Monday, November 28, 2005

Larne Swimmers take Western Counties by Storm

Raymond Skillen and Gary Williamson accompanied Wilson Logan, Conor Leaney, Nick Browne, Gavin Williamson, Niamh Gilmore, Eimear Black and Laura Heaton to the Western Counties Long Course Championships at Millfield in Somerset, England.

Following a delay of one hour the squad departed from Belfast International Airport. They arrived in Bristol and travelled by car to their hotel in Street, Somerset where they hurriedly left off bags before heading to the 50m pool at Millfield for Wilson and Laura’s first races at 6pm and where they were met by Shane Traill who was also competing. Although there was hardly time to catch breath, both swam well and Wilson was placed 3rd Junior. It was then back to the hotel and everyone headed for bed following a late meal.

Saturday saw all of the squad competing with a number of swimmers recording PBs and a few winning medals (Wilson 2nd Junior & Conor 1st & 3rd Junior). It was a very long day but the gala ran smoothly and professionally. Tired but in good form the squad made there way back to the hotel to change for their evening meal and Shane was given a pass from school to accompany his team mates for the evening.

Sunday again was an eventful day. The swimmers again put on a good performance, PBs were recorded and medals won (Wilson 2 x 3rd Juniors, Conor 2 x 2nd Juniors, Shane 1st Junior and Niamh 3rd Senior).

At the end of the championships, with 10 medals and 28 PBs out of 42 swims the squad left Millfield on a high. It was a mad dash to the airport to catch the flight back to Belfast and there was only just time for quick bite to eat before the flight was called. Exhausted the team landed at Belfast and it was not long before they would be getting ready for their next training session at 6am on Monday morning.

Congratulations and well done to all!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Warm Weather Training Camp, Club La Santa, Lanzarote (27th October - 3rd November 2005)

On Thursday 27th October 2005 a group of 41 including swimmers, coaches and parents met at Belfast International Airport. This was the beginning of a very successful week for Larne Swimming Club as they headed off for an intensive Warm Weather Training Camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote, under the supervision of Head Coach, Raymond Skillen.

Check-in passed uneventfully, the plane journey was boring for some but spirits were high when we landed in Arrecife. It was not long before we reached La Santa and after unpacking, a quick dip was had in the fun pool, followed by the first session of training. This was a particularly hard set especially after such an early start to the day.

The swimmers completed two training sessions per day, each lasting 2 hours, the first 9am – 11am and the other 5pm – 7pm. The distant swimmers completed 73,000m – 80,000m and the sprinters 53,000 – 60,000m during the week. This was an excellent achievement with the swimmers giving their best at all times.

As a treat the swimmers were given one afternoon off (Monday) which was very welcomed. A trip was organised to the water park in Costa Teguise and although the weather was mixed, this did not dampen anyone’s spirits. Competitions took place on the water slides and Richard was named as “king of the slides”. This was a super team event with every swimmer and coach taking part.

The week flew in and on the last morning the crowds gathered at the Olympic pool for the “big race”. It was between Raymond (in fins), Johnny (wearing a drag parachute) and Nick (swimming breast stroke). The swimmers, parents and coaches watched excitedly as Johnny closed the gap between himself and Raymond. Unfortunately he just could not close the gap enough and Raymond was declared winner by ½ metre.

Last minute packing was then completed and rooms were vacated. The coach collected our party and we headed for the airport for our return flight to Belfast.

The trip was a total success but could not have taken place without the help of a number of people. A big thank-you must be paid to Sharon Logan who was the driving force behind the trip, booking flights, accommodation, pool lanes and collecting money.

Also thanks to the parents who accompanied the squad and who assisted with supervision during the week: - Richard, Gary and Karen, Alan and Pauline, June Rainey, Angela, June and David Traill, Dermot and Sheelagh, Raymond and Edith.

Special thanks to Raymond who made the weeks training varied, challenging but always enjoyable. To the coaches who assisted Raymond; persuaded, pushed and jollied the swimmers through the tough sessions (Richard, Gary, June Traill and Alan) – a big thank-you! - And to Richard for his diplomatic manner when acting as Team Manager.

Finally a big thank-you to all of the swimmers without whom we could not have had a training camp. Your determination, commitment, perseverance and hard work shone throughout the week. The behaviour was excellent and every swimmer was a credit to themselves and Larne Swimming Club.

Good luck for the rest of the season!!

The boys get ready for another training session in the Olympic pool at Club La Santa, Lanzarote.

Mark Wylie wins the Elizabeth Long Trophy for the most promising 10 year old swimmer in Ulster

Mark Wylie

winner of the

Elizabeth Long Trophy

for the most promising 10 year old swimmer in Ulster.

War Memorial Gala Senior Team Winners

Larne Senior 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay Team
winners of the
War Memorial Shield
Gavin Williamson, Wilson Logan, Johnny Niblock, Andy Hunter, Shane Traill, Conor Leaney.

Larne swimmers take the trophy

Larne Swimming Club’s success continued when they competed in the War Memorial Gala at the Grove, the flagship gala of Ulster swimming.

On Saturday 12th November the Larne Senior team won the War Memorial Shield, to rapturous applause, in the 6 x 50m freestyle relay, this being the first time that Larne has won this prestigious award.

The victorious six were Andy Hunter, Shane Traill, Conor Leaney, Gavin Williamson, Wilson Logan and Johnny Niblock. What makes this achievement even greater is that 4 members of the team are only 15 years of age and are still classed as junior swimmers.

The celebrations did not stop there. Mark Wylie was named as the winner of the Elizabeth Long Trophy for the most promising 11 year old swimmer in Ulster. His excellent swims at the Ulster Age Group Championships guaranteed him this prize and there was no one else more worthy.
Larne’s squad of swimmers showed that there recent training camp in Lanzarote at Halloween under Head Coach Raymond Skillen had been a great success as they had a team in each of the six War Memorial Gala finals.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


For those of you even remotely interested, senior swimmers are currently in Lanzagrotty, sorry Lanzarotte. But, before you feel envy, remember that theyy are facing arounf 70 kilometres of swimming in a week. What Raymond might call a warm-up...
Meanwhile, training for those not in La Club Santa continues, now altogether now, 6x2, 100 f/c in 2:00...