PENARTH Swimming and Water Polo Club held its awards presentation gathering last Saturday at the Old Penarthians Rugby Club, celebrating everything that is great about the club and its swimmers.

In an environment where swimmers and parents had the chance to step away from the pool and enjoy an evening of awards and socialising within a fabulously supportive atmosphere, a large number of the club’s swimmers and their families and friends were in attendance, and it was lovely to see the club’s swimmers enjoying themselves and socialising together.

Celebrating its member’s achievements and the presentation of the trophies and awards from the Club Championships held in June, the Championships and the Awards Gathering was the first of its kind since 2012.

The inclusive club championships gala had entries from ages eight to 16 years, with swimmers just starting out to those who are long-standing club members.

Also presented at the event were certificates, the results from the club's first Speed Awards event, which are aimed at the swimmers achieving personal best times in swimming “against the clock”.

Penarth Times: Joe Thompson, under 10’s age group champion. Joe Thompson, under 10’s age group champion. (Image: Penarth Swimming and Water Polo Club)

Club president Sue Walsh, past president Jenny Leggat, former club water polo coach Peter Rollings and current head coach John Bennett presented a series of awards, many of which are a reflection of the club’s 130-year history.

The swimmers in each age group who scored the most points over the four strokes and the individual medley during the championships were awarded trophies as “Age Group Champions” as follows:

  • 9/under girls: Francesca Saunders;
  • 9/under boys: Llyr Vann;
  • 10/11 girls: Scarlett Ahmed;
  • 10/11 boys: Joe Thompson;
  • 12/13 girls: Meg Thomas;
  • 12/13 boys: Toby Shewan;
  • 14/15 girls: Gwen Norton;
  • 14/15 boys: Daniel Zebrowski;
  • 16/over boys: Will Taylor.

Whilst many swimmers came away with silverware, special awards were made to Maila Ruta, the first recipient of a new award, the Coach’s Achievement Award Cup, presented to a swimmer who has shown dedication, positive attitude and excellence in all aspects throughout the year, and to Molly Clee, who was presented with a Coach’s Achievement Award certificate and trophy – an award recognising her high level of motivation and giving the best of her ability at all times.

The club is supported by many volunteers and the evening was an opportunity to recognise this work, in particular, the long-term commitment made by Vida Mahoney who was presented with a Volunteer Award certificate and a gift as an acknowledgement of her continued commitment to the club.

Penarth Times: The trophy for the under 15 girls 100m freestyleThe trophy for the under 15 girls 100m freestyle (Image: Penarth Swimming and Water Polo Club)

A raffle on the night also managed to raise £250. Huge thanks go to both the social and fundraising volunteers and the trophy volunteer for organising such a successful and enjoyable gathering.

It’s been a tough couple of years, but it was great to see our team come together last night.

It was a social event that was desperately needed, and it was the social event we hoped it would be, a huge success.

The club resumes after the summer holidays on Monday, September 11, and swimmers can look forward to a full programme of events for the new season.