Club Championships 2007

Last Chance Time Trial 2007

12th Masters Open Meet 2007

Development Last Chance Time Trial 2007

Two Day Open Meet 2007

Distance Club Champs 2007



Sudbury’s swimmers had an active weekend of competition last weekend, with the top squad swimming at the 3rd round of the National Speedo League in Hitchin on Saturday, followed by competition at Witham as part of the James Gibson Development gala. 
Following a league win in round two of the London region National Speedo League, Sudbury Storms came up against fierce competition in round three, competing against clubs from Hitchin, Bethnal Green, Bushey and City of St Albans.  The Storms’ senior swimmers once again dominated their individual races as well as the team relays.  Storms Open swimmers; Ashley Buck, Chris Eynon and Thomas Williams remained unbeaten across the three rounds in their individual races and had a 100% winning record in the open relay events.
Storms’ younger swimmers had to perform at their best at Hitchin, with every swim contributing towards those ever important team league points.  Storms’ Team Manager, Robin Deal said “Following a very successful start to the season for the club, 6 swimmers still managed to improve upon their personal best times which is a lot to ask of swimmers who are competing up to 4 times a month at the moment.”
Hitchin Personal Best swims
The Storms squad then travelled to Witham on the Sunday for the annual James Gibson Development gala.  World Breaststroke Champion, James Gibson swam for Witham Dolphins for many years as a junior, and now lives and trains in the South of France.  His gala at Witham is aimed at junior swimmers in the region and provides a superb introduction to competitive swimming in a fun atmosphere.

Storms’ Senior Coach, Dave Hopson said “as we have a number of new swimmers joining the club, this gala fits the bill as a friendly introduction to competitive swimming.  It was great to see our younger swimmers enjoying themselves and revelling in the thrill of representing the club and racing against swimmers of equivalent ability.”   Yet more personal best times were recorded at Witham including:

After a very busy past few months, the Storms swimmers will no doubt enjoy a short break for Christmas, but will be back in action at the Club’s annual Last Chance Open Meet, which Storms will be hosting on the 12th January at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.



The first of the year’s swimming derby’s took place last weekend, when Sudbury Storms took both their A and B squads to Hadleigh for the 1st round of the Suffolk ASA Winter League.  The Winter league is held over 4 rounds, the first of which was hosted by Hadleigh Dolphins.
The opening gala of the league lived up to everyone’s expectations and saw a close run competition between the two local clubs.  In the boys’ events Sudbury Storms A and Hadleigh finished joint 1st with 76 points, both beating competition from Halstead B and Stowmarket B teams.  In the girls events, Hadleigh proved just a bit too strong for the Sudbury squad, taking first place, beating Sudbury A into 3rd one point behind Halstead B.  Hadleigh Dolphins took the 1st round by 17 points overall.
Round One Final Points
Club                         Girls      Boys      Total

HADLEIGH              82          76           158

SUDBURY 'A'          65         76           141

STOWMARKET 'B' 58         69           127

HALSTEAD 'B'        66         50           116

SUDBURY 'B'          38         34            72

Storms’ Head Coach, Carl Cooper was thrilled with the performance of the Sudbury teams.  He said “it’s fantastic that our club has grown in numbers, sufficient enough for us to field two squads at the Suffolk Winter League.  This is a great league, which brings us up against local clubs and one that allows us to expose some of our younger swimmers to competitive swimming in a friendly environment.”  This was backed up by an impressive 30 personal best times set at the competition:-

Carl went on to say “the 1st round of the Winter league is always a tough one for swimmers as it involves 200m swims in most strokes, but this also allows swimmers to achieve County Qualifying times in these events.  Our team managed to achieve a further 4 county times at the weekend, taking the total number of qualifying times for Storms swimmers to 77 from 24 swimmers.”  County Qualifying times were set by Ashley Buck (200m Backstroke & 200m Freestyle), Thomas Williams (200m Individual Medley) and Sam Seddon (200m Freestyle).


The Storms’ Master squad also had an impressive weekend of competition, with 5 of the squad representing Suffolk at the Inter Counties Masters competition held in Colchester last weekend.  Suffolk Master’s Secretary & Storms Swimmer, Ashley Buck, said “To represent your County at any level is an honour and the annual Inter Counties competition proved to be an amazing success not only for Suffolk but each of the swimmers that took part.”  The Storms’ swimmers were joined by Masters Swimmers from Deben, Hadleigh, Lowestoft, Oulton Broad, Stowmarket, & West Suffolk swimming clubs. The Suffolk team swam magnificently well winning nine of the forty-eight individual races & finishing 2nd overall behind a very strong Essex squad. This was a big improvement from 2006 when Suffolk finished in 4th.   Storms; swimmers included; Ashley Buck, Elaine Bagshaw, John Fry, Graham King, Vicki Buck.





Sudbury Storms swimmers took first place at the 2nd round of the National Speedo League at Hemel Hempstead last weekend.  Competing against teams from Ware, Brent Dolphins and Cheshunt, Storms came home triumphant with a point’s total of 200 with Cheshunt trailing by 30 points on the day.


Head Coach, Carl Cooper commented “we had some notably excellent performances at the weekend, the highlight being two further Suffolk County Qualifying swims from John Jaing and Julia Carroll.  John swam a truly remarkable 100m Freestyle, breaking his personal best time by an incredible 8 seconds and setting his 3rd county qualifying time, whilst Julia swam to the top of her form in the 100m backstroke.  Taking 1st place at the gala was a real achievement for the squad and one that all the swimmers should be proud of.  They all train especially hard in order to be select for the Speedo Squad and this result is testament to their hard work in training”


National Speedo League – Personal Best Times


A handful of the club’s elite young swimmers were also involved in TeamIpswich’s Open Sprint Meet at Crown Pools the previous weekend.  The open meet is for swimmers targeting either County Qualifying times or East Region times for 2008.  Mollie Milsom (9), ), Ella Rides (10), Ellen Beattie (11) and Cameron Bashir (13) represented the Storms at the gala - all of whom set personal over the two-day event.  The weekend of swimming certainly paid dividends as each of the swimmers improved upon their entry times and either improved upon or established new Suffolk County Qualifying Times.



