Club Championships 2009

Last Chance Time Trial 2009 - View Results

14th Masters Open Meet 2009 - View Results

Development Last Chance Time Trial 2009 - View Results

Two Day Open Meet 2009 - View Results

Distance Club Champs 2009 - View Results


Once again the presetation night went well, with plenty of trophies, medals and certificates.



Sudbury Storms were back at Eltham this weekend in the much anticipated final round of the National Arena Swimming League.  The final round saw the Storms squad up against the top teams from Division Two, including Rochford, Saxon Crown, Halstead, Chelsea & Westminster, Epping Forest, Stevenage and St Paul’s Barnes.


Having qualified for the final last month, the Storms squad had been in intensive preparation for the final.  Head Coach, Paul Cook said “this gala was always going to be about the swimmer's mental preparation.  They have swum brilliantly over recent months and had done the hard work by qualifying for the final.  It was now about keeping focus and delivering a team result.” Storms qualified 8th for the final from a division of 24 teams.


With an almost full strength squad, Storms got off to an incredible start and were in 3rd place after 18 events.  Cook said “we expected to get off to a good start, as we knew we were strong in the first batch of events.  I don’t think anyone thought we’d be in 3rd place, though.”  The Storms’ swimmers managed to hold on to 3rd until event 26 but fell behind after a series of individual swims against some very strong competition.  By event 36, Storms were battling with 4 clubs’ for a promotion position (top 4 qualify).  Rochford and Chelsea & Westminster were pulling away from the rest of the teams, with Rochford in a league of their own.  Storms battle was with Stevenage, Epping Forest and Saxon Crown – Halstead was also in contention but trailed Storms throughout. 


The finale to the evening's swimming was the Men's Open Freestyle Relay, one which Storms finished with a magnificent team display.  Always an event that gets the crowd going, tonight’s swim was just as exciting.  It really was a nail biter, but one Storms just couldn’t win, touched out to 2nd by Saxon Crown. 


The final result placed the triumphant Storms team in 6th place overall – 5 places higher than in 2008.  Cook said, “We came tonight with nothing to lose.  We qualified 8th and finished 6th against some great competition.  We had such a great time tonight and the swimmers did the club proudly.  We are still a relatively small club and don’t have the resources that some of the clubs we were competing against tonight.  As we grow in size, we will continue to challenge the larger clubs and will continue to improve” A total of 13 personal best times were recorded at the gala:


Final Gala Results


Rochford - 311

Chelsea & Westminster - 295

Saxon Crown - 217

Epping Forest - 210

Stevenage - 209

Sudbury & District - 198

Halstead - 184

St Paul's Barnes - 174



Hot off some great performances at The National League, the Storms squad have been back in action at the Suffolk ASA’s Winter League.

Storms took both their A and B teams to compete at the first round of this year’s Suffolk County Winter League.  The A team were competing at Newmarket and the B team headed off to Felixstowe.  The A team, competing in Division One were up against some stiff competition in the first round of 200m events.  Storms A were up against raining champions Deben A and a very strong team from West Suffolk. 



Also competing were Saxons A and Beccles A.  The Storms B team, competing in Division Two also had strong competition from Saxons B, Felixstowe, Leiston and newcomers to the league, Thetford.

At the Division One gala, Sudbury A fought hard throughout the gala for the prized 3 place finish but ultimately were beaten into 4th by Saxon’s team that had superior strength in depth across their team.  In the 2nd Division gala, Sudbury B delivered above expectations, with some notable individual swims from a number of the team. Storms B finished only 2 points behind Leiston in 4th position.

Head Coach, Paul Cook was thrilled with the performance of both teams, saying “our swimmers have been in excellent form this season.  The swimmer's commitment to training has proved invaluable.  With 30 personal best times recorded at the Winter League galas, it is a real testament to the commitment and dedication our squad of swimmers has shown over recent months.  Our club is going from strength to strength and personally, I’m really looking forward to working with such great talent in 2010.”



Sudbury Storms were very nearly undone by the real life storms affecting the South East recently.  The squad were due to compete at Eltham, South East London, in the second round of the National Arena Swimming League, but encountered severe delays getting to Eltham, which nearly cost the team dearly. 

