silver and Charlotte O’Dowd the bronze and the pair swapped finishing positions in the freestyle race.
Ben Oldham was the star in the boys’ improvers one group by winning both the backstroke and freestyle race.
In similar fashion to the girls’ race, the silver and bronze medals were shared between two swimmers, Ashton Cuff and Alex Hamilton. Cuff won the silver in the backstroke and Hamilton the silver in the freestyle.
Following in the same vein were the improver two girls with Elissia Walburn collecting two gold medals.
In the backstroke, Maisie Corbridge took the silver medal by 13 hundredths of a second from Katie Hamilton who had to settle for bronze.
Hamilton then picked up the silver in the freestyle with Cor-bridge claiming the bronze.
The boys’ improver two races were a more open affair.
Louis Callaby-Jackson won gold in the backstroke and followed this with silver in the freestyle.
The backstroke silver went to Billy Richardson and the bronze to Joshua Pepper. The freestyle gold was won by Harry Falconer and Pepper once again won a bronze medal.
In the top improvers’ section, rising stars Kate Faley and Jacob Buckland showed their potential by winning gold medals in both the backstroke and freestyle.
For the development and junior squad members, the competition involved taking part in all four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle) over 25m with points being awarded depending on their finishing position.
Once points had been totalled there were again medals and ribbons presented in two age group categories – nine-and-under, and 10-and-over.
For the nine-and-under girls, it was very close between Charlotte Pattimore and Emily Hanger.
With the freestyle left to swim Pattimore had two wins secured with Hanger one from the other three strokes.
This meant it rested on the freestyle as to who would come out on top. In a close race, it was Pattimore who triumphed and won the gold medal with Hanger collecting the silver.
In the older girls’ event, Beth-any Firth won three of the races, the backstroke by only three hundredths of a second, and finished in second place behind Emma Horwood in the butterfly.
This meant she secured 23 points and won the gold, with silver medals being awarded to both Emma Horwood and Lizzy Gant who tied on 16 points. The bronze was won by Sophie Storey.
The younger boys’ age group ended in a clean sweep on all four strokes for Aaron Griffin, with Ty Penny finishing second in all four to win a silver medal.
The 10-and-over boys’ section was a very close affair with each stroke being won by a different swimmer.
The butterfly was won by Sam Allen, backstroke by Lee Penny, breaststroke by Dylan Booth and Reece Dade took the freestyle.
This meant that the overall winner would be the swimmer who could be the most consistent on the other three strokes to back up their single win.
Allen showed his determination and secured three second places to become the overall winner.
The silver was won by Dade and the bronze by Booth.