DSE National Juniors 2008

By Rhys Roberts - March 3 2008
DSE National Juniors 2008 Five members of the Dragons Disabled Swimming Club represented Wales over the weekend at the DSE National Junior Swimming Championships held at Ponds Forge International Swimming Pool.

DSE National Junior Swimming Championships 2008

In Association with Nationwide

Ponds Forge International Swimming Pool

March 1st-2nd 2008


Five members of the Dragons Disabled Swimming Club represented Wales over the weekend at the DSE National Junior Swimming Championships held at Ponds Forge International Swimming Pool. The swimmers from our club who competed for Wales were; Jonathan Eke, Nathan Eke, Jordan Howe, Robert Morgan and Ryan Smith. Two of our coaches volunteered to assist the Welsh squad as coaches and escorts; these were Ian Eke and Toni Howe.


The weekend started off early with Jonathan and Jordan being classified on Friday morning. Jonathan was classified as a S10 SB9 SM10, which was slightly disappointing as we thought he might have been a lower class, however, this now gives us a target for him to work against and this author is sure he can do it. Jordan had an up and down weekend as regards to the classification process. He was initially classified as a straight S7 (down from a straight S8), However, he was re-assessed on the Saturday morning and after one race as an S7 they bumped him back up to an S8 SB7 SM8. Again, this is higher than we would have expected but it does now give us a target for Jordan to work with and once more, he is a spirited boy who Iím sure will make the grade.


Three of the swimmers were making their National debuts in Sheffield; Jonathan Nathan and Ryan. This was Jordanís second national while Robert was making another appearance at this level (the old pro!). Despite this being the umpteenth appearance at this level for Robert, it didnít stop the rumours that he went to bed wearing one of his Gold medals. All five would have been spurred on by a large crowd making a lot of noise encouraging all swimmers from all over Britain, Ireland and a small squad from Greece. In fact, it was the largest crowd at this event that this author has seen for some time and naturally, they produced the best atmosphere within the complex for quite a few years.


The times that the swimmers produced were nothing short of phenomenal. Jonathan in particular was seemingly on a one man mission to take off as much time as possible from his PBís. This included a PB of just over 1 minute for the 400m Freestyle. Nathan and Robert had a continuous duel in the backstroke; at one point Nathan took the 50m Backstroke S17 National Record, only for Robert to break it three minutes later in the next race. (All National Records are still at the moment unofficial until they have been ratified.)


Ryan and Jordan put in strong performances throughout the weekend with yet more PBís being set and Jordan claiming the Gold in the S8 50m Backstroke.


The behaviour and attitude of the swimmers was impeccable throughout the weekend. This was helped immensely by the efforts of both Ian and Toni looking after the swimmers and making sure that their needs were met, spirits were high and performances and conduct were of the standard expected from them. The club would like to stress how much we appreciate the effort put in by both Ian and Toni. (Even if Toni may need to have a bit more practice with the bonking stickÖ). Toni and Ian were part of a large Welsh coaching sqaud who all worked together in ensuring that the swimmers were well catered for and put in the best performances that they were capable of.


Special mention must also go to Margaret, Bethan and Matthew Eke for staying in the crowd for practically every race, despite the (at times) unbearable heat within the poolside arena. It was not an uncommon site to spot a barefooted (and on one regrettable occasion, bare-chested) Matthew traipsing around the Ponds Forge complex. Dave Morgan was also present for a lot of the races even though the heat drove him to dash back and forward to the relative cool of the cafť.


Congratulations to all five swimmers for their performances over the weekend and to the Welsh squad as a whole as the performances of the squad in general was fantastic.


The results of the Dragons DSC swimmers who represented Wales were:


Jonathan Eke S10
100m Freestyle 1:29.96 9 of 10
400m Freestyle 6:44.21 4 of 5
50m Backstroke 52.86 8 of 10
100m Backstroke 1:56.00 9 of 10
50m Freestyle 39.75 7 of 11
Nathan Eke S17
100m Freestyle 1:32.25 3 of 3
50m Backstroke 45.50 2 of 4
100m Ind. Medley 1:51.82 1 of 1
100m Breaststroke 2:08.59 1 of 1
100m Backstroke 1:41.58 2 of 3
50m Freestyle 42.17 4 of 4
Jordan Howe S8
100m Freestyle (as S7) 1:56.04 2 of 2
50m Backstroke 1:07.41 1 of 5
50m Freestyle 49.61 6 of 7
Robert Morgan S17
50m Butterfly 38.67 1 of 1
100m Freestyle 1:12.33 1 of 3
50m Backstroke 42.46 1 of 4
100m Backstroke 1:31.97 1 of 3
50m Freestyle 33.63 1 of 4
Ryan Smith S17
50m Breaststroke 52.24 5 of 7
100m Freestyle 1:38.40 9 of 9
50m Freestyle 46.49 11 of 11