WFSC – Outstanding Achievements at Worcester Counties 2020

Wyre Forest Swimming Club [WFSC] broke all their own records, with 44 swimmers competing in 265 events over the three weekends; this was an increase of over 30% on 2019. But the success did not end at the numbers, as the team brought home 3 senior titles with Tegan Hands winning the women’s 1500 free, Rob Darbyshire winning the Men’s 200 Free title and Nathaniel Crowther winning the Men’s 200m Backcrawl title. In fact, WFSC won all three senior medals in the women’s 1500 Free with Hands 1st, Ruth Hadley 2nd and Mollie Kilgour 3rd.

The trophies kept on coming with a further 6 Junior Titles being picked up as Joel Hands won the boys 1500 free, Tegan also won the Junior 1500 Free, Martha Stead won both the 100m & 200m back crawl junior titles whilst Girls Captain Jasmin Yates took home both the 100m & 200m Butterfly junior trophies.

In total WFSC swimmers took home a total of 115 medals as 29 age group titles were won.

A full list of medallists can be found on the WFSC website at however the age champions were

12 years          Brecon Westwood      100, 400 & 800m Free, 100m Breaststroke

                        Lily Colley                    1500 Freestyle

13 years         Lillie Grover                200,400m Free, 50,100 & 200 Back, 50,100 & 200 Fly

                        Isabella Hoare            800, 1500 Free

14 years         Ryan Bloomer             1500m Free

15 Years         Joel Hands                  1500m Free

                        Mollie Kilgour             1500m Free

                        Tegan Hands               1500m Free (plus Senior & Junior Champion), 200 IM*

                        Martha Stead              100, 200m Backcrawl (Junior Champion in both)

                        Jasmin Yates               100, 200m Butterfly (Junior Champion in both)

16 years         Jeremy Summers        400, 1500 Free

17 years+      Ruth Hadley                1500 Free

                       Rob Darbyshire           200 Free (plus Senior Champion)

                       Nathaniel Crowther   200 Backcrawl (plus Senior Champion)

(*IM = Individual Medley)

Key stories: 

For one family there was double celebration for twins Joel and Tegan Hands who not only won their respective male & female 15-year-old age group 1500 Freestyle but also the overall Junior titles. Tegan was also the overall winner of the event for females, with Wyre Forest taking a clean sweep winning the top three places as Ruth Hadley came second and Mollie Kilgour took 3rd.

Jasmin Yates success came after two years battling shoulder injuries and saw her recording massive personal bests to win her two titles, leading to emotional scenes in the stands.

Overall Wyre Forest came home as 3rd Club on points at the Championships, their highest ever finish

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WFSC Swimmers Achievements at Worcester County Championships Long Distance


Wyre Forest Swimming Club performed superbly at the Worcester County Distance Swimming Championships in Wolverhampton on Saturday 18th January.  Two years ago, WFSC attended these events with one swimmer. This year at the equivalent event, the Club had 12 swimmers in the 1500m championships & 13 in the 800m champi

onships and were notably the largest squad in attendance.

For one family there was double celebration for twins Joel and Tegan Hands who not only won their respective male & female 15-year-old age group 1500 Freestyle but also the overall Junior titles. Tegan was also the overall winner of the event for females, with Wyre Forest taking a clean sweep winning the top three places as Ruth Hadley came second and Mollie Kilgour took 3rd.

There were many successes for the Wyre Forest female swimmers in this event:

12 years Lily Colley 1st, 13 years Isabella Hoare 1st,  14 years category Alice Walker 2nd Millie Gardner 3rd, 15 years Tegan hands 1st  Mollie Kilgour 2nd Martha Stead 3rd and 17+ years Ruth Hadley 1st

In the 1500m male categories as well as Joel Hand’s success, 14 years Ryan Bloomer 1st, 16 years Jeremy Summers 1st and in the 17+ years age group a special mention should go to Will Guest who was in Silver medal position at 1000m then suffered a shoulder injury, however he completed the race with 1 arm and came 5th; tremendous attitude and showed true leadership from our Boys captain!