Sudbury Storms swimmers have been busy over recent weeks, competing in the
National Speedo League, Norwich WJ Bashar Long Course Gala and the ASA
National Masters.
First off, the Storms team travelled to Hitchin to compete in the first round of the
National Speedo league against teams including Hitchin, Saxon Crown, Canvey
sland and Potters Bar.  The Speedo league is a national league involving many
of the UK’s top swimming clubs. 
f the UK’s top swimming clubs. 
It is a fiercely competitive league and one that the Storms’ team turns out their top
swimmers for.  The swimmers use team events like the Speedo League to fine tune their
race swimming, improve on personal best times and establish qualifying times for next years county & regional championships. 
One of the Storms’ top swimmers, Cameron Bashir (13) delivered his 11th County Qualifying time at Hitchin in the 100m Butterfly and added a club record in the 100m Freestyle.  Further County Qualifying times were set by Ellie Pickett (100m Breaststroke), Sam Seddon (200m Individual Medley), Rebecca Griffiths (100m Breaststroke) and Thomas Williams (100m Butterfly).  Carl Cooper – Storms’ Head Coach said after the Hitchin meet “we had a tough first round to the league, but I’m so pleased that many of our team performed to their best.  With 6 months still to go, we already have a team of 21 swimmers that we’ll be taking to the County Championships in March next year”

Whilst the younger Storms swimmers were battling for position in Hitchin, the Storms Masters squad were in Sheffield, competing in the ASA National Masters competition.  The National Masters brings together the UK’s elite Master’s swimmers at the country’s premier swimming location – Pond’s Forge, Sheffield.  The Masters swimmers had a special treat at the event, with the appearance of ex-World Record holder, Mark Foster swimming for Chelsea & Kensington in the Freestyle Relay. 


Storms’ Masters swimmers had a marathon 3 days of competition and returned with a medal haul which included three Gold’s, two Silver’s and two bronzes. Storms top performer, Stuart McLellan took 3 gold medals from the weekend and swam at his all time best in the 400m and 200m Individual Medleys and the 800m Freestyle.  Sharon McLellan had some fantastic swims in the long distance Freestyle events finishing just outside the medals with two 4th places in the 800m and 1500m freestyle events.  Vicki Buck swam a great race in the 100m Individual Medley snatching a bronze medal to round off an excellent weekend.  Ashley Buck, competing in an age group that consisted of some of Britain’s National team delivered some credible swims over the weekend, notably in his specialist Backstroke swims.


Next up for the Storms team was the W J Bashar gala at Norwich UEA’s Olympic sized (50m) pool.  Long Course swimming is an integral part of the Storms training programme, with the senior squads regularly training at Norwich UEA for events such as the WJ Bashar gala and Regional Championships.  The Bashar gala allowed many of the Storms’ younger swimmers to experience racing in a 50m pool.  Team Manager, Robin Deal said “This gala was really special for many of the squad, most of who would not have competed in this sort environment before.  It’s so gratifying to see our younger swimmers competing at this level at a pool that is the very best we have in the region.  Britain has such a shortage of 50m pools, which is a shame, but we are lucky to have access to the Norwich UEA pool and jumped at the chance of competing at the WJ Bashar gala.”  Storms Swimmers managed to record 12 personal best times at the gala.




The ASA East Region was staging its first open masters event.  Vicki Buck, in the 55 to 59-year age group, led the way with two golds, in the 400m freestyle, with a time of 6.50.55, followed by the 200m freestyle, in 3.12.29. In between she added silver in the 100m breaststroke, in 1.52.57. 

Graham King (40-44 age group), in his first major competition, performed way above expectations, winning two silvers, in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 37.47, and then in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1.23.56. In the last event of the day, the 200m freestyle, he snatched the bronze medal in 2.47.93. In his other two races, the 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle, he came fourth with times of 1.15.14 and 31.90 respectively.



Former Masters British record-holder Ashley Buck, the new masters manager for Suffolk County ASA, also produced some fine swims despite illness having disrupted his training.  His performances were good enough to win gold in the 100m backstroke, in 1.04.42, silver in the 50m backstroke, in 29.05, silver in the 50m butterfly, with 29.45, bronze in the 100m freestyle with 57.73, and bronze in the 50m freestyle, in 26.62. 

The trio has also been selected to represent Suffolk in the national Inter-County Masters competition. The East Region finals will be in Colchester on Sunday, November 18.  The results from all regions are collated and the winning county declared national champions.



It was a lovely sunny day with the water temperature at 61 degrees. There was no Omar Hussain this year as

he has now retired from the sport so there was to be a new name on the trophy this year.

The novices started the proceedings off with a 1km swim. Thanks to Lee Portingale for bringing young Alan

Chivers down and introducing him to the cold water Well Done Lee. All six swimmers finished the course

Well done! 

The main race started some ten minutes later. This included a Junior 1.5km race. Chris Suggitt raced into the

lead just as he did at Junior Coniston but this time hot on his heels was Jack Stevenson, breathing down his

neck all the way so there was no let-up. Jamie Scott came in a great 3rd place. The Junior Girls race was a

close run thing with Nicola Fraser just out running Cara Lawson who gave it her all to take a great 2nd place with Rebecca Christian Drace placed a good 3rd. Hayley Ackroyd was 4th Junior female but with a very quick breaststroke time Well Done.



