Water great event!

Over 120 people took part in Bassetlaw’s first ever swimming festival.

Competitors took part in butterfly, freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke events at Retford Leisure Centre.

Teams of youngsters and some seniors from all over the district and Gainsborough, took part in the first ever Bassetlaw Swimming Festival, held at Retford Leisure Centre.  Pictured are some of the young swimmers meeting Derek the Dolphin (w110523-1a)

Teams of youngsters and some seniors from all over the district and Gainsborough, took part in the first ever Bassetlaw Swimming Festival, held at Retford Leisure Centre. Pictured are some of the young swimmers meeting Derek the Dolphin (w110523-1a)

British swimmers Jess Silvester and Matt Watkinson were at the event giving out awards.

Jess was part of the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle relay team that was placed seventh at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and won silver in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Although only 16-years-old, Matt is number one in the British rankings for 100m Freestyle and in the top six for several other events.

“The swimming festival celebrated the wide range of swimming at the clubs, or at the swim fit programme provided by the leisure centre,” said organiser Cathy Pritchard.

“The 23 different events catered for swimmers from as young as eight years old through to Masters events (adult ages).

“They were designed to include young swimmers from the Learn to Swim programme, those up to the age of 18, including members of SAND Play with Purpose Swimming programme, as well as adults over the age of 18. The different events included 25m pre-competitive level races for 8-10 year olds, 50m races for masters (18 plus) and 50m races for those with restricted ability aged 18 and under.

“There were also standard 100m competitive races for boys and girls aged 13 as well as for those who are 14 and older.”

“Awards were made for 1st-6th place in each age group. Swimmers with a Midland time could enter any event, as long as it wasn’t the event in which they swam their Midland time.”

For further information about the swimming programmes open to all Bassetlaw residents, contact Cathy Pritchard at 01909 534486.

n To see more photographs from the event visit www.retfordtoday.co.uk.