Outstanding Performance from Oswestry

A raft of 49 swimmers from local swimming club Oswestry Otters embarked on the new decade with one of the largest teams to showcase at the 2020 Shropshire County Championships.

The Championships were held at Wolverhampton Centre Baths; unfortunately there is no pool facility in Shropshire to hold, or run, a swimming competition at this level. They ran over a period of 5 days with swimmers ageing from 10 to 26 year olds. Everyone was splashing it out to be top of the pack for the coveted Championship title in each of the 18 events which took place.

Oswestry Otters not only turned heads at being one of the largest teams competing but at the huge team of officials and volunteers they brought along to assist in the running of this event.

Tim Hastie Head Coach of Oswestry Otters reported:

“This year we had a vision of a new look and vision for the Club, for both those in the program and for those looking in as an outsider.

We are one of the smallest Clubs in the County but had a fantastic 80% of our competitive members attending and performing really well. Last year we were in the top 5 clubs in the County medal table and this year was our chance to prove ourselves to be a rising and growing program, which we have truly showed!

Whilst we improved by a huge amount in medals, from 17 in 2019 to 63 this year, we finished in the top 4. That might not be much to shout about; however we were (with Wrekin College) the most improved Club over the rest of the County, with many others falling short in what they achieved in previous years.

In addition to the amazing medal count, we also had more reasons to celebrate with 4 new County Championship records this year and Club members being placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Top Boy & Girl category resulting in a boom of eight 11 year old swimmers selected for the swimming talent camps for 2020. Very proud coaches and parents all around.”

Whilst in the water success has been blossoming, as a charity it has been fighting hurdles in finding support from fundraising or sponsors from the local area. The club is coming under increasing pressure as pool hire costs have increased considerably over the last 12 months.

Head Coach Tim reports “We are doing are up most to not put the cost upon our members as we want them to stay in the local area and continue to provide a community sport which can deliver an environment for young athletes to succeed as well as a lifesaving skill.

We are aware that there are many sports in the same position as us but the sporting funds aren’t as accessible to swimming as they are to other sports, such as football. As a Club we are trying our best to give back to the community; we are hoping to receive a grant this from Swim England to organise and run a free School Gala for all of our local primary and secondary schools. Hopefully this will encourage more of our younger generation to get into swimming, whether that is recreational or competitive. So far only 3 local schools have responded back to us but we hope the others will shortly to participate in this fantastic event.”

Oswestry Otters would like to thank local company Pop Creative Ltd for their help and support in creating our new Club website, oswestryotters.club. The website includes an interesting and eye-opening insight into the history of swimming in Oswestry for anyone’s perusal.

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