Wyre Forest Swimming Club Compete at the Swim England National Winter Championships 2018

Wyre Forest Swimming Club are celebrating the massive achievements of two of their swimmers, local Kidderminster boys Nathaniel Crowther and Robert Darbyshire both 15 years old, obtained national swimming qualifying times and represented their club at such a high level.

This year’s National Winter Championships were held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield, from 14th to 16th December 2018. The Championships is the biggest English swimming meet of the winter months, with some of Britain’s top senior swimmers involved including Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Olympic Silver & Commonwealth Gold medallist; James Guy, Olympic Silver medallist & European Champion; James Wilby, Commonwealth Gold medallist and Sarah Vasey, Commonwealth Gold medallist.

Almost 900 swimmers competed in the competition with all swimming events being streamed live. This was a new, exciting and nerve wracking experience for both boys with Nathaniel qualifying in the 200m backstroke and Rob in the 400m freestyle.  Both boys rose to the occasion, both managing to produce personal best times, Nathaniel 2.12.56 and Rob 4.11.42, meaning it was the fastest they had ever swum their events and the fastest recorded in the West Midlands region for their age group events in 2018!

Congratulations to both boys, all at WF are very proud of you!

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Fear Nothing~Fear No-one~Go Forest!

The National Arena League is currently the largest swimming team competition in England, with approximately 400 teams participating across the country.  The country is divided into regions with each region then being divided into divisions.  Wyre Forest fall within the West Midlands region, within which there are three divisions – Premier (24 clubs), Two (24 clubs) and Three (23 clubs).  Wyre Forest is currently in Division Two.

Swimmers are broken into male/female swimmers which contain age groups – 9-11, 13 & under, 15 & under and Open.  Within each age group there are individual races of 50m and 100m in each stroke.  There are also two relays per age group, freestyle and medley with a final very exciting 6 swimmer cannon relay.

Having placed first in their first round and second in their second round, WF swimmers headed to Perdiswell Leisure Centre with high hopes of challenging for another first place finish and a chance of promotion to the Premier League in 2019.

After the first very tense 10 events, WF found themselves in an early lead but there was only 1 point dividing the teams placed in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places!!  An update from the announcer revealed that we were still in the lead after 26 events, still with only a narrow breathing space of 3 points.  Foresters dug deep, urging each other on and after 34 events we had put our foot down and gained ourselves an 8 point lead over our nearest rivals, Leighton Buzzard.  At 42 events, WF were beginning to believe in themselves and each other, powering their way to a 13 point lead with only 8 events remaining.  With the travelling Forest parents and family roaring them on, WF swimmers refused to ease off  the pressure and stormed the final events to an absolutely amazing 20 point victory!  The final scores, which saw Wyre Forest crowned as Division Two Champions were:- Wyre Forest 208, Leighton Buzzard 188, Ripley Rascals 180, Witney and District 176, Northgate 158 and Halesowen 136.

Head Coach Brian McGuinness stated, ‘Tonight was very special. There are days when a win’s a win but tonight was much more than that!  This was a victory for hard work, dedication to detail and outright competitiveness. No one gave in, no one settled for second best and every single swimmer gave of their very, very best. Tonight was truly superb, better than even I had hoped for & hence I am a very very proud coach tonight. We won because we were the fittest, had the best skills and had more talent than anyone else, and of course, the noisiest supporters in the stands – we were a team above all but above all, we were a team! We are in the Premier League and we progress as Champions!!’

Swimmers to represent WF in the competition were:- Brad Baddams, Ryan Bloomer, Charlie Brown, Thomas Brown, Isabelle Bowers, Matilda Calder, Lily Colley, Nathaniel Crowther, Theo Crowther, Rob Darbyshire, Tyler Elwell, Millie Gardner, Lillie Grover, Will Guest, Colby Hands, Joel Hands, Tegan Hands, Alexandra Hayes, Reegan Hill, Isabella Hoare, Mollie Kilgour, Chloe Lawson, Adam Newey, Lucy Nicholls, Sam Osborne, Shay Parker, Abbie Rowley, Lois Stevens, James Vaux, Emily Watkiss, Jasmin Yates, Brecon Westwood.

See all results @ NASL Arena League Results






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WF headed to Hereford for their Winter Open Meet on the 17/18th November, hoping to defend their Top Visiting Club award won in 2017. WF fielded a large team of swimmers who won an amazing 125 medals across the two day meet – 59 Gold, 31 Silver and 35 Bronze.   Points were awarded for the top six finishes in each race, with the totals being added together at the end of the gala to give us the Top Visiting Club.  In what proved to be an extremely long meet, WFSC successfully defended their title, beating clubs like the City of Birmingham along the way.