Jeremy Summers achieved 3rd place as Overall championship.

The 800m Freestyle saw further Forest success as Brecon Westwood achieved 1st in 12 year category, in 13 years Isabella Hoare was 1st, Lillie Grover 2nd and 15 years Mollie Kilgour 3rd and Ryan Bloomer achieved 2nd in 14 years, 15 years Joel Hands 2nd, 16 years Jeremy Summers 2nd and Rob Darbyshire achieved 2nd place in the 17+ years category and 2nd place as the Overall Champion.

In total the swimmers achieved 10 golds, 8 silver, 5 bronze, a fantastic achievement!





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Special Awards for GB Swimmer – Sam Osborne

This January saw Wyre Forest Swimming Club (WFSC) hold their Annual Ball where the Swimmers were presented with trophies and medals won in WFSC Club Championships held mainly over a weekend in July 2019. There were many achievements to celebrate for the swimmers aged 8 years and under and upwards to celebrate across all the competitive squads in the club.  This year saw a new award the “Swimmers’ Swimmers Award” which was voted for by the swimmers themselves and congratulations went to 9 year old Fleur Higgs because she always has a smile on her face, a friend to all, determined, hardworking and has a great attitude.

For another swimmer who has been a member of Wyre Forest for eight years and has represented Worcester County at inter county and three county relays in previous years, there were two Special Awards.  Sam Osborne has had a fantastic season balancing both swimming and his final year of A Level’s was awarded the Founders Prize 2019 by the Chairman of Worcester County Swimming Association, Malcolm Ross. 

Sam Osborne was also presented a Special Achievement Award from WFSC in recognition of his continued support by swimming for the club at many league galas resulting in the club rising to the Arena Premier Division in 2018.

Sam has excellent behaviours around the pool and is a positive role model to all the younger swimmers, recently giving a motivational talk about his experiences this year to members of Wyre Forest.

During 2018/19, Sam was selection by British Swimming to Train in Tokyo with National Squad (Dec 2018), qualified for the British Championships (April 2019), was selected to represent GB at the Junior Europeans in Russia (July 2019) and won 1 Gold Medal and 1 Silver Medal at British National Summer Championships in Glasgow (July 2019). 

Sam was one of four swimmers selected by British Swimming who were given the opportunity to train in Japan and he trained alongside the other GB athletes as part of the Japanese National Team Camp and was also was part of the team who represented GB in Kazan, Russia for the European Junior Championships.

Following his return from Russia, Sam swam at the British National Championships in Glasgow and won a gold in 400 Free and silver in 200 free.





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This year’s County Relay Swimming Championships were held on 30th June at Wolverhampton Central Baths.  WFSC were very proud to see all our relay teams make it through to the finals in their age groups, with our teams going on to win 9 County medals and six 4th place finishes; Our 11/12 yrs girls were crowned County Relay Champions in their age group in both the Freestyle and Medley relays. The Freestyle team was made up of Marieke Parker, Maya Winfield, Bella Hoare and Lillie Grover, while the Medley team saw Brecon Westwood and Lily Colley teaming up with Bella and Lillie to take the Gold in both events.

Our 15/16 yrs boys, Nathaniel Crowther, Daniel Hardiman, Charlie Brown and Robert Darbyshire took the Silver in both the Freestyle and Medley events with Rob recording a time of 23.92 on his freestyle length!  Our 11/12 yrs boys Freestyle team of Ryan Bloomer, Shay Parker, James Vaux and James Green won Silver.  Our 13/14 yrs girls Freestyle team of Tegan Hands, Alex Hayes, Alice Walker and Martha Stead took the Bronze, with Tegan, Alex and Martha teaming up with Jasmin Yates to take another Bronze in the Medley relay.   Our 13/14 yrs boys Freestyle team of Joel Hands, Tyler Elwell, Jeremy Summers and Owen Westwood also took the Bronze. In the girls open age group, the freestyle team of Lucy Nicholls, Alice Walker, Martha Stead and Abbie Rowley took the Bronze.