The Senior race saw some new faces this year as did the Juniors. Chris Eynon on the back of a good 1st place at Windermere went straight into the lead and never lost it, he finished with a time similar to Omars so that would have been a battle. Simon Lee showed what a gutsy swimmer he is by just out sprinting Dee the ladies winner. But the swim of the day in my eyes was John Barry at the age of sixty-nine taking 3rd place and the oldest swimmer to finish trophies plus the 1st veteran award so a bag full John Well done.In the ladies race, Amy Mellor 2nd and Katie Hope 3rd could start to challenge Dee at next years races if they can improve a little Well done ladies.

A great fight in the breaststroke race developed between Leslie Du Cane and Julie Dimaline Leslie breaking 2 hours to win.
My apologies go to Julie for not awarding her First Female Vet, but Janet Wilson gave it up with grace knowing my mistake many thanks.

My thanks go to: Ouse Sailing Club and Penny Bone for the Catering, Wensum Osprey Canoe Club, St Johns Ambulance, Pat and Gwyn Llewellyn, Pam Morgan and Daniel and Matt Thomas with the BLDSA boat



Sudbury swimmer Chris Eynon, made the long journey to Cumbria to take victory in the Troutbeck Bridge

A S C's annual Lake Windermere cross-lake swim. 

The one-and-a-quarter mile course was swum in ideal conditions on a sunny evening, in only a slight

breeze and with water temperatures at 18C. From the start, Eynon made his mark and set a powerful pace. 

Full marks went to his crew who put him on a track that kept him well within a direct line for the finish at

Waterhead. So with little water disturbance or undercurrents to disturb him, he got into his stroke pattern

quite early and began to build a slight lead. By the halfway mark he had got himself into a comfortable

position and looked very confident. Showing great technique and a superb talent, he worked hard to maintain his lead and came into the pressure zone of the final quarter still swimming strongly. He crossed the finish line well ahead of his nearest challenger to take the Senior Male Freestyle Championship and also the Trophy for Best First attempt. He was presented with his trophies and mementoes by the president of the Cumbria A S A, Terry Lambert.



Following the summer break from swimming, Sudbury Storms swimmers were back in action at the Ipswich Novice meet last weekend.  The Novice meet is specifically targeted at the younger swimmer and for those ‘first time’ competitive swimmers.  Ipswich Crown pool provide a superb environment for all levels of competitive swimming, with teams from as far afield as Colchester, Basildon, Ipswich and Felixstowe coming together for the gala.


The Storms team consisted of over 20 swimmers aged between 8 and 16 years old, many of whom were experiencing competitive gala conditions for the 1st time.  The triumphant Storms team returned home with a medal haul to be proud of, including one Gold, Eight Silvers and Four Bronzes.  Storms medal winners included Ellen Beattie, Emma and Sophie Heaton, James Adams, James Wotherspoon, John Jaing, Megan Buck, Mollie Milsom, Samuel Pentney, Simon Budd and Zara McLoone.


Storms Swimmers managed to record 28 personal best performances on the day, which is a fantastic start to the season considering the club has been on ‘tick over’ training during August and only got back into the competitive training programme at the beginning of September.  Personal Best Times were recorded by, James Adams, Ellen Beattie, Florence Grubb, Mollie Milsom, Megan Buck, Sophie English, Emma Heaton, Sophie Heaton, John Jaing, Kelly Thake, Rebecca Webber and James Wotherspoon.


The highlight for the Storms team were two County Championship qualifying times for the club’s young swimmers Mollie Milsom (9) and Sophie Heaton (10).  Mollie also managed to set three club records during the day.  Storms Head Coach, Carl Cooper said “Our squads train very hard throughout the year and the Club enters competitions at all levels so as to include everyone in the club in the world of competitive swimming. The Novice gala is the perfect environment for our younger swimmers to experience competitive swimming conditions.  There were some wonderful swims during the day – the County Qualifying times by Sophie and Mollie were a bonus, as were Mollie’s Club Records.  The club is abuzz with excitement for the new season and we are hopeful of a very successful 07/08 season at all levels.




Sudbury Storms had an impressive visit to Halstead last weekend competing at the Florida Shield gala.  The gala was contested between two teams from Sudbury and Halstead.  With a number of the Storms squad training at the long course pool in Norwich on the same day, the turnout at Halstead was all the more impressive.


Storms’ Team Manager, Robin Deal commented “The sheer fact that we are now able to fend two squads at an event like the Florida Shield, whilst having our Speedo team away at a training camp elsewhere, demonstrates the strength in depth we now have at the club.  Storms’ membership now stands at over 100 swimmers and 2007 has seen the club grow from strength to strength and our membership is still growing.”


The Storms’ team clocked up a total of 19 personal best times at the gala which again involved a number of first time competitive swims for some of the squad. 


The Florida Shield was followed up this weekend with the Storms’ squad taking 3 teams to a dual meet with National Speedo League finalists – Team Ipswich.  The dual meet provides the Storms’ team with an opportunity to race some of the best swimmers in the country in a pool that befits this level of competitive swimming.  The weekend saw some fantastic swims from the Storms swimmers with notable wins from Breaststroke specialists Sam Jones and Chris Eynon.  The Storms Men's Open Relay team provided the large audience a thrilling finale to the evening's racing, being touched out by Ipswich’s 1st team by a finger tip.