Our medal winners were:-

Rob Darbyshire 12 Gold, 1 Silver; Charlie Brown 7 Gold, 2 Silver; Jeremy Summers 7 Gold, 1 Silver; Nathaniel Crowther 6 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze; Lillie Grover 6 Gold, 2 Bronze; Lucy Nicholls 5 Gold, 1 Silver; Jasmin Yates 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze; Joel Hands 2 Gold, 2 Silver; Lois Stevens 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze;  Ollie Dobbins 2 Gold, 1 Bronze;  Matilda Calder 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze;        Adam Newey 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze; Brecon Westwood 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze; Lily Colley       1 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze; Thomas Brown 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze; Alexandra Hayes 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze;  Mollie Kilgour 1 Gold, 1 Bronze;  Abbie Rowley 1 Gold, 1 Bronze; Ryan Bloomer     3 Silver, 3 Bronze;  Tegan Hands 1 Silver, 2 Bronze;  Emily Watkiss 1 Silver;  Erin Freer 1 Silver;   Millie Gardner 3 Bronze; Will Guest 2 Bronze; Shay Davies 1 Bronze.

Three of our boys also managed to win ‘Top Boy’ awards in their respective age groups – Jeremy Summers 13 yrs, Rob Darybshire 14 yrs and Nathaniel Crowther 15 yrs.

Completing our team and adding valuable points to our total were:- Sophie Allsop, Lucy Connolly, Iona Denton, Tyler Elwell, James Green, Colby Hands, Daniel Hardiman, Olivia Hill, Reegan Hill, Isabella Hoare, Chloe Lawson, Chloe Manning, Florence Meehan, Marieke Parker, Ella Rowley, Flyn Rushgrove, James Rushton, Holly Tandy-Smith, Eve Williams, James Vaux.

Congratulations everyone!

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The second round of the National Arena League saw Wyre Forest hosting the event at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, Worcester.

With a couple of swimmers from the first round unavailable, new swimmers stepped up and helped team mates fight for every point, knowing this was going to be another closely fought battle.

First places went to:- 

Girls 9-11 yrs 4×2 freestyle & medley relay team of Lillie Grover, Lily Colley, Brecon Westwood, Isabella Hoare.  Boys 15/under 4×2 freestyle & medley relay team of Nathaniel Crowther, Charlie Brown, Adam Newey and Rob Darbyshire.  Ladies Open 4×2 medley relay team of Isabelle Bowers, Lois Stevens, Abbie Rowley and Emily Watkiss.  Girls 10-11 yrs 50m back & 50m fly – Lillie Grover.  Ladies Open 100m fly – Abbie Rowley.  Boys 15/u 100m fly & 100m free – Rob Darbyshire.  Boys 13/u 100m free – Joel Hands.  Ladies Open 6×2 freestyle relay team of Lois Stevens, Matilda Calder, Isabelle Bowers, Emily Watkiss, Alexandra Hayes and Abbie Rowley.

Despite a little confusion over the final scores, WF swimmers dug in, with 31 new PB’s being set and finished a fantastic second, just 3 points behind the winners of this round, Northgate.  The final scores were Northgate 206, Wyre Forest 203, Flitwick 177, Daventry 160, Bromsgrove 158 and Bicester 141.

Head Coach Brian McGuinness stated, ‘So proud of these Foresters tonight, everyone stepped up and gave their all.  I was so proud.  Well done all.’

Points from the first and second rounds have been added together, with WF finishing in third place overall in the division which means we will be swimming for promotion in the final round in December!

Well done and thank you to all those who helped out on the night.

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GLOUCESTER LEVEL 2 OPEN MEET – 85 Medals & 2nd Place!!

Members of Wyre Forest swimming club attended the GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester over the weekend of October  20-21st for the City of Gloucester Open Meet.

Our swimmers amassed a fantastic 85 medals – 28 Gold, 29 Silver and 28 Bronze and the Club as a whole finished a very successful second overall in the points tally across the weekend, only losing out to the big city club of Bristol.

Two very exciting stand out performances over the weekend came from Nathaniel Crowther in the 200m backstroke and Robert Darbyshire in the 400m freestyle, with both boys achieving Swim England Winter National qualifying times – amazing, attacking swims which had fellow swimmers and parents on the edges of their seats!

