Elms School swimmers set to take national finals by storm

MAKING A SPLASH -- the successful swimming squad from The Elms Junior School in Long Eaton.
MAKING A SPLASH -- the successful swimming squad from The Elms Junior School in Long Eaton.

A best-ever clean sweep of four East Midlands regional titles has ensured that eight swimmers from a school in Long Eaton have qualified for a national tournament.

Now The Elms Junior School can’t wait for the 22nd National Primary Schools’ Team Relay Championships, which are to be held at the iconic Ponds Forge pool in Sheffield next month.

The school’s U11 boys’ and girls’ teams each won their respective freestyle and medley relays in the East Midlands finals at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth, Lincolnshire to book their places at the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) event for the fourth year running.

The national finals take place on Saturday, June 18, with the schools divided into small, medium and open categories depending on the number of pupils they have in curriculum years five and six. The Elms is in the open category.

The Elms boys’ team comprises William Sanderson, Henry Pygall, Oliver Rowe and Daniel Florence, while the girls’ team is made up of Emillie Wright, Leah Burgin-Rawson, Lucy Atkins and Lauren Browning.

Each swimmer competes in both the freestyle and medley relays. Most of The Elms’ swimmers are members of local clubs, including the Derventio eXcel elite swimming squad for Derbyshire, Long Eaton and Kimberley.

Chris Doman, head of swimming at The Elms, said: “It is certainly an amazing result. I’ve been at The Elms for five years and it’s the best result I’ve witnessed. In terms of times, the boys are pretty much on par with last year’s, and the girls’ teams are faster by around a second.

“We have a talented group and the fact that the majority are club swimmers this year makes a big difference too. In the build-up to the nationals, we will be improving our starts and turns and working on our takeovers so we don’t have disqualifications.”