West Suffolk Swimming Club celebrated a record year at their annual presentation evening, held at Thurston Rugby Club.
The club of 320 swimmers achieved its highest ever number of development, county, regional and national medals. The highlight was 14-year old Angharad Evans breaking two British age records to win the national 100m and 50m championships and being picked to swim for her country in Israel.
She has since won a scholarship to attend a prestigious swimming college in Shropshire but made a popular return to her home club for the presentation evening.
She is currently representing Great Britain in a tour to Canada.
The swimming club is thriving under the careful watch of head coach, Dan Pilbrow, and his team of highly qualified coaches, assisted by a willing group of parents and volunteers.
Over the course of 2017, 180 swimmers competed in the club championships, 84 achieved the qualifying times to swim at the Suffolk County Championships, 42 made the Eastern Region Championships and eight qualified for the Swim England national finals in Sheffield.
Four swimmers from West Suffolk also made it to the British Championships.
As well as presenting trophies to all the age group winners from the club championships, Pilbrow presented the Swimmer’s Swimmer award to 14-year-old Ella Hale for all her hard work and success in the pool.
One of the loudest cheers of the night went to 8-year-old Tom Phillips who had used the goal of swimming in the club championships in December and diving off West Suffolk’s new Olympic style Diving Blocks to recover from a serious operation in August.
He entered the championships and won every race.
The presentation evening reflected the family ethos of the club, according to 15-year old Logan Pyle.
Will Harper Davies also produced a slide presentation of over 200 photos taken from the year’s swimming calendar.
The prize giving was followed by a Christmas Ball, which was organised by Rachael Hale and her team of parent helpers.
There was also a serious dance off between the parents before the younger swimmers then joined in — to end the year on a happy note.