Road To Athens 2004
This week we bring you an article from 2004 in The Lincolnshire Echo...
Another dip into the archives, this week we travel back 8 years to The Midlands Age Group Championships.
The following is copied verbatim from the Lincolnshire Echo in 2003. Thanks to Nigel Oldham for supplying the newspaper cutting.
Lincoln Vulcans Swimming Club produced one of the most outstanding club performances in the history of The Midland Age Group Championships which were concluded at Coventry.
An unprecedented 30 gold medals made them the top club by a clear 19 golds.
"To come away with 30 gold medals from these championships gives us a shot at the Top GB Club Award at the nationals in five weeks time," said head coach Graham Bassi.
"We must stay very focused and work on refining our racing skills. We now have a squad of Age Group swimmers who are totally committed in their swimming careers and proven to be as good as any squad in the country."
Sophie Allen and Alice Horton drew special praise from Bassi for their performances.
"Sophie and Alice are ranked number one in the country in more than 20 events between them. They are highly skilled multi-talented swimmers," explained Bassi.
"They work alongside Lizzie Simmonds who took her gold medal haul to eight with times that have ranked her in the country's top 30.
These three girls with the vastly improving Jordan Thomlinson, Natasha Croy and Jenny Oldham, can dominate swimming for the next five years".
Not to be outdone, the boys came good in the second weekend of competition.
"Matt Storr and Ashleigh Davies produced performances that are clear medal chances at nationals," said Bassi.
Jack Burnel won the 200m individual medley event in the final few metres.
"Jack joined our programme just three months ago and has made very good progress. He joined from Scunthorpe and they must take a lot of credit for his success," admitted Bassi.
Lincoln Vulcans now attracts many swimmers from the county, all wanting to join the Waddington-based club.
"The philosophies of British swimming are that if your programme cannot provide the pool time or hasn't got the required facilities, you have to move them to a programme that has.
"We attract swimmers in and as in the case of Kate Haywood we pass them on to the next level. Coaches cannot be selfish and hang on to talented swimmers if the programme cannot deliver," added Basi.
Vulcans swimmers now prepare for the final phases of their training for the national championships.
"It's a busy time of year, but the most important. Fine tuning of racing skills and specific work takes over from all the hard training," said Bassi.
The new season will start in early September if you would like a free trial of up to four weeks then phone Graham Bassi on xxxxx xxx xxx.