The Mercat Gait Centre in East Lothian was the venue for the Scottish Disability Sport / Scottish Swimming National Short Course Performance Swim Championships on Sunday 22nd January 2017. 42 of Scotland’s leading swimmers with a physical, sensory or learning disability from all areas of the country took part including 7 from Fife. Following the retirement of Craig Rodgie, Lucy Walkup, Stefan Hoggan and Craig Smith, Disability Sport Fife is trying to grow its performance swimming squad and at the moment it is heading in the right direction.
The Performance Championships are a strong partnership event between Scottish Disability Sport and Scottish Swimming and were introduced to support regional development and create an appropriate competition for swimmers with performance potential. The Championships incorporate the IPC Multi-Classification system and for some swimmers this was their first opportunity to compete under the British Swimming Points Scoring System. Race positions are determined by points scored against the world record for each individual swimmer’s class.
The Fife squad included Cara Smyth, Kirsty Brunton, Cameron Hemphill and Cerys Venters Scott from INCAS. Oliver Carter From Carnegie SC, Steven McCormick from FINS and Mary Wilson from Edinburgh completed the line up and within the group there were many personal best times.
Cara Smyth competed in 100m backstroke (1.28.69), 400m freestyle (5.23.45), 100m breast (1.42.25), and 200m IM (3.10.18) winning gold for freestyle and bronze for backstroke. Cara’s INCAS team mate Cerys Venters Scott is going through classification at the moment and competed as a guest. Cerys recorded excellent times for 100m Back, 50m freestyle, 200m IM and 100m freestyle.
Oliver Carter competed in 100m backstroke (1.13.15),100m butterfly (1.10.75), 100m breast (1.19.83) and 100m free (59.60). The silver medal swim in 100m butterfly was his best swim of the day and he will be pleased with another sub 60 100m freestyle.
The other standout performances by Fife swimmers were Steven McCormick 4th 400m freestyle (5.55.67) and 4th 50m freestyle (36.77. Mary Wilson picked up silver for 400m freestyle (8.05.46) and 6th place in 100m freestyle (1.42.04). Kirsty Brunton’s best performance was 5th in 400m freestyle (9.01.30) and newcomer Cameron Hemphill’s best swim was 8th place in 100m breaststroke in (2.32.52.
Well done Team Fife and to the coaches at INCAS, FINS and Carnegie SC who are responsible for their training and preparation.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife