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News May 2019

Keep up to date with what's happening at Dartes and performance swimming in Doncaster. This page records the news as it happens -- history in the making!

The Stories behind the Headlines

4 Selected for North East Performance Programme

31 May 2019: We are delighted to report that four from Phase 4 have been selected to attend the Swim England North East Region Swimming Training Camps for 2019. All four were part of our six strong contingent on the equivalent Yorkshire programme last year. Congratulations to Callum Broadhead (Arm), Ella Calverley (Edl), Luke Gilliver (Drn), and Olivia Phelan (Adw) for their all-round performances at NER Championships earlier in the month which contributed to this selection.

ProgrammeLed byQtyAge Range
County DevelopmentCounty79211 year olds
Regional DevelopmentRegion28812 year olds
National DevelopmentSwim England25013-14 year olds
National Event CampsSwim England9015-16 year olds
International CompsSwim England4018 year olds
SE Performance SquadSwim England2022 years and under
Podium PotentialBritish Swimming3015 years +
PodiumBritish Swimming2415 years +

Each year, the Swim England Talent Pathway selects promising athletes from age 11 upwards. 792 for the County Development Programme at 11 ( Jesse Goodwin (Adw) was selected for 2019), dropping to just 288 for the Regional Development Programme at 12. That's a drop of more than half from the 11 year olds to 12 year olds as the talent pathway becomes harder and harder to remain involved with. Those numbers are nationwide! To keep four of our six representatives from last year is a big achievement, and just like 2018's County Programme we look set to be one of the bigger clubs on the Regional Programme for 2019.

Congratulations to all four. This is something our younger athletes coming through JDS or already in Phase 4 should be aspiring to. Work hard and develop the skills your coaches are asking you for, and hopefully our track record of putting athletes on these camps will continue.

Club Development Evening

29 May 2019: Wednesday night was the re-arranged Get Doncaster Moving Club Development Evening at the Keepmoat Stadium. Originally sheduled for April, it had to be postponed due to a powercut around Lakeside. As part of the Doncaster Physical Activity and Sport Strategy, a variety of Doncaster's sports clubs were invited to spend a few hours together to learn about the role their sports are expected to play in the strategy to create a healthy and vibrant community.

Head Coach Dave attended alongside representatives from all the usual sports you'd expect, plus maybe Cycling, Kayaking, and Archery. There were workshops covering club marketing techniques and fund raising and the basics of how clubs should be structured for the modern era in terms of their legal obligations and potential charitable status. The third workshop covered ways to attract members of the community that wouldn't normally be involved in some sports.

Future evenings are planned to encourage sports clubs to work together more in a more localised format.

Thanks to DMBC's Sport Participation Coordinator Alicia Johnson for organising these events, and to James from the Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

Best Ever NER Age-Group Champs

26 May 2019: We say this with a little trepidation, because it sneaked up on us unexpectedly. 2019 has produced Dartes' best ever long course NER Age-Group Championships medal haul! 13 Gold medals beats every year we have on record going back to 1994 when things were a little different (i.e. age-groups and seniors mixed together). Clearly then, this was a rather exceptional regionals for us. It also makes the combined Senior/Age-Group regionals campaign our best since 2013!

To underline the quality, these two weekends of championships witnessed 8 Dartes age-group records too. Nicholas Honeybone (Arm) did his usual trick of pulling out big times on big occasions. A 4th place in the 12 year olds 50m Breaststroke final claimed record number 1 (he's still 11). His 2nd came on the final day, in the 200m Breaststroke. With mum and grandparents there to watch, he dropped nearly 3secs to qualify for the final. That would have lifted him to 2nd place in our 11 year olds records list. Not content with sitting behind Joe Litchfield (Drn), he dropped a further 5sec for a 6th place final which put him comfortably 2sec ahead of the former Dartes star.

That wasn't the only big name to tumble from our records either. The 12 year old boys 50m Freestyle used to belong to super-speedster Jarvis Parkinson (Arm). Not any longer. Callum Broadhead (Arm) put paid to that with Gold and a half second improvement in the Dartes record. He was challenging a few of the other records too, on his way to 5 Gold and 3 Silver medals!

Madison Johnson (Arm) had been suffering with a bad back leading into weekend 2. We weren't expecting much, having missed a couple of sessions, and clearly in agony on Tuesday night. There have been many emergency baths this week in an attempt to loosen things up. Shame really, she won her first NER medal during weekend 1 (Bronze in 400m IM) and had hoped to cement her National qualifying attempts with strong performances during the 2nd weekend. Adding 6sec to her PB on 200m Breaststroke didn't suggest good things around the corner for the 200m IM. And then out of nowhere, a 2sec PB surprised us all and qualified her 2nd fastest for the final. It also sliced 0.08 from the 13 year olds Dartes record held by 90's superstar Emma Parker (Adw) since 1994! She returned for the final and lowered that mark by another second to win her 2nd NER medal. This time her first NER Championships Gold - beating some very big names to do so.

Good so far, but then comes Luke Gilliver (Drn) and an astonishing 4 club age-group records! He's also a combined 0.74sec from another 2. If you're going to claim records, it's good to smash those belonging to big names. They don't get much bigger than this.

He also amassed 3 Gold and 4 Silver medals. A pretty astonishing achievement after a rather difficult season from a training perspective due to an annoying illness. There were blips, there always are, but the way Luke bounces back from setbacks to have another crack is a definite strong point for him.

There were other major medal winners as well of course. Joining Maddie at British Champs in Glasgow will be Cohen Stephenson (Spa). A regular medal machine, this time: 2 Gold, 2 Silver, and 3 Bronze. A pretty big slip on his 50m Backstroke start cost him a metre and saw him uncharacteristically chasing the leaders instead of pulling clear. It cost him the Backstroke sweep, but still managed to claw back a Silver to add to his pair of Backstroke Gold. In the end, a metre down at the start translated to just 0.14sec off Gold at the touch.

Talking of Backstroke, somehow we always find medals there. Olivia Phelan (Adw) sprinted her way through the 100m and 50m for 2 Golds (4th in the 200m). Joining her Lucie Savage (Adw) was a finger length behind in the 200m (5th), and 2 spots behind in the 50m for Bronze.

We started off by saying that this was Dartes' best ever Regional Age-Group medal tally. More than that, it appears to have put us 2nd in the medal table behind the mighty City of Leeds! This table isn't taken from the official results, so it might be prone to errors, but until we hear otherwise, we're happy to believe it.

1CoLeeds 19201958
2Donc Dartes139527
3Derwentside 114318
4Middlesboro 88622
5Gates&Whick 87621
6CoSheffield 7151638

Scored the Olympic way (i.e. Gold medal precedence) it puts Dartes in a solid 2nd place. Done the American way (i.e. total medals won) we trail City of Sheffield 38-27. Either way, a 2nd or 3rd place finish is extremely good. We often hear comments or observations from the balcony along the lines of "Dartes rely on 1 or 2 swimmers to bring home all the medals". At this level and above, that's how sport works! Most clubs are exactly the same. Those in the business of winning medals, tend to win 3 or 4 (maybe a few more). Back in 2014 we did a detailed analysis of swimmer/medal ratios at Yorkshire Champs to compare ourselves with other clubs around Yorkshire. It makes for an interesting read if you like that sort of thing.