DSE Open 2006 Report

By Sarah Marl - July 11 2006
DSE Open 2006 Report

Issued by Disability Sport Events

Date 11th July 2006



Nationwide Open Long Course Swimming Championships 2006

Organised by Disability Sport Events

Supported by Nationwide & Sheffield City Trust

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield

7th-9th July



Four World and five European records were smashed over the weekend at the Nationwide Open Long Course Swimming in Sheffield. With qualification for the World Championships in Durban on offer, all the British stars were swimming over the weekend, amongst the best in the world.


Disability Sport Events held this event in Sheffield- the biggest international disability swimming event in the country and second to the Paralympics itself. Over 300 swimmers from 17 countries took part over a three day heats and finals programme.


Countries taking part included Brazil, Iceland and Singapore. The international line up consisted of some of the world’s greatest, including Clodoaldo Silva from Brazil, who won 6 gold and a silver in Athens Paralympics and Izhak Mamistvalov from Israel- 2 gold and a silver.


Silva amazed the crowd in the S4 50m freestyle, equalling his own World record in a time of 35.20 secs. He showed he was in form, to break a world record in the S4 100m Freestyle. Silva claimed a new time for his own record of 1min17.44. Richard Oribe-Lumbrera from Spain knocked 0.34 secs off the S4 100m freestyle European record.


However it was the Brits who were on top form, with 3 World records and 4 Europeans wiped over the weekend. Sascha Kindred knocked 0.19 secs off his own SB7 100m breaststroke in a new time of 1min22.98. Chris Pugh beat Francis Dart’s old World Record in the S14 400m freestyle with 4mins24.12. Nyree Lewis became the star swimmer of the weekend with a European in the S6 400m freestyle in 6.00.08, knocking 2mins.51seconds off Mhairi Love’s record. Lewis was determined to do something special in the 100m backstroke and ended an amazing weekend with a World and Euopean record in the event in the finals on Sunday evening. She took 0.84 seconds off her own record in a time of 1min27.81.


All the British World Class and Performance Squad took part during the weekend. The majority of the British medal winners from Athens competed including– Jim Anderson; James Crisp; Natalie Jones; David Roberts.


For the first time in a DSE swimming event, the championships were run on a heats and finals basis. This was to meet demand and international standards, and certainly gave opportunities to see some brilliant finals in the evenings. The event is also IPC (International Paralympic Committee) approved.


This Championship was run thanks to the support from Nationwide and Sheffield City Trust. Sheffield City Trust first supported the event in 2003 and then again last year, so we were grateful to welcome them back in 2006.


In November Nationwide Building Society announced that it was to become the main sponsor of Disability Sport Events in a deal worth £1 million over the next seven years. The news came after five years of partnership between the two organisations and will help DSE to increase participation from regional to international level in both swimming and athletics. It will also help with talent identification and team selection in the run-up to the Paralympics over the seven years. The sponsorship deal was launched at the Junior Swimming earlier in the year.


Commenting on the partnership, Philip Williamson, Chief Executive of Nationwide Building Society, said:


Nationwide Building Society is proud to be associated with, and support the work of, DSE. We like to think that our relationship with DSE has been a great example of how organisations can make a difference and we are delighted to be able to expand on our support. In partnership, we want to assist DSE with encouraging participation in sport. This means giving support where the champions start their road to success - at the grass roots level - and beyond.  We hope that our sponsorship will be the starting block for all young people in disability sport who dream of success.”


Other partners assisting the championships were Water Direct, Ponds Forge and the Sheffield City Council's Major Sports Events Unit.


Sarah Marl