By the time the evening’s racing started, the team had 6 swimmers on poolside...  The rest of the 20+ strong squad were stranded on the team bus in East London.   Head Coach, Paul Cook said “we were talking to the swimmers that were at the pool deciding how we could fill the events with the swimmers we had there.  It soon became clear that we would be in trouble by event 3 as this was the start of 8 relay events.  Our swimmers were changing into their race suits on the bus as we approached the pool.  They literally leapt from the bus, and charged onto poolside just as event 3 was about to start.”  Martin Rides, Storms’ Coach, who was at the pool having travelled by car, said “it was an incredible relief, seeing a sea of blue and silver swarm onto poolside, cheering with joy and excitement.  This was going to a crucial gala, which would ultimately decide where we finished for the final round; I knew how much it meant to the swimmers and was so relieved to know we wouldn’t have to forfeit any points.”

The Storms team having had a great 1st round were up against the top half of the Division at the second round gala including local rivals, Halstead and London clubs; Rochford, Enfield, Saxon Crown, Brompton, Hounslow and Verulam.  

With a full complement of swimmers, Storms had a good start to the evening’s gala, but were trailing in 4th place by event 10.  Some courageous swimming from the squad pulled them back into contention by event 26, where they were 2nd behind favourites Rochford, but Saxon Crown and Halstead were on their heels, just 5 and 6 points behind respectively. 

The atmosphere poolside was electric; the Storms swimmers were desperate to better their 11th place finish at last year’s National League.  The results of the 2nd round gala would determine the final round’s competition – Storms were hoping for a top 8 position by the end of the evening so they could swim in the division’s final. 

By event 42, Storms still held a slender lead over Saxon Crown and Halstead, but it was just too close to call.  The final 8 events were all relays, so a team effort would be needed to hold on to 2nd place and the Storms squad did exactly that.  As the final points totals were announced, you could hear a pin drop on poolside.  As Storms points were announced it became clear that they had achieved a fantastic 2nd place, just clear of Saxon Crown and Halstead.

Cook, said “we had such a great time tonight, we had swimmers performing at the highest level and a team spirit that brought us all together as a formidable squad.  We also heard tonight that we have made the final 8 in the division and will be in the division final next month – just amazing...”  The quality of the swimming was proven by the 3 Club records that tumbled during the gala.  Cameron Bashir smashed the 15 years 100m Butterfly record in 1:08.06, Seb Pettican broke the 14 years 100m Freestyle in 1:05.38 and Thomas Williams broke the Open age group 100m Breaststroke in 1:07.35.  11 personal best times were also recorded at the gala.





An elite team of Sudbury Storms swimmers headed off to Norwich UEA last weekend for the

ASA East Region Winter Championships, which saw the finest swimming talent in the area come

together for the once a year short course championships.

The weekend of competition got off to a great start for the Storms swimmers with Ashley Buck (29)

smashing his lifetime best in the 200m Freestyle, breaking the 2 minute barrier in a time of 1:58.72. 

Club Captain, Kelly Murray (18) followed with a very impressive 50m Butterfly finishing in a time of

32.80.  Thomas Williams (24) had a very busy weekend of competition, which started with an

outstanding 50m Butterfly.  



Thomas swam a lifetime personal best of 27.11 in the heats, which qualified him for the A final, in which he swam 27.63 finishing 6th place overall.  He followed this up with another impressive swim in the 100m Breaststroke, where he swam 1:07.91 in the heats and 1:08.99 in the A final which placed him in 8th position.


Cameron Bashir (15) also had a good weekend of competition, deciding to focus his efforts on the distance events and his specialist Breaststroke.  Cameron swam the 400m Individual Medley in 5:06.68, which was followed by the 1500m Freestyle, which Cameron broke his personal best time by a 4-second margin finishing in 17:42.20.


Ashley & Thomas were back in action in the ultimate sprint event, the 50m Freestyle.  Ashley swam the heats in a blistering 24.70 and Thomas 25.36.  Ashley’s time was yet another lifetime personal best, which qualified him for the B Final in which he swam 24.96 finishing in 6th place.  Ashley continued a busy day with the 100m Freestyle.  His performances continued to impress, when he swam yet another personal best time of 54.02.