Medal winners were:- Joel Hands (13) – Gold 1500m free, Silver 400m free, Silver 50m back, Bronze 200m back, Bronze 100m back; Will Guest (15) – Gold 1500m free, Silver 400m free, Silver 100m free, Bronze 200 back; Ryan Bloomer (12) – Gold 200m back, Gold 200m IM, Gold 50m back, Silver 50m breast, Silver 200m fly, Silver 100m fly, Silver 200m free, Silver 100m back, Silver 50m fly, Silver 400m IM, Silver 100m free, Bronze 400m free; Nathaniel Crowther (15) – Gold 200m back, Silver 50m breast, Bronze 200m IM, Bronze 400m IM; Alexandra Hayes (12)  – Gold 100m fly, Gold 50m fly, Gold 200m fly, Silver 100m free, Bronze 200m free, Bronze 50m free; Abbie Rowley (16+) – Gold 50m fly, Silver 100m free, Bronze 100m fly; Adam Newey (14) – Silver 200m back, Silver 50m back; Brecon Westwood (10) – Gold 200m breast, Gold 200m free, Gold 100m free, Gold 50m breast,  Gold 400m free, Silver 100m breast, Bronze 50m free; Lois Stevens (14) – Silver 400m free, Silver 100m breast, Bronze 200m breast, Bronze 50m breast; Rob Darbyshire (14) – Gold 200m IM, Gold 400m free, Gold 50m free, Gold 100m fly, Gold 200m free, Gold 50m fly, Gold 100m free; Lily Colley (10) – Gold 100m back, Gold 200m back, Silver 200m IM, Bronze 200m free, Bronze 50m fly, Bronze 100m free, Bronze 50m back, Bronze 100m breast; Lucy Nicholls (15) – Gold 100m back, Silver 100m free, Silver 50m back, Bronze 200 free, Bronze 200m back; Matilda Calder (15) – Gold 200m fly, Bronze 400m IM, Bronze 200m IM, Bronze 50m back; Colby Hands (11) – Silver 200m free, Bronze 50m free; Lillie Grover (11) – Silver 200m back, Silver 400m free, Silver 200m fly, Bronze 50m back; Isabella Hoare (11) – Gold 100m breast, Silver 200m IM, Bronze 200m back, Bronze 50m free; Jasmin Yates (13) – Gold 200m back, Silver 200m fly; Tyler Elwell (12) – Bronze 200m breast; Tegan Hands (13) – Bronze 400m free.

WFSC Chairman Nigel Elwell added, ‘I thought I would share what I was told in the official’s room by an official from another club who was working next to our swimmers today, he said what a credit and example all of our older swimmers were this weekend, a view I fully support.  Well done to all of you and to Brian who sets the standards expected.’


Well done to everyone who attended!

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2nd in the Gary Winn Memorial Gala

A great result for the Wyre Forest Swimming Club who came 2nd in Gary Winn Memorial Gala in Redditch on the 27th October.

A fantastic result for all the swimmers that took part and  Asst Head Coach and Silver Squad Coach Rick (Richard Walton)  and Bronze Squad coaches Georgina Denton and Andrew Gilbert-Bevan.

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The Arena League is a national swimming event that is split into regions and then divisions.  WF falls into the West Midlands region and are currently in Division Two in which there are 24 clubs.

The first round this year was held on 13th October at Droitwich Leisure Centre, with six teams competing for points – Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove, Stourbridge, Boldmere B, Solihull and Derby Phoenix.

Going into the final 10 events Wyre Forest were in a fantastic second position, 13 points behind the leading team from Solihull which would have been a great result for us – but the swimmers had other ideas, winning a nail biting 6 out of those final 10 events to clinch a stunning first round win by 3 points!!  The support for each other and from parents was amazing – never have so many WF parents woken up the next day with such sore throats!

Wyre Forest had an amazing 19 wins,  11 second places and 8 third places, meaning our swimmers finished in the top 3 in a total of 38 out of the  50 events!  Swimmers recorded  42 new personal best times along the way, prompting Head Coach Brian Mc Guinness to state, ‘I am extremely proud by not only the outstanding victory but by the performances to get it, all done with great skills and a wonderful team spirit.’

Our victory by 3 points proves that every swim from every one of our swimmers counts – massive well done everyone!

Final scores were: Wyre Forest 228, Solihull 225, Boldmere B 172, Bromsgrove 152, Derby Phoenix 150, Stourbridge 119.

The team consisted of – Abbie Rowley, Sam Osborne, Lillie Grover, Lily Colley, Brecon Westwood, Isabella Hoare, Theo Crowther, Regan Hill, Colby Hands, Jasmin Yates, Tegan Hands, Alexandra Hayes, Mollie Kilgour, Joel Hands, Tom Brown, Ryan Bloomer, Tyler Elwell, Lucy Nicholls, Matilda Calder, Chloe Lawson, Emily Watkiss, Adam Newey, Nathaniel Crowther, Charlie Brown, Robert Darbyshire, Izzy Bowers, Lois Stevens, Bradley Baddams and Will Guest.

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On Sunday, 23rd September younger members of WF swimming club travelled to Wolverhampton for the Worcester County Development Meet. This meet is aimed at younger swimmers aged 9-13 and hopes to aid them in gaining valuable experience and hopefully qualifying times for next year’s County Championships.

Coach Richard Vaux stated, ‘Well done to all our swimmers who took part in the County Development Meet at Wolverhampton today. It was unusually cold in there, but the swimmers had plenty of fire in their bellies and we saw PB after PB, county qualifying times and a variety of medals. Andrew, Georgina and I were very pleased with all the effort you all put in!’

Well done everyone, what a great start to the new season!

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