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Articles by Dartes Swimmers Past and Present

Every now and again, someone pops up out of the deep end and writes an article for the website. Sometimes these are former Dartes swimmers with happy memories to share. Often they're current members with something special or interesting to shout about. Either way, if it's interesting and in some way connected to Dartes or Doncaster Swimming, we'll probably publish it.
Here's one of those articles.

Loud and Proud at Winter Yorkshires


At Winter Yorkshires Louise Hood sat just about as far away from the rest of Doncaster's supporters as possible. It wasn't to avoid the noise, it was to experiement with a new, live meet commentary blog for which she needed power.

Because of her vantage point watching every move made my the Loud and Proud supporters (and the swimmers in the pool) we asked her to conjure up this weekend's meet report.

As if to counteract all the complaints we received during and after the weekend, Louise added: "I thought our supporters were fab!". And as you'll read below, she meant it.

Date: 14 Oct 2009
Author: Louise Hood

Winter Yorkshire Round Up

We shouted!
We screamed!
We raised the roof off Ponds Forge.


Dave Holmes collects Bronze in 100m Backstroke Supporting our DARTES swimmers at the new look Winter Yorkshires this weekend. In a change to the normal programme swimmers of all ages took part, but with the loss of the finals. I know a few established DARTES parents were a bit concerned that no finals might have a negative impact on the atmosphere, but they need not have worried. The "Loud and Proud" were there to get things buzzing, and boy did DARTES make an impact, both in and out of the pool.

The excitement started on Saturday morning, with our 9 year old girls and 9/10 year old boys and continued throughout the weekend for all ages. There were PBs, final positions and medals galore. In fact I have worked out that we had around 145 personal bests, 59 final positions and 25 medals from our swimmers -- WOW. Starting the medal run was Joseph Gatus (Spa) who powered down the pool in Freestyle to take Gold and then added Silver in Backstroke. Another JDS swimmer, Oswald Hood (Adw) also took Silver in Breaststroke. Joe Litchfield (Spa) won three Bronze medals and Silver, while Jarvis Parkinson (Tho), took Silver in Freestyle. Sophie Taylor (Arm), made another flying visit to represent DARTES, taking two Bronze medals and of course Gold in her trademark event - Breaststroke. Richard Lee (Spa) brought in another Bronze, which leaves Max Litchfield (Spa) with two Golds, a Silver and two Bronze medals and of course David Holmes (Arm), with two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze. Well done to you all.

Also coming first four times in the S14 category was the rapidly improving [Name Removed] (Drn).

Our finalists also spanned the ages. From our younger JDS swimmers such as Phoebe Winter (Adw), Tyler Dodson (Adw), and Mark Beech (Spa). Oswald Hood Collects Silver for Breaststroke Through the age group events with Tonika Holdsworth (Spa), Oliver Richardson (Edl), James Mullen (Arm), Heidi Smith (Ros), Shannon Dodson (Spa), Holly Lewis (SAS), and Rachael Granger (Spa). Finishing with Emma Humphries (Ros) a finalist in a 14yrs plus event.

Let's not forget some of the other amazing performances over the weekend as well. Charlie Casson (Adw), Natasha Crow (SAS), Olivia Fairhurst (Adw), Jessica Gillatt (Ros), Jack Green (Tho), Rebecca Jarvis (Spa), Lily Metcalf (Spa), Oliver Richardson (Ros), Luke Shpylka (SAS), and Ashleigh Taylor (Adw), all dropped 8 seconds or more off their times, some of them in 100m events.

We had 69 swimmers entered into the Yorkshires so unfortunately, we don’t have room to mention everyone, even though every one of you who represented DARTES and Doncaster swimming over the weekend deserve a mention. So I will just say to each and every swimmer who turned up, warmed up, queued up, dived, swam, raced and did your very best - Doncaster DARTES parents and coaches are proud of you all.

Finally, I have to confess that I didn't see all of the races over the weekend, but one of the races I did see had to be one of the best of the weekend. For me it showed everyone present why Doncaster DARTES parents are "Loud and Proud", and why every other club should follow our lead.

Max and Richard take Silver and Bronze on 100m Backstroke Sunday morning, the Boys 200m IM!

Max versus Matthew Johnson!
It was the amazing roar that got me.
From where I sat I looked up to see the unexpected, Max turning before Matthew on the last turn. The roar was our supporters going mad to cheer Max on, willing him in for the win.

As both swimmers raced to the end the noise level just kept on growing, and it was deafening when Max touched first. BUT this level of noise wasn’t just reserved for Max, every DARTES swimmer on the podium, who was a finalist and indeed every one of our swimmers in a heat got the same reaction. A massive roar irrespective of performance!

This is what "Loud and Proud" is all about!

So to all the other clubs in Yorkshire I throw down the challenge -- join us in being immensely proud of all our kids and show that all of Yorkshire is "Loud and Proud".