The Storms swimmers continued their great form, when the girls swam the 50m Breaststroke.  Ella Rides (12), one of the youngest competitors at the event, teamed up with Kelly Murray in the Breaststroke sprint event.  Both of them swam well and were only split by 1 tenth of a second.  Ella finished in 38.40 and Kelly in 38.50.  Ella’s time qualified her in 8th position for the B Final where she went on to swim a short course personal best time of 38.13 finishing 3rd.  Having watched the girls swim their Breaststroke sprint events Thomas Williams (pictured) prepared for his 50m Breaststroke swim, which he entered as one of the favourites for a medal.  In his heat, Thomas pulled out an incredible swim smashing his PB by nearly ½ second.  Thomas’ heats time of 30.34 placed him in 3rd position or the final, which he went on to collect a bronze medal in 30.74.


The Sunday wasn’t quite as frantic for the Sudbury swimmers.  Ashley Buck swam both of his favoured Backstroke events (50 & 100m) and delivered season’s best swims in both events.  Ashley swam 27.90 in the heats of the 50m Backstroke and went on to finish 5th in the A Final in a time of 27.79.  He showed incredible determination in 100m Backstroke, finishing in 1:00.03 – agonising close to that 60-second barrier.  Cameron Bashir gave a demonstration in how to make a 200m Breaststroke look effortless in 2:41.69, with a technique that would be the envy of many a swimmer. Thomas Williams capped off a weekend of great swimming from the Storms squad with the swim of the weekend.  Thomas has had his sights set on breaking the 60-second barrier for the 100m Butterfly all season and it finally went, not once but twice in the same day.  Thomas swam 59.50 in the heats and finished off with a 59.87 in the A final finishing 7th



Sudbury Storms’ were back in action last weekend at the first round of The National Arena Swimming League.  The Storms team travelled to Eltham in South East London, to compete against teams from across the London region. 


The league’s first round is really down to the luck of draw, but its then reconciled in later rounds to create better-matched teams within the league. Storms certainly started out with some tough competition from the likes of Chelsea & Westminster and Saxon Crown who were relegated from Division One last year.


Storms Head Coach, Paul Cook said “we had done our checks on the competition and knew the competition was going to be fierce.  We had a strong squad and anticipated a top-four finish, which would leave us in good stead for the next round”.


After a good start (a PB from Laura Wolff in the first event), Storms were in 4th place from the end of event 10, but did not manage to improve on this position for the remainder of the gala, always staying within a few points of Epping Forest but way clear of Bushey.

Storms had some excellent swims on the night, with 11 personal best times and 2 club records from only 50 events overall.  11 year old, Emily Dowding smashed the 50m Backstroke Club record, which has stood for the past 8 years in a time of 37.45 secs.  Thomas Williams went on to break a club record that has stood for an incredible 19 years.  Tom’s 100m Butterfly swim lowered the record by half a second and has taken him agonisingly close to breaking the 1-minute barrier.


Paul Cook went on to say “our 4th Place in round 1 is all we really could have expected, given the level of competition we were drawn against.  However, round 2 will be a different matter.  We will return to Eltham in a couple of weeks against different competition, some of whom we know really well – we know what we want from Round 2 and will focus on a team effort to deliver a winning performance.”




Sudbury Storms had an impressive visit to Halstead earlier in the month, competing at the Florida Shield gala.  The gala was contested between three teams from Sudbury, Stevenage and Halstead.  The gala was the season’s first competition for the Sudbury club, having followed a two-week break in August. 


Storms’ Team Manager, Debbie Greenhalgh commented “The sheer fact that we are now able to send two squads to an event like the Florida Shield, demonstrates the strength in depth we now have at the club.  We have seen an increase in membership over recent months, with both new swimmers joining and some old faces returning to the pool.”


The gala was a close run event between Halstead A and Sudbury A, which went to the wire.  Storms battled hard, but failed to break down Halstead’s early lead, finishing 2nd overall.  The Storms’ team clocked up a total of 13 personal best times at the gala which involved a number of first time competitive swims for some of the squad. 


