Saturday 6th October 2018 saw the first Learn to Swim Acorns Gala, held at King Charles I School, organised by Ella Rowley, who was supported by her mother, Sylvia Rowley which was especially designed for the swimmers in Wyre Forest Swimming Academy Learn to Swim (LTS) section which is lead by the LTS Coordinator, Emma Elwell.
This fun event was aimed to give the young swimmers a taste of the thrill and excitement of what a real swimming gala might feel like. The event was well supported and swimmers were able to show their parents and grandparents the skills they had learnt from attending their classes.
The idea came about from Ella watching her Aunt’s children taking part in a similar event in California, USA. All the children had a fabulous time and the parents enjoyed watching what their children had achieved.
The parents were also able to watch older swimmers who compete in County, Regional and National events in short demonstrations of the different strokes, whilst the Head Coach; Brian McGuiness, described what they were doing.
The purpose of the Learn to Swim Acorns Gala was to inspire the little ones to compete like the older swimmers and educating them on how a gala works by sitting with their team mates and giving each other encouragement. For the top age group, the swimmers in Stage 5 were exposed to an official start, just like they might see in the Olympics.
There were three mini gala’s which catered for Stage 1-2, Stage 3-4 and Stage 5, in each of the gala the children were awarded points and the winners of Stage 1 were, in order, Olivia Cant, Henry Pratt, and Esme Agirtas, Stage 2 Amber Teale, Olaf Tombak, Aaron Hall, Stage 3 Luca McGowan, Jack Salter, Euan Westwood, Stage 4 Mary Tomholt Christensen, Nancy Thomas Milly Stanway, and Stage 5 Olive Thomas, Isaac Price and Ollie Weaver
The event was deemed a great success and Wyre Forest Swimming Club are considering making this an annual event.