The Grampian Disability Sport Norma Buist Swimming Gala took place at Aberdeen Sports Village on the 28th September and saw school pupils across Aberdeen City and Shire get off to a great start in sport in this first event in the school calendar.
55 swimmers with physical, sensory and learning disabilities from a mixture of mainstream schools, ASN bases and ASN schools, gave it their all to produce a whole host of PB’s and to battle it out for the top spots in each of the 43 events.
The event was also a qualifier for the SDS National Junior Swimming Championships for Swimmers with a Learning Disability and an opportunity for swimmers with sensory and physical disabilities to gain updated times for their National Junior Championships, so all competitors were keen to put on their best performances.
The first event on the schedule was the 100m Individual Medley, which Matthew Scott flew through in an impressive 1:18.53.
Next up were the Backstroke events (both 25m & 50m), which saw no fewer than 29 swimmers promoted up the time classes, and two swimmers promoted to the 50m events from the 25m events.
In the next series of events, 25m & 50m Breaststroke, a number of swimmers were disqualified due to ineligible kicks and single-handed touches to finish. However, Matthew Scott & Jason Cobb swam perfect strokes in an exciting race that saw them finish only 0.16 seconds apart, with Matthew just pipping Jason to the post!
Butterfly was next on the list with just two events – one 25m and one 50m race, which thoroughly tested the endurance of all six swimmers who entered!
Last up were the 18 Freestyle events where 15 swimmers pulled out impressive PB’s to secure promotion up the time classes, and five swimmers achieved times to promote them from the 25m to the 50m race.
The event culminated in thrilling 100m Freestyle race between five of our fastest young swimmers, where Matthew Scott took home gold, Jason Cobb claimed silver and Rhys Gill secured bronze.
Accompanying teachers, parents and fellow pupils provided an admirable level of support to the swimmers by cheering each competitor throughout their races.
The event is operated by a partnership of volunteers from Grampian Disability Sport, members of the Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Active Schools teams, Aquatics Aberdeen Staff & Scottish Disability Sport. A special thanks goes to Marie Cheyne & Pauline Stirling who prepared the competition schedule, coordinated all helpers on the day and started all of the races.
Well done to all and good luck to all of the swimmers selected for the National Junior Swimming Championships!
If you or anyone you know would like to become involved in disability sport in the Grampian area, please contact Alison Shaw on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07782 874 4848.