A number of the Storms team continued the season’s opening the following day with a trip to Ipswich where they competed at the TeamIpswich Novice Meet.  This annual open meet targets the younger, less experienced swimmer and provides them with the opportunity to compete at the county’s premier pool against swimmers of a similar level.  Storms’ Head Coach, Paul Cook, said “this is the perfect meet for those swimmers wanting to gain competitive swimming experience.  Sudbury Storms host similar meets later in the season, which are always well supported, so it’s great to see these events appearing earlier in the swim calendar.  We had a fantastic day of competition, collecting a number of podium positions and a wonderful haul of personal best times – 19 in total”.


One of Storms’ youngest swimmers, Orion Nichol, had some magnificent swims in the 50m Freestyle and Backstroke, notching up Suffolk County qualifying times in both events.  Paul Cook said “Orion stunned us all with a couple of outstanding swims.  He’s a talented young lad, brimming with enthusiasm and will be a great member of the squad that we take to the county championships next March.”





Sudbury Storms were back in action for another two-day marathon gala earlier in the month 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 24 swimmers as young as 9 years old and came home with 6 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals.  Along with this, Storms also returned with 60 personal best times and 4 new Suffolk County Qualifying times. 


County Qualifying times were set by sisters Emma and Sophie Heaton, John Jiang and Storms’ youngest competitor Harry Milsom.

Head Coach, Paul Cook was delighted with the team’s performance “our swimmers showed incredible resilience throughout the weekend of competition.  60 Personal best times at this time in the competition year is truly amazing.  The squad swam with such spirit and showed true camaraderie, it was an honour to be their coach.  We’re so happy to see the strength of the squad grow at all levels and have great hopes for the coming year”. 


Highlights of the weekend included; a fantastic medal haul by Sisters Emma and Sophie Heaton (3 Gold’s and 2 Bronze medals) as well Storms’ youngest competitor Harry Milsom finishing second in the 50m Breaststroke and establishing his 1st 2010 County qualifying time in the process.





Sudbury Storms Junior squad travelled to Lowestoft for the final round of the Suffolk ASA Summer League to compete in a thrilling gala against teams from Hadleigh, Lowestoft, Deben, Leiston and Gt Yarmouth.  The final round of the league lived up to all expectations with a nail-biting finish to a very closely run competition between Storms and Gt Yarmouth.


A strengthened Storms squad knew a good team performance in the final round would secure them at least a runners-up position in Division two.  The girls’ team had already proved their dominance in the previous rounds and held an unassailable lead going into the final round.  This didn’t deter them from putting on a superb team performance on the night.  Storms’ Head Coach, Paul Cook said “this league is all about ‘the team’.  Individuals needed to perform at their very best in support of a team result.  We had the whole squad focussed on one outcome – that of the team.  It certainly worked, as everyone that swam did so with such determination and focus, it was a joy to watch”.


The competition on the night went to the wire, with the Storms team taking a well deserved second place.  However, the overall league results declared Sudbury Storms league runners-up and the Girls as Division Two winners.  Cook said, “this was quite an amazing achievement, considering the club was only promoted to Division 2 this year”.   Trophies for Best Boys Team, Best Girls, Overall Winners and Runners Up as well as Best Supported Club, which Storms also won, were presented poolside by Suffolk ASA President, Gill Walker.

Overall League Results


                                   Girls   Boys   Cannon   Total

Gt Yarmouth ‘A’        262     316         12         590

Sudbury                     330    207         8          545

Lowestoft & OB ‘B’   235     222         13         470

Deben ‘B’                   147     260         14         421

Hadleigh                    231      162          9         402

Leiston                       192      160         4          356





Stuart & Sharon McLellan travelled down the Cardiff International Pool 19th – 21st June to compete in the Long Course British Gas Masters & Seniors Age Group Championships.  World, European & British records were broken over the weekend with some great swims with competitors from all over Great Britain.

Stuart competed & winning Gold medals in 1500 freestyle 22.22.58 & 400 IM 6.34.05, Silver in 800 freestyle 11.42.35 and two bronze medals in 400 freestyle 5.39.65 & 200 IM 3.00.52.


Sharon had an exceptional meet achieving two lifetime personal best times in 1500 freestyle 23.46.35 (5th) & 800 freestyle 12.28.04 (6th).  Other swims included 400 freestyle 6.12.86 (11th) & 200 IM 3.32.25.