Many of the Storms swimmers were looking to either improve upon existing County Qualifying Times or were trying to set them in preparation for next year’s championships.  The Storms team managed to walk away with new county times from Lily Bagshaw and Cameron Bashir (100m Backstroke), Ryan Deal 100m Breaststroke, Sam Seddon (50m Butterfly) Ashley Buck (100m Freestyle, 50m & 100m Backstroke) and Chris Eynon (100m Freestyle)

Florence Grubb and Mollie Milsom, both 9 years old, also set two new Club records at the Dual Meet. Florence swam 2.00.89 in the100m Breaststroke and Mollie swam 1.42.78 in the 100m Individual Medley.



Sudbury Storms’ traveled to Woodbridge last weekend for the third round of the Suffolk ASA’s Junior Summer League.  The league caters for swimmers aged 8 to 13 with clubs competing from across the county.  The Woodbridge gala followed a month of intensive competition for many of the Storms’ swimmers, but this didn’t deter the swimmers from delivering a number of great performances on the day.

Ella Rides (10) added a County Qualifying time in the 50m Breaststroke to the 100m and 200m times she achieved at the East Region Championships earlier last month.  Mollie Milsom (9) also managed to improve upon her Club record set the previous week in the 50m Backstroke.  The young team of swimmers clocked up a further 7 personal best times.  The finale to the gala was the team cannon relay, which involved a team of 8 swimmers of varying ages in a head to head against the other competing clubs.  The cannon is always great  fun for swimmers and spectators alike and the final race lived up to expectations, with a nail biting touch finish between Sudbury Storms and Felixstowe – which Sudbury lost literally by a finger tip.  The Woodbridge gala was the final gala in the 2007 Suffolk Junior Summer League, which culminated in a 3rd place for the dedicated team of Storms’ swimmers. 




Sudbury Storms were back in action for another two-day marathon gala this weekend at the Suffolk County ASA Development Championships held at Ipswich Crown Pools.  All of the swimmers participating at the championships had qualified for their events over the past year and for many this was the highlight of the swim calendar. 


The Storms team consisted of over 20 swimmers aged between 8 and 19 years old and came home with a medal haul to be proud of.  Storms’ senior swimmer Claire Allen (19) finished a grueling weekend with a second in the overall championships’ Top Girl placings, which included 2 gold’s, 3 silver’s and 4 bronze medal swims.  Claire also swam a 2008 County Qualifying time in the 50m Freestyle.



Husband and Wife team Stuart & Sharon McLellan of the Sudbury Storms Masters swimming squad

travelled to the Manchester Aquatic Centre for the 2007 British Masters Championships last month. 

The British Masters is the pinnacle of the Masters’ swimming calendar and the target event for many of

the Storms’ Masters Swimmers.


Competitors aged between 18 and 91 taking part from Masters Clubs across the nation converged on

Manchester for the weekend.  Manchester turned into the hot bed for Masters Swimmers with hotly

contested swims from all age groups.  Storms swimmer Stuart McLellan lead had some exceptional

swims with the 200m, 400m, 800m & 1500m freestyle events taking Gold medals in all events in the 55-59 year old age group.  Stuart swam lifetime best times in the 400m and 1500m races.  He then went on to take Silver medals in both the 200m and 400m Individual Medley swims.  Sharon McLellan also had some excellent swims in the 400m, 800m & 1500m Freestyle events finishing in 5th place in the 800m and 1500m events and taking 4th spot in the 400m race – missing out on a Bronze medal by less than 5 seconds.



Sudbury & District Masters swimmers have been in action recently, traveling to High Wycombe and representing the club at the Norfolk Masters Open Meet.  The Storms’ seasoned swimmers continued to deliver some outstanding swims at the highest level of Masters competitive swimming.

Stuart & Sharon McLellan traveled to High Wycombe for a Long Course (50m) Open meet, with Stuart having some exceptional swims and taking home gold medals in the 400m freestyle, 200m & 400m Individual Medley.  Stuart also won the 200m freestyle and set a lifetime personal best.  Sharon also had a great meet coming 4th in the 400m freestyle and taking a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle.

Sudbury Storms Masters then went onto the Norfolk Masters Open meet held at the nearby Waterworld in Thetford.  The Storms’ Masters competed against teams from across the East region and had a number of notable successes from all age groups. 



Sudbury Storms’ this weekend hosted their 6th annual Two-Day Midsummer Open Meet at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury. The weekend was action packed with nearly 150 swimmers competing in 700 swims over the two-day marathon event.  Storms welcomed swimmers from across the region including; Bishop's Stortford, City of Ely, Colchester, Downham, First Strokes, Hadleigh, Kings Lynn, Mildenhall, Phoenix (Basildon), West Suffolk & Witham. 


After an extremely busy 1st day of competition, the swimmers, officials and spectators alike were all treated to a guest appearance at the pool by Olympic Gold Medalist – Duncan Goodhew MBE.  Goodhew not only presented the day’s top swim achievement awards, but also got in the pool for a demonstration and even some one to one coaching with a selection of swimmers from each of the visiting clubs.  Goodhew was on a county-wide tour of pools across Suffolk to promote the Amateur Swimming Association’s Everyday Swim.  “Duncan’s appearance at the pool and his willingness to meet and talk with the kids was a real highlight for the weekend.  He’s such a genuine and pleasant character, whose passion for swimming is infectious” commented Claudia Rides, Sudbury Storms Club Secretary.


With a further day of competition still to go, swimmers returning to the pool on Sunday were focussed on their swimming goals.  Many had set their sights on achieving County Qualifying Times for next year, as the Two Day Midsummer Meet is the first open gala when times can be achieved for the 2008 championships.  Others were looking to improve upon personal best swims and some were there swimming in events they had not swum in before.  Sudbury got off to an amazing start with sisters Alice and Harriet Wooler achieving County Qualifying Times in the 400 metre Freestyle. 


The Wooler sisters then went on to both break personal bests in the 100 metre Freestyle again getting the times required for the County’s next year.  This was followed by some outstanding swims by two of Sudbury’s younger swimmers, Ella Rides (10) and Harriet Blake (12) in the 200 metre and 100 metre Breaststroke who both smashed their personal bests and once again set times well in side the 2008 county qualifying times.  Storm’s senior swimmers were not to be outdone, with Kelly Murray (16) swimming a great race in the 100 metre Freestyle in yet another county time.


The host club’s swimmers were on top form throughout the weekend with a number of swimmers performing well above expectations.  The Storms’ team set a total of 88 personal best swims over the weekend.  A club spokesperson was heard to say that Duncan Goodhew’s appearance was inspirational to the younger swimmers and it showed in their performances. 


Trophies for Top Boy  and Top Girl along with Top Visiting Club were presented at the end of the weekend by Club Chairman – Nigel Hembury to Marc Butcher from Basildon Phoenix, Amelia Mitchell from Colchester and the Bishop’s Stortford Team



Over the past two weekends, the East Region Amateur Swimming Association has been hosting their

regional championships at the Olympic sized Pool at Norwich UEA.  Elite swimmers from across the region,

which includes Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, come together each

year for the East Region British Age Group Categories (BAGCAT) championships.  Competition at such an

event is immense with each of the counties top swimmers aged 10 to 14 years competing against one

another in a top quality environment.



Qualification for the regionals is extremely hard, as these are the pre-cursor for the UK National Championships held later in the year in Sheffield.  Sudbury Storms took an elite team of three swimmers to the championships.  Ten Year old Ella Rides, competing at her first Regional championships qualified for the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, Alex Deal (14) qualified for the 100m Breaststroke and Cameron Bashir (12) competed in an incredible 9 events including the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m Freestyle, 200m and 400m Individual Medley and 100m & 200m Breaststroke.


The atmosphere at the Norwich pool was fitting for such a high profile event and made for a very special occasion for each of the swimmers.  The Storms swimmers returned home with a set of magnificent results.


Ella Rides swam two fantastic races against a number of the UK’s fastest 10 year old swimmers, setting long course (50 metre pool) personal bests in both her races.  Ella finished 24th in the 200m Breaststroke and leapt up the rankings from 30th to 14th in her 100m Breaststroke in a time of 1:40.83.


Alex Deal had an amazing 100m Breaststroke swim and qualified through the heats for the Final.  In an extremely fast Final Alex finished 8th, setting a Long Course personal best of 1:20.66.


Cameron Bashir had an action packed and gruelling two weekend’s at Norwich, competing in no less than 9 different events.  Cameron set 8 personal bests, 4 Club Records and qualified for two Finals.  He finished in 4th place in the 200m Breaststroke and 5th in the 100m Breaststroke final.  The longer distance races do not have separate Finals, with placing based upon the first swim.  In these Cameron finished 8th in the 1500m Freestyle, 6th in the 800m Freestyle and 14th in the 400m Freestyle and 9th in the 400m Individual Medley.


Storms’ Head Coach – Carl Cooper, who mentored the swimmers over the 4 days, said “I’m over the moon with our swimmers.  To see our elite young swimmers competing at this level is so rewarding for everyone involved with the club.  We hope to bring a large squad to Norwich next year and have ambitions for the next year to strengthen the club from the grass roots up”


Sudbury Storms’ travelled to Lowestoft last weekend for the second round of the Suffolk ASA’s Junior Summer League.  As part of the club’s inclusive participation programme, the Storms team consisted once again of many first time swimmers.  Although you would never have guessed, that many of these swimmers had never competed for the club before!

Swimmers as young as 8 years old represented the Storms at the Lowestoft gala against teams from Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth and swam with great enthusiasm.  “The team spirit at galas like the Junior Winter League is amazing, the whole team are poolside for each race and you can tell the swimmers are having fun by the noise levels” commented Storms’ Head Coach, Carl Cooper.

Carl added “the poolside encouragement certainly made a difference with 25 personal bests being achieved by the Storms’ swimmers at the league gala”



Over 150 swimmers from across the country gathered at Colwick Park Lakes in Nottingham for the start of the National Open Water season. Known as an extremely challenging course, this annual event always attracts a high-class field, with many international competitors and Channel swimmers using it to measure their early season form. This year was no exception and with the water temperature at a respectable 16 degrees, a fast race was always on the cards and would prove a tough challenge for the three entries from Sudbury & District Swimming Club.



First to compete for the Storms was Graham King in the men’s 2km Freestyle. This was the first open water race for the recent recruit to the Storms Masters squad. He started a little nervously but soon got into a strong rhythm and made his way through the quality field. Graham was well positioned going into the last kilometre and was gaining ground and confidence all the time. He lifted his stroke rate to 72 strokes per minute to finish strongly and gain eighth place in a time of 41 minutes.


Claire Allen, gaining experience and confidence all the time, entered the Ladies 4km Freestyle. With a field full of international stars, Claire was still confident and had an impressive first 1km. Throughout the next 3km Claire maintained long powerful strokes and was placed fourth going into the last kilometre. However, with a drop in temperature, Claire started to lose places to the more experienced competitors. Somehow she dug deep and lifted her stoke rate in the last half kilometre to regain some of those places and finished strongly to gain a very credible 8th place in a time of 1 hour 4 minutes.


Finally, Chris Eynon, the club’s open water specialist entered the fray and was keen to put in a good performance in the men’s 4km Freestyle. With advice from his coach and also from World Silver medallist Allan Bircher, Chris had a specific race plan, which worked superbly.

He started fast and put the pre-race favourite and the rest of the field 10 metres behind him at the 250metre mark. He continued to build on his fast start and increased his stroke rate, lapping the 1km course in just over 12 minutes. Although the chasing pack worked together to try and catch him over the next 3km, it was always going to be Chris’s day, finishing strongly to easily hold first place in an amazing time of 51 minutes 14 seconds.


Chris said, “I was delighted with the swim. I wanted to work outside my comfort zone and increase my stroke rate from my normal 72 per minute but I didn’t realise I would have to increase it to 86 just to stay ahead. This shows I’ve improved this year and gives me a lot of confidence for the season ahead”. 



Sudbury Storms Virtual Channel Challenge, held on Bank Holiday Monday was the Club’s second attempt at beating the World Record for the English Channel relay swim.  The Storms team turned out in force to support the teams’ effort, which was swum in support of two local charities (CLIC Sargent and St Nicholas Hospice).


The event involved 6 teams of Storms swimmers, competing in a continuous relay of 50m swims over the course of 1hr 15minutes.  The atmosphere at the Kingfisher pool was electric as swimmers, parents and the coaching staff all rallied behind the team event.

The 43 swimmers completed a marathon total of 1,344 lengths of the pool – that’s 33,600 meters or 21 miles in a staggering 1 hour 12 minutes - equivalent to a Channel Crossing of 7 hours 12 minutes.  The Storms’ team missed out on the England to France record by only 4 minutes, but did manage to beat the France to England record by 2 minutes!


Storms Head Coach and Channel Swimmer himself – Carl Cooper said “It was a great team effort from everyone, including the parents and coaching staff who were all really supportive throughout. Competing as a team is proven to bring out the best from all of our swimmers. The younger swimmers, in particular, gave a really credible performance and made an enormous contribution to the teams’ success.    Our swimmers never cease to amaze and we should all be really proud of them.”

This Virtual Channel Challenge is part of a county-wide event organised by Suffolk County Councillor Paul Hopfensperger (Hoffy) who is currently training to swim the English Channel in July 2007 to raise funds for CLIC Sargent and St Nicholas Hospice.



Sudbury & District Swimming Club had an action packed bank holiday weekend, hosting the Last Chance Development gala on Saturday, followed by their second attempt at the Virtual Channel Challenge in aid of two local charities on Bank Holiday Monday.

Saturday, saw 112 swimmers from clubs as far afield as Colchester, Mildenhall and Newmarket visit Sudbury’s Kingfisher Leisure centre for the Club’s Last Chance Development Meet.  Storms’ welcomed swimmers from 7 clubs, including a number of swimmers from neighbouring Hadleigh SC to compete in the club’s Last Chance Development Meet. 



Following the Suffolk County Age Groups Championships held in March this year is the Suffolk ASA Development Championships in June, which is targeted at those targeted at progressing to the County Championships next year.  “Following the 13 Development qualifying times Storms’ swimmer notched up last week at the Suffolk ASA Winter league gala, we added an amazing 82 qualifying times this weekend.  This was an incredible achievement that far exceeded the coaching team’s expectations.  We are destined to take a very large squad to Ipswich Crown Pools in June, which will be the largest contingent our club has had at the Development Championships for many years” commented Storms’ Head Coach - Carl Cooper.


Sudbury Storms’ as the host club turned out a large squad of 40 swimmers on Saturday, competing in a total of 141 swims.  A number of Sudbury Storms’ team were first-time competitive swimmers as young as 8 years old, all of whom showed immense promise.  Storms’ swimmers clocked up a record-breaking 113 personal bests out of a total of 141 individual swims (80% of swims were personal bests)!





Sudbury Storms’ this weekend hosted the first round of the Suffolk ASA’s Junior Summer League.  The Summer League is specifically for age groups 13 and under, which provides an opportunity for the club’s new swimmers to compete in the county-wide competition.

Many of Sudbury Storms’ team were first-time competitive swimmers, all of whom swam as if they were seasoned professionals.  Swimmers aged 8 to 13 participated against teams from Lowestoft Olton Broad, Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth.


The Storms team was selected on a ‘swim for all’ basis, which involved all qualifying swimmers getting the opportunity to swim for the club.  The newest swimmers delivered on the day, setting a number of personal best’s.


Following the Suffolk County Age Groups Championships held in March, this year is the Suffolk ASA Development Championships targeted at those progressing to the County Championships next year.  “A total of 13 Development qualifying times were achieved by Storms’ swimmers at the league gala, which was a remarkable achievement.  Our swimmers performed as a team and rallied around the new swimmers to make their day one to remember” - commented Storms Head Coach – Carl Cooper.




Sudbury Storms county swimmers were this week honoured at a special presentation evening at the Kingfisher Leisure centre.

Bernie Buck the President of the Suffolk Amateur Swimming Association presented each of the nine county swimmers their medals and certificates at training this weekend.  Along with medals for those swimmers being placed in the top 3 in their age groups, Bernie also presented BAGCAT Awards for all round performances at the Suffolk County Championships to Harriet Wooler, Rebecca Griffiths and Samuel Pentney.



Medal Winners at the Suffolk ASA Championships

Cameron Bashir
2nd Place 12 years 400m Individual Medley
3rd Place 12 years 100m Breaststroke
3rd Place 12 years 800m Freestyle

Ashley Buck
2nd Place Open 50m Backstroke

Alex Deal
2nd Place 14 years 100m Breaststroke
3rd Place 14 years 50m Backstroke
3rd Place 14 years 50m Breaststroke

Ryan Deal
2nd Place 17 years 200m Breaststroke

Chris Eynon
3rd Place 17 years 50m Breaststroke
3rd Place 17 years 400m Freestyle

Kelly Murray
1st Place 16 years 50m Breaststroke 
1st Place 16 years 100m Breaststroke
3rd Place 16 years 50m Butterfly
3rd Place 16 years 100m Butterfly
Top 16/17 yrs Breaststroke Swimmer

Ella Rides
3rd Place 10 years 50m Breaststroke

Six of the Storms team will now be competing at the East Region ASA championships in May and June this year to be held at Norwich UEA’s Olympic sized pool. The Regional competitions are the next step up from the County Championships and one step away from the coveted National Championships later in the year.  Storms swimmers qualifying for the Regional’s are Ella Rides (10), Cameron Bashir (12), Ryan Deal (17), Chris Eynon (17) and Ashley Buck (26), Alex Deal (14).



Members of the Sudbury & District swimming club have just missed out on a record attempt to swim the cross-channel distance at Kingfisher leisure centre. But Sudbury Storms are already planning their next assault on the Channel challenge record, which was set by a national American team in 1990. Sudbury were a mile short of the record which is 21 miles in six hours and 55 minutes. The next attempt will be part of a charity event for CLIC Sargent and St Nicolas Hospice.



Another gruelling but enjoyable three weekends are over with some huge successes. Well done has to be given to all of the swimmers and coaches. Each year seems to bring more and more surprises.


Medals winners

Female - Kelly Murray (Gold - 50m Breaststroke, Gold - 100m Breaststroke, Bronze - 100m Butterfly, Top swimmer 16 years Breaststroke)

Male - Ashley Buck (Silver - 50m Backstroke), Chris Eynon (Bronze - 50m Breaststroke, Bronze - 400m Freestyle)


Female - Kelly Murray (Open 50m Breaststroke - finishing 8th - 0:38.52)

Male - Ashley Buck (Open 50m Backstroke - finishing 2nd - 0:28.50, Open 100m Backstroke - finish 4th - 1:03.70), Chris Eynon (Open 50m Breaststroke - finishing 6th - 0:33.83), Alex Deal (12/14 50m Breaststroke - finishing 4th - 0:35.13, 12/14 yrs 100m Breaststroke - finishing 4th - 1:18.15, 12/14yrs 50m Backstroke - finishing 4th - 0:32.16, 12/14yrs 50m Fly - finishing 8th - 0:32.08)




Sudbury Storms’ swimmers took their Regional Qualifying Times tally to a staggering 14 over the weekend.  The step up from the Suffolk County ASA Championships is the Regional competition hosted at Norwich UEA’s Olympic-sized 50m pool.  Swimmers from Suffolk , Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk will be competing at the regionals in June.  Of the 14 qualifying swims Storms’ swimmers achieved at the County Championships over the past two weekend’s, 12-year-old, Cameron Bashir netted 7 times.  Bashir’s best swim was in the gruelling 400m Individual Medley, where he broke his personal best by an amazing 19 seconds - 10 seconds inside the regional qualifying time. 


Storms’ youngest swimmer at the County Championships, Ella Rides (10), not only broke her personal best time in the 200m breaststroke by 8 seconds but also achieved a regional qualifying time in the event. Not to be outdone by the youngsters, Ashley Buck (26) made an incredible return to the championships with a Silver medal in the Men’s Open 50m Backstroke, notching up a regional time of his own.

“Our swimmers have been preparing for the start of this competition all year and have trained hard to peak at the county championships.  Their achievement in qualifying for the counties should not be under-estimated” commented Head Coach - Carl Cooper




Hot on the heels of Storms’ success at the Winter League final at Bungay last week, this weekend saw the start of the Suffolk County ASA championships, with representatives from all of Suffolk’s competitive swimming clubs in attendance.  Having won the female title at the Winter League Division 2 and finishing 2nd overall to Felixstowe, Sudbury Storms were riding on the crest of a wave when it came to the first weekend of the county championships. 

“Ipswich Crown Pools was a buzz with excitement over the weekend.  Our swimmers have been preparing for the start of this competition all year and have trained hard to peak at the county championships.  Their achievement in qualifying for the county’s should not be under-estimated and the Storms’ 1st weekend’s performances were better than we could have ever hoped for” commented Head Coach - Carl Cooper

SDSC also took a number of teams along for the Saturday evening relay session.  Storms’ supporters raised the roof during the relays and it was a befitting climax to the end of the 1st day of the championships. 



Again a big thanks has to go to Carl and Sam for entertaining the County Squad at the annual Pizza hut meal. Great meal and company again, take a look at the pictures to see what I mean





Hot on the heels of Storms’ success at the Winter League final at Bungay last week, this weekend saw the start of the Suffolk County ASA championships, with representatives from all of Suffolk’s competitive swimming clubs in attendance.  Having won the female title at the Winter League Division 2 and finishing 2nd overall to Felixstowe, Sudbury Storms were riding on the crest of a wave when it came to the first weekend of the county championships. 


“Ipswich Crown Pools was abuzz with excitement over the weekend.  Our swimmers have been preparing for the start of this competition all year and have trained hard to peak at the county championships.  Their achievement in qualifying for the counties should not be under-estimated and the Storms’ 1st weekend’s performances were better than we could have ever hoped for” commented Head Coach - Carl Cooper

SDSC also took a number of teams along for the Saturday evening relay session.  Storms’ supporters raised the roof during the relays and it was a befitting climax to the end of the 1st day of the championships.



Sudbury and District Swimming Club’, hosted the 12th annual master’s swimming gala last weekend.  The valentine’s meet has become one of the major annual events in the master’s calendar with swimmers ranging in age from 17 to 84 from 26 clubs participating from across the country. 


The gala’s success continues and embraces serious competition covering 200m freestyle, 50m in all of the main strokes (breast, back, butterfly, free) and finally a 100m individual medley.  The men’s 50 freestyle event for the 25 to 29 year age group was a particular spectacle with finishes within in fingertip of each other.  This event was won by Shaun Harrison of Stowmarket in just 24.84 seconds.  SDSC’s  Ashley Buck, recently returned to swimming after a 2 year layoff, demonstrated he still has what it takes to perform finishing second in the event.



Sudbury Masters took a team of 10 swimmers to the event; with notable performances from Stuart McLellan who won gold in his age group, John Fry silver and Terry Mansi bronze.  Brian Allen made a remarkable return to form gaining 5 personal best times out of the 6 individual events.  Sharon McLellan built upon her success at Cork, Ireland with further improvements in times.  SDSC’s specialist open water swimmer, Chris Eynon returned to the pool with personal-best time in the 50m backstroke.


The final event of the gala was the ‘all comers cannon relay’; a race unique to this gala which always attracts much excitement from swimmers, spectators and officials alike.  The race made for a fantastic finale to the gala with Ashley Buck and his team taking 1st place on the day.  The award for the top visiting club went to Stowmarket as in previous years however Diss Otters came a close second 16 points behind.



Sudbury & District Swimming Club hosted the second round of the ASA Winter league this weekend, welcoming teams from Hadleigh, Stowmarket, Beccles and Lowestoft to the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.


Local galas such as the Winter League always make for an exciting event, with some friendly local rivalry between many of the clubs.

Storms saw and impressive start to the gala winning 10 of the first 20 races and sitting in first place in front of Hadleigh at the half way point. Hadleigh SC continued to pursue Sudbury to the end, but Storms managed to hold off the challenge finishing in first place with 206 points with Hadleigh SC finishing in second with 184 points.


The Storms’ team celebrated a number of personal achievements at the gala, including personal bests’ from Alex Aldhouse, Cameron Bashir, Harriet Blake, Julia Carroll, Alex Deal, Rebecca Griffiths, Sam Jones, George Manning, Romy McIntosh, Kelly Murray, Benjamin Pentney and Harriet Wooler. Alex Deal also set a new club record in the 14/15 years 100m Butterfly smashing the current record in a new time of 1.11.44 secs.


With the deadline for Suffolk County qualification only day’s away, swimmers from all of the clubs had their eye not only club points, but achieving those all-important qualifying times. An elite squad of fifteen Storms swimmers that will be competing at the Suffolk County Championships in March was added to by Claire Allen (100m Butterfly) and Alex Aldhouse (100m Freestyle) at the gala.

Storms Head Coach, Carl Cooper applauded the team, saying “we have a fantastic team that’s going from strength to strength as the season develops. Each swimmer puts in a lot of hard work during training and it’s always great when their hard effort is rewarded”








Sudbury & District Swimming Club hosted the county’s Last Chance Open Meet this weekend, involving nearly 200 competitors from 13 teams from across Suffolk & Essex.  The gala is hosted each year at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre and is promoted as the ‘Last Chance’ for swimmers to attain their county qualifying times.  The Suffolk County championships will be held at Ipswich Crown pools over 3 weekends in March and is seen as the pinnacle of the county swimming calendar.


The weekend event saw a remarkable 66 Suffolk County Qualifying times achieved from Club’s such as; Sudbury , Newmarket, Mildenhall, Deben, West Suffolk & Hadleigh.  Of these, Sudbury Storms managed to add a further 13 qualifying times to an already impressive number of times achieved to-date. 


Sudbury Storms Head Coach – Carl Cooper commented “The Suffolk ASA have raised the bar in terms of this year’s county qualifying times making it an outstanding achievement for those swimmers that have qualified.  Out of the 108 swims completed by Sudbury swimmers, not only did they manage a further 13 county qualifying times but the team also achieved 56 personal best’s!”

The Storms swimmers who qualified for the County Championships at the Last Chance Open Meet included; Cameron Bashir (50m Breaststroke), Ellie Pickett (50m Breaststroke), Ella Rides (50m Breaststroke & 100m Individual Medley) , Alex Pickett (50m & 100m Freestyle), Alice Wooler (100m Freestyle) , Julia Carroll (100m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke), Rebecca  Griffiths (100m Breaststroke), Kelly Murray (50m Butterfly) & Alex Deal (50m Backstroke & 200m Breaststroke).


Whilst the focus of the event was County Championship qualification, the Sudbury squad also included a number of 1st time open meet swimmers, these were Mollie Milsom, Ellen Beattie, Kelly Thake, Rebecca Webber, Ben Pentney, Bethan Hann & George Manning all of whom shone on the day managing to overcome their nerves in front of an audience of 200+ spectators.  These swimmers, some of which were as young as 8 years old, showed an aptitude for competitive swimming with great performances on the day. 

Club Secretary Claudia Rides, applauded the help of local businesses in helping SDSC put on the event.  She said “We are particularly thankful to the Club’s new sponsors and neighbour Waitrose.  Without the help of businesses like Waitrose, we would struggle to put on such events – we are of course extremely grateful to Waitrose for their help and look forward to an on-going relationship with one of Britain’s most respected brands.”




Chairman - Nigel Henbury

Hon. Secretary - Claudia Rides

Hon. Treasurer - Karen Bedford



Tam Blake

Isobel Wooler

Iona McIntosh

Claire Allen (Swimmer Rep)

Robin Deal

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