Inside June 2016 Swimming Times

Swimming Times is the only magazine for British aquatics. Read about the latest issue below. Click on the buttons to reveal the story.

News round-up

  • Syrian swimmer and former judo ace Ibrahim Al Hussein delivered a message of hope when he carried the Olympic torch through the Eleonas Refugee Centre in Athens before a crowd of 1,500 refugees. The 27-year-old, who has worn an artificial leg since losing part of his right leg in a bombing in 2012, said: ‘For 20 years I dreamed of competing in the Olympic Games but now I am here carrying the torch. It was a beautiful thing to have the torch inside the camp and I wanted the Greek people to feel it. We appreciate everything they have done for all the refugees.’ Hussein, who was accompanied by 1984 Olympic water polo player Spyros Capraios, now president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, is hoping to represent Greece in the Paralympics. 
  • Swimming classes help children do better at maths, a study has revealed. Children who took part in organised sports and physical activities were one-and-a-half times more likely to reach higher than expected grades in their maths test at the end of primary school at age 11, researchers found. The study, published by the NatCen social research agency in collaboration with Newcastle University and ASK Research, analysed more than 6,400 English children factoring in gender, ethnicity, age and family structure. Dr Emily Tanner, the study’s lead investigator, from Nat Cen, said the sense of achievement children experience from activities such as swimming and sport definitely motivated them to do well in their academic studies. 

To read more of this month’s news stories, click here to buy the June 2016 issue of Swimming Times. 

Arena League

Guildford City became the 14th club to win the National Arena Swimming League after a thrilling final won by the slimmest of margins – one point. Roger Guttridge reports from the Cardiff International Pool.

Phew, what a thriller! After coming second three years running, Guildford City finally deposed seven-time winners Plymouth Leander as the National Arena League champions – by a single point.

The contest went to the very last event, with Guildford needing to finish within three places of Plymouth Leander in the men’s 6x50m freestyle to hold on
to their slim lead. A Plymouth team that included Ben Proud, one of Britain’s eight automatic qualifiers for the Rio Olympics, won the race with Guildford fourth. Had Guildford come fifth, the two clubs would have tied on points with Plymouth taking the trophy through their tally of nine race wins to Guildford’s eight. It was the closest final since 2000, when Portsmouth Northsea and City of Leeds tied on points and Portsmouth won on countback, ending the Yorkshire club’s run of seven consecutive wins.

To read the full article and discover the highs and lows of the event, click here to buy the June 2016 issue.  

Rio bound

Two world champions will be among 15 Olympic debutants in Rio after Team GB picked a 26-strong squad. Roger Guttridge reports on the selections and the British Champs.

Fifteen British swimmers will be making their Olympic debuts in Rio in August after Team GB selected a 26-strong squad that reflects the wave of new talent that has emerged since London 2012. The team includes six teenagers and only nine swimmers over the age of 22. It also includes two world champions, Adam Peaty and James Guy, and the other individual medallists from Britain’s best-ever world championships medal tally in Kazan – Ross Murdoch, Jazz Carlin and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor. Robbie Renwick, Hannah Miley and Fran Halsall will be competing in their third Olympic Games. But there is no place in the team for London 2012 backstroke finalists Liam Tancock and Lizzie Simmonds.

Peaty, Guy, Carlin and O’Connor 
were among only eight swimmers who qualified automatically through their winning times in individual events at the British Championships in Glasgow. Fifteen others qualified by swimming within two per cent of the benchmark times laid down in a complex selection policy. Three more – Cameron Kurle, Ieuan Lloyd and Dan Wallace – were selected as wild cards after respectively coming fifth, sixth and seventh in the men’s 200m freestyle at the trials.

Wallace’s inclusion owed much to a policy that allowed selectors to consider past performances when issuing wild cards.

To read the full article and hear from the athletes and coaches as well as view action photos and full results, click here to get your copy.  

Brazil beckons

Seven world records fell at the British Para-swimming International Meet in Glasgow as 25 swimmers achieved GB qualifying times for Rio. Report by Izabel Grindal.

Paralympic hopefuls followed their Olympic counterparts into the pool at Tollcross at the end of April, looking to secure a spot on the para-swimming team for Rio. The four-day British Para-swimming International Meet (BPSIM) doubled as the Paralympic trials and, as such, attracted the UK’s top talent. By the end of the meet, 25 swimmers had achieved qualification times, seven world records had been broken and prospects for Rio were looking good.

With everyone keen to impress national performance director Chris Furber and his team, it wasn’t surprising when the morning heats on the first day delivered two world records. Swansea Aquatics’ Aaron Moores (SB14) was the first to lower a world mark in his heat 
of the 100m breaststroke, and he was swiftly followed by Spain’s Michelle Alonso (SB14) in the women’s event.

The pair repeated the feat in the evening’s finals. Moores, who won 
his heat in the morning in 1:06.49. went 0.16sec faster when winning the final ahead of Scott Quin (Warrender Baths), who also competes in the S14 classification. Both swimmers achieved times that were inside the British Paralympic qualification time for the event.

The full event report and photos can be found in the June issue of Swimming Times

Quick Interview

British Swimming chairman and former Manchester United board member Maurice Watkins discusses the ASA-British Swimming split, swimming’s recent resurgence and what Eric Cantona’s legendary comment about ‘seagulls following the trawler’ really meant.