The last two weeks have seen a lot of action for the Sudbury Storms Masters. On the 12th July, Terry Mansi

was in action at the East and West Midland Open Water Championships which forms part for the ASA Open

Water Grand Prix. Terry competed in the 3km event, finishing 1st in his age group in a time of 52.34.98 a

personal best for him at this distance.  Terry competed in the 3km event, finishing 1st in his age group in a

time of 52.34.98 a personal best for him at this distance.

The following weekend saw masters in action at Barnet Copthall distance meet and the ASA East Region

Open Water Championship.


On Saturday Stuart and Sharon McLellan both competing in the 800m freestyle part of the distance meet. 

Stuart swam 11.26.52 finished 2nd and Sharon finished 6th in a time of 12.09.81.


While on Sunday this year the ASA East Region Open Water Championships was the first to offer facilities for competitors to develop their skills and enable them to compete at a higher level, on the National and International stage and with BBC East and Mark Foster in attendance the event was another first, as the BBC has never filmed at a National event, let alone a Regional Championship.

With Open Water Swimming now becoming more popular since the Olympics, and the ASA now allowing temporary membership for all to enter, the event was well subscribed with 227 swimmers ranging from 11 – 60+ years. Once again Sudbury Storms fielded a strong squad for seasoned and novice open water swimmers, in 3 of the 4 distances (800m, 1.5km and 3km).


The weather on the day was good if a little blustery making the return leg of all distances a little choppy but on a plus side the water temperature on the day was a kind 21°C.


The results for all swimmers was excellent, with all masters swimmers achieving medals of gold or silver in their age groups for both ASA East Region and ASA Suffolk. Final times were: 800m Francesca King (12) 14:06. 1.5km Andy Jenkins (31) 24:00, Sharon McLellan 25:50. 3km Stuart McLellan (59) 55:50, Terry Mansi (60) 58:50, Graham King (46) 1:01.0.





Sudbury Storms hosted the second round of the Suffolk ASA’s Junior Summer League last weekend and welcomed teams from Hadleigh, Leiston, Great Yarmouth, Deben and Lowestoft to the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.  Having narrowly missed out on second place in the first round of the competition earlier in the month, the Storms team were determined to maintain the pressure on Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and improve upon their first-round result.


The first half of the gala was completely dominated by the Storms’ swimmers finishing first in 60% of the first half events.  The Sudbury Girls team lead by a staggering 16 points by the halfway stage, with the boy's team putting on a great performance leaving the team in 1st place overall.  The team went on to maintain their 1st place position battling hard throughout the send half of the gala, with some notable individual performances from a number of the team.


The Storms team notched up 14 personal best times, many of which were improvements on times set earlier in the month.

The team is now placed in second position going into the final round, which will be held at Lowestoft in July. The Storms’ Girls will be hoping to top the division taking an unassailable lead of 41 points into the final round.


League Table


Club                         Girls   Boys   Cannon   Total

Gt Yarmouth ‘A’       178     213         6          397

Sudbury                    219    142         4          365

Lowestoft & OB ‘B’  138    176        10         324

Deben ‘B’                  101    181          9          291

Hadleigh                   159    110          7          276

Leiston                      132    100         3         235


Storms Head Coach, Paul Cook said “the Suffolk ASA’s Summer League is the perfect stage for our younger swimmers to experience competitive swimming and is great preparation for those swimmers that have the County Development Championships in their sights.  From my point of view, the swim of the night came from 9-year-old Lana Mo in the 50 Breaststroke, where she clocked a time of 42.36 which not only smashed the club record but also makes her the fastest 9-year-old female Breaststroker in the Country.  She really has so much potential; it is great to have such a young swimmer with this natural talent in the club.” 





Sudbury Storms hosted their annual Development Last Chance Open Meet at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre last weekend, which saw over 250 swimmers from across the region compete in what is the final chance to qualify for the Suffolk County Development Championships which will be held at Ipswich Crown Pools later on this month.