Head Coach Brian McGuinnes added, ‘All swimmers listened to advice given, applied it and the takeovers were brilliant. Very satisfied, big improvement on 2018 – well done all.’    

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Wyre Forest Swimming Club attended the 2019 West Midland Regional Swimming Championships which were held for the final time at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre over the weekends of 4/5/6th May and 11/12th May. A new £10.5m Olympic size pool being built at the Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry and expected to be opened some time later in 2019.

Wyre Forest Swimming Club saw their number of Regional Qualifiers jump from 12 in 2018 to 20 in 2019. Working hard throughout the year to qualify were:- Tegan Hands, Matilda Calder, Joel Hands, Nathanial Crowther, Adam Newey, Robert Darbyshire, Lillie Grover, Alice Walker, Jasmin Yates, Charles Brown, Martha Stead, Lucy Nicholls, Isabella Hoare, Mollie Kilgour, Jeremy Summers, Will Guest, Ryan Bloomer, Abbie Rowley, Lily Colley and Alex Hayes who unfortunately fractured her elbow days before the start and sadly was unable to compete.

Lillie Grover had an outstanding Championship winning Gold in the 11/12 yrs 50m back final to become Regional Champion in her age group. Lillie also picked up Silver medals in the 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m back and a Bronze in the 100m back. Joining her amongst the medallists were Nathaniel Crowther (16) who won Bronze in the 200m back and Jeremy Summers (15) who won Bronze in the 1500m freestyle distance event. Wyre Forest Swimming Cub also picked up medals in the relay events with the men’s 14/16 yrs 400m medley team of Nathaniel Crowther, Charlie Brown, Owen Westwood & Rob Darbyshire winning a Bronze; the men’s 14/16 800m freestyle team of Nathaniel Crowther, Charlie Brown, Jeremy Summers & Rob Darbyshire won Silver and the women’s 14/16 800m freestyle team of Lucy Nicholls, Tegan Hands, Jasmin Yates & Mollie Kilgour also won a Bronze.

From our 20 qualifiers, an amazing 15 of them made it through to one or more Regional Finals or placed in the top 8 at longer distance events which were heat declared wins. Our Finalists were:- Lillie Grover , Jasmin Yates, Nathaniel Crowther, Adam Newey, Alice Walker, Charles Brown, Martha Stead, Lucy Nicholls, Isabella Hoare, Matilda Calder, Joel Hands, Mollie Kilgour, William Guest, Jeremy Summers and Rob Darbyshire. Our number of top 8 placings/finalists more than doubled from 18 in 2018 to 41 in 2019!

Head Coach Brian McGuinness stated, ‘As Head Coach, it was heartening for me to have colleagues coming to me from Clubs far & wide in the Region, saying how impressed by the Club they have been. So well done to all of the swimmers, win or lose you have done Wyre Forest proud!’

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Wyre Forest Swimming Club celebrated yet another ‘Top Visiting Club’ award, this time at the Crystal Open Meet run by Stourbridge Swimming Club.  The team won an amazing 36 Gold, 22 Silver & 27 Bronze medals and are on top form ahead of a big couple of months in the swimming season which sees them travel to Sheffield, Cyprus and the Regional Championships in Coventry.

Lead Coach for the Meet Dylan Smith was extremely pleased with the attitude and focus of the swimmers who also achieved more regional qualifying times and set lots of new personal best times.

Medal winners were:- Isabella Hoare, Lillie Grover, Alexandra Hayes, Lily Colley, Matilda Calder, Lois Stevens, Ryan Bloomer, Joel Hands, Daniel Hardiman, Chloe Manning, Brecon Westwood, Lauren Stewart, Chloe Lawson, Owen Westwood, Marieke Parker, Mollie Kilgour, Eve Williams, Erin Freer, Charles Brown and Thomas Brown.