Do you have a swimming background?


I can swim and I swim reasonably regularly although it’s nearly all breaststroke. I’m not very good at frontcrawl and I wouldn’t say I would be able to do much performance. But I can do 30 or 40 or 50 lengths. I used to have a regime of doing 30 or 40 lengths in half-an-hour – short-course! But that has slipped a little.

I went to Manchester Grammar School, which had its own pool. We weren’t allowed to wear trunks – we had to swim naked. It’s the kind of thing that is commented on at old boys’ dinners! I went to one only a few days ago and they were still talking about it.

Cricket and football were my sports. I played both well into my forties.

To read more about Maurice’s background and his views on swimming’s resurgence, you can buy a copy of the June Swimming Times here

Swimming Mum

She can’t believe it, we can’t believe it, but it’s the end of an era as Swimming Daughter Junior hangs up her goggles and Mum hangs up her pen. But there are some compensations…

I knew the end had to come sooner or later – I just wasn’t really prepared for sooner.

Before Christmas, Junior was going great guns – performing the best she’d ever swum. She was national top 20 for 400m IM and excelling in a number of other events, with her sights firmly fixed on 2016 nationals and loving every minute of it.

Then, into the new year, things went horribly wrong. She became ill and couldn’t shake it off. Four years ago, she suffered from glandular fever, which knocked her for six. It lasted nine months and during that time period she missed 45 days of school. Her swimming stalled and it took her many months to recover.

The symptoms were all too familiar – swollen glands, raised temperature, general feeling of lethargy. She went to sick bay and was told to miss training and rest. She rested and felt better. As soon as she went back to training, the symptoms came back.

To read the full and final episode to Swimming Mum’s story, click here to buy a copy of the June 2016 issue of Swimming Times.

Honesty Box 

Steve Gammon, the ASA's Volunteer of the Year Gold Award winner, reveals his love for the Cardiff City football team and Welsh cakes and how he once ran the London Marathon dressed as Tarzan. 

I owe my parents ... Well, I definitely owe my dad a few quid for all the times he had to sub me, with the promise that I would pay him back later. I probably owe them a few apologies as well.

But generally, without getting too deep, I owe them for the fantastic childhood that I was privileged to have. Growing up in a small rural village in Northamptonshire (Isham), myself and chums skinned our hearts and knees. We seemed to have so much freedom. Definitely a great platform to start life on, one that I am grateful for.

Before I die, I want to... write my will... but there are so many wonderful places in the world
 to visit. I would love to see the Grand Canyon and ride the rapids on the Colorado River or maybe Great White Shark watching in South Africa. Yes, I am staying in the boat! Not sure I could handle being in one of those cages.

Hear more from Steve in June’s Swimming Times

Synchro nationals

City of Bristol took the top honours at the ASA National Synchro Championships in Nottingham but there was much to admire from the other teams. Peter Hassall reports.

Mr Harvey Hadden would 
have been interested to 
see the national synchro championships at the re- developed Nottingham sports complex named after him. Or to be more precise, at the Speedo Swim Centre – the brand new 50m pool on the site and boomed for this event to give south (competition) and north pools.

There’s a low sloping ceiling with quite narrow windows albeit that the pools were very well lit for the colourful and energetic routines.

Mr Hadden was a Nottingham textile merchant whose fame and fortune took him to Canada and back to London. Next stop for some of the synchro stars after Nottingham would be London for the European championships, while the British duet, Olivia Federici and Katie Clark, will also be going across the Atlantic to Rio in August.

The action was split between championship titles and open events dominated by Great Britain team swimmers. In the team events, Rushmoor took the combo and free golds while their main rivals, City of Bristol, took the Redwood Trophy for the highest aggregate score in the tech and free routines.

For the full report and photos click here to buy a copy of the June 2016 issue.  

The Terminator  

She’s a dominant figure in masters backstroke and still holds European 200m records across four age groups – but now world records are the measure of her success. Verity Dobbie meets Jo Corben.

During an after-dinner conversation with Mark Salway, chair of Mid Sussex Masters, at Spencer’s recent ‘Fun in the Sun’ week in Lanzarote, the topic came around to Jo Corben. 
I mentioned to him that I had a feature to write on her and, as usual, was procrastinating. I was keen to learn what his opinions were on the Fareham Nomads backstroke phenomenon.

Mark confessed that his view was a little coloured by the fact that he’d been humiliated by her in a number of competitions when he’d been swimming in the next lane. Despite this, adjectives such as ‘incredible’, ‘talented’, ‘lovely’ and ‘humble’ poured from his mouth. Then he stopped, thought a bit and said: ‘Actually she’s a bit like Arnie in Terminator when his skin begins to fall off – all of this softness on the outside but so hard on the inside.’

I thought a bit about this and realised that he’d very simply encapsulated the impression I was left with when I caught up with Jo at the recent British championships.

To find out more about Jo’s swimming background and recent success, get your hands on a copy of June’s Swimming Times

IoS Training For Level 2 Teaching Qualifications Baby Swimming Lesson Guidelines - Parents Purchase today Sign up to the ASA School Swimming Charter. We're taking swimming seriously, are you?