The Storms squad of 32 swimmers were in great form, recording a total of 121 personal-best times at the meet and 111 County Development Qualifying Times.  Storms’ Head Coach, was thrilled with the team's performance, saying “as a club we love the Development Championships, they are a great championship for the younger swimmers and a stepping stone towards the County Championships in March.  Since joining the club, I have seen a transformation in our squad members’ attitude to training and this is now transferring into some outstanding performances.” 

Storms will be taking a large squad of swimmers to the Development Championships; between them, they will swim a total of 115 individual races

The Storms team also received some great news during this week from the Suffolk ASA.  Two members of the team have been selected to swim for Suffolk at the Inter Counties gala in July.  Ashley Buck and Thomas Williams, the club’s most experienced swimmers will compete for Suffolk at the Inter County Gala in July.




Sudbury Storms’ travelled to Lowestoft last weekend, for the first 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 Lowestoft gala followed a month of intensive competition for many of the Storms’ swimmers, but this didn’t deter them from delivering a number of great performances on the day, which resulted in Storms finishing 3rd overall with the girls’ team taking the top spot by a convincing margin.


The atmosphere in the pool was electric with the Sudbury team showing great camaraderie.  Each team brought along a dedicated group of supporters, who raised the roof in support of their team throughout the gala.  Teams from Lowestoft, Deben, Hadleigh, Great Yarmouth, Sudbury and Leiston were competing at the gala.


Following promotion to Division 2 of the league last year, Storms were newcomers to the division and knew they would be up against some fierce competition.  They got off to a great start winning the first two events by impressive margins.  However, Great Yarmouth started to show their superior strength immediately after Sudbury’s early successes. 


Great Yarmouth, contenders for promotion to Division One next year, showed enormous strength in depth across both boys and girls events which lead them to win the gala by quite a distance.


Storms Girls squad were on great form throughout the gala, completely dominating the gala.  Sudbury Boys fought hard with some very impressive swims from some of the younger members of the squad.  The Storms team, recognising the dominance of Great Yarmouth, quickly settled for a battle for 2nd place, which went right to the wire with Lowestoft & Oulton Broad.  Storms were 3 points ahead Lowestoft prior to the final event of the evening – the Cannon Relay.


The Cannon Relay is always great fun for swimmers and spectators alike and the final race lived up to all expectations.  Unfortunately for Sudbury, Lowestoft managed to finish in 3rd, place, gaining them the 3 points they needed to snatch 2nd place from Sudbury.  
Overall Results

Club                             Girls   Boys   Cannon   Total

Gt Yarmouth ‘A’           96     101           6          203

Lowestoft & OB ‘B’       71      92            4          167

Sudbury                        98     67             1           166

Deben ‘B’                      50     93            5          148

Hadleigh                       82      55            2          139

Leiston                          67      56            3          126


The Storms team notched up 16 personal best times at the gala, many of which were improvements to times set at the Suffolk County Championships in March.  Head Coach, Paul Cook, was ecstatic with the teams’ performance, saying “the club has some magnificent young swimmers, who show a lot of promise.  We want to create a squad of swimmers who are training for a long-term future in the sport.  Part of this training is an introduction to competitive swimming as part of a cohesive team.  We certainly have a wonderful team spirit within the club, which is something we want to foster, as we know it will also produce some great results”.  Storms will be hosting the next round of the league at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre at the end of May.



An elite team of 5 Sudbury Storms swimmers headed off to Norwich UEA earlier this month for the ASA

East Region Youth Championships.


Storms swimmers had some excellent performances over the weekend of competition with 16-year-old

Alex Deal making both finals in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke events.  Alex had a couple of great swims

finishing in 7th place in both events.  He also set a long course personal best times of 34.01 in the 50m

and 1.15.79 in the 100m.



Storms’ senior swimmers also had a fantastic weekend, with Ashley Buck (28) in outstanding form in the

50m and 100m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle events. Ashley made the finals of both 50m and 100m

Backstroke events setting lifetime long course bests of 28.52 secs and 1.02.65 respectively.  Ashley finished 5th in the 50m Backstroke and 6th in the 100m Backstroke.  Ollie George (17) was in equally impressive form in the 50m Backstroke recording a time of 30.87 finishing in 10th place.