The Top Club award final points were:-

1st Wyre Forest            504

2nd Northgate               484

3rd Redditch                 402

A big thank you to Dylan Smith, Rosie Lane and Donna Stevens for all their help and support at the Meet.

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WFSC swimmers travelled to Wales over the weekend of 16/17th February for the Swansea Aquatics Spring Long Course Open Meet at the Wales National Pool.

For this meet all swimmers travelled together to Swansea without their parents, which was a new experience for many of our younger swimmers. There was a slight drama when one of the two mini buses carrying the swimmers broke down but again swimmers handled this with great humour and were a credit to the club.

The aim of this meet was not only to give swimmers the experience of swimming in a 50m pool but also to reinforce team spirit and give them a brief independence from their parents, encouraging them to think and plan for themselves in an environment where they could enjoy themselves but also gain valuable experience with their team mates.

Swimmers had the added bonus of watching Commonwealth 1500 medallist Dan JERVIS swim an impressive 3:52 400m freestyle on his own!

Medal winners at Swansea were Ryan Bloomer, Rob Darbyshire, Joel Hands, Lily Colley, Lillie Grover, Tegan Hands, James Green, Owen Westwood, Millie Gardner, Jasmin Yates, Lucy Nicholls, Matilda Calder, Lois Stevens, Brecon Westwood and Alexandra Hayes. Completing the team were: Jeremy Summers, Tyler Elwell, Marieke Parker, Will Guest, Isabella Hoare, Adam Newey, Lucy Connolly, Erin Freer, Lauren Stewart, Lucy Watkiss, Chloe Lawson, Abbie Rowley.

Head Coach Brian McGuinness stated, ‘Overall a great success, lots of experience gained and new friendships bonded. From 9 participating last year to 27 this year, with medals galore won and lots of long course experience gained it was another big success and shows that WFSC is continuing to go from strength to strength.’

Thank you also to Nigel Elwell, Becki Rowley and Donna Stevens for making this such a rewarding experience for our swimmers.

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This year’s County Championships were held over three weekends at both Wolverhampton Central Baths and Perdiswell Leisure Centre.  Going into these Championships WF were the second most improved club in the county based on an 84% improvement of number of entries for the Championships from 2018 to 2019.

Races of 200m and above were heat declared wins in each age group, whereas races of 50m & 100m saw swimmers progress to finals consisting of the fastest 8 swimmers in each age group.

WF swimmers won an amazing total of 88 medals across the three weekends, 26 Gold Medals (+ 4 Championship Medals), 31 Silver Medals and 20 Bronze Medals (+7 Championship Medals).

WF also came away with both Senior and Junior County Champion titles.  Jeremy Summers (15) won Gold in both the 800m and the 1500m freestyle making him the Junior County Champion in both events; Robert Darbyshire (16) won Gold in both the 200m and 400m freestyle making him the Senior County Champion in both events (despite actually only being 15 years old on the day but placed into the Senior category) and there was great news for Lillie Grover (12) who amassed 10 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals making her the Top Girl across all ages in the 2019 Championships.

Our medal winners were:- Bradley Baddams, Ryan Bloomer, Charlie Brown, Matilda Calder, Nathaniel Crowther, Robert Darbyshire, Tyler Elwell, Millie Gardner, Lillie Grover, Will Guest, Joel Hands, Tegan Hands, Alexandra Hayes, Isabella Hoare, Mollie Kilgour, Lucy Nicholls, Abbie Rowley, Jeremy Summers, Brecon Westwood, Owen Westwood, Jasmin Yates.

Also making finals in their age groups or finishing within the top 8 in the county were:- Tom Brown, Lily Colley, Chloe Lawson, Adam Newey, Lauren Stewart, Emily Watkiss

Completing the 36 qualifying swimmers for these Championships were:- Lucy Connolly, Erin Duffy, Erin Freer, Chloe Manning, Marieke Parker, Shay Parker, Lois Stevens, James Vaux, and Evie Williams.

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