Storms’ ladies were not to be outdone by the men.  Megan Buck (14), competing at her first Regional Championships swam in the 50m Freestyle and established a credible long course personal best time of 31.68 secs.  Kelly Murray (18) competing in her favoured 50m Butterfly and Breaststroke events clocked some impressive times.  Her 50m Butterfly time of 32.34 secs placed her in 12th position and her time of 39.31 in the Breaststroke placed her 11th overall.


Storms Head Coach, Paul Cook, said “the team were outstanding at the weekend and put on a display we are all very proud of.  We had 7 qualifiers for the Youth Champs, unfortunately, two members of the team couldn’t make the event due to injury or personal commitments.  For a club of Sudbury’s size to have a team of 7 qualifiers at a championship of this profile is marvellous.  We hope to build upon these successes over the coming year and bring more swimmers to the event next year”.


Whilst the club’s senior swimmers were at Norwich, the Junior squad turned out in force at two local Open Meets.  With the Age Group Regional Championships only 6 weeks away, many of the club’s younger swimmers were looking to either add to or improve upon their qualifying times at open meets at Newmarket and West Suffolk.


At the Newmarket meet, the Storms swimmers recorded a total of 38 personal best times, which included 5 new club records.  The performance of two of the club’s youngest swimmers dominated events at Newmarket.  9 Year Old, Lana Mo, and 11-year-old Mollie Milsom deservedly shared the Top Girl award at the Open Meet.  Both Girls were in outstanding form, with Lana setting 4 Club records and 7 personal best times and Mollie smashing the club’s 200m Freestyle record as well as establishing 3 personal best times. 


Paul Cook said “The Regional Champs have particularly hard qualifying times, as they are the precursor for the country’s national championships to be held in Sheffield in July.  However, we had a number of swimmers extremely close to qualification that used the Newmarket Meet to try and reach the qualification standards.  Unfortunately, two of our greatest prospects just missed out on the day – quite literally by a finger tip.  John Jiang came within 0.3 secs of the 100m Freestyle time and Francesca King within an agonising 0.2 secs of the 100m Backstroke time.  Both these swimmers have put their heart and soul into their training over recent months and if they continue to train like they have done this year, they will go onto be very successful in the future.”


A smaller squad of swimmers then went on to the West Suffolk Open Meet, held at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, the following weekend.  Once again, the Storms’ swimmers had an excellent weekend of competition, with 25 personal best times being recorded and a further 4 club records being set.


Young, Lana Mo, once again dominated events over the weekend, adding a further 4 personal best times and 3 more Club records to her tally from the previous weekend. Mollie Milsom also set a new club record in the 400m Freestyle. 


The weekend at West Suffolk also had its share of swims that came close to Regional Qualification Times.  Gemma Rides (10) had her sights set on qualification for the 200m Breaststroke event having come close the previous weekend.  Gemma managed to get within 2 seconds of the qualifying time with an outstanding time of 3.37.44.  Older Sister, Ella (12) who was looking to add to her Regional Qualifications in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke was chasing times in the 100m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley.  She missed out on the 100m Freestyle time by 1 second but managed to smash her personal best time in the 200m Individual Medley and record a qualifying time for the championships in June.



Following last year’s Olympics, competitive swimming in the UK has seen a growth in both the number of people getting involved in the sport and also a much improved media profile.  Suffolk swimming has been no exception to this with a significant increase in membership being seen across the county.  The highlight of the county’s competitive swimming calendar is the County Championships, held at the Crown Pools Ipswich.  The Championships brings together all of Suffolk’s top swimmers for a mammoth 3 weekend event involving literally hundreds of swimmers from across the county.


The Sudbury Storms squad of 36 was made up of swimmers from all age groups.  They were in fantastic form, delivering a staggering 73 personal best times, 22 East Region Qualifying Times and 13 club records over the 3 weekends of competition.  These swims culminated in a medal tally of 7 Gold’s, 8 Silvers and 7 Bronzes, which is the best the club has ever done at the championships.

Ella Rides (12) became this year’s youngest County Champion for Storms in the 50m Breaststroke.  Head Coach, Paul Cook said “Ella had a fantastic heat smashing her personal best time by nearly 0.5 seconds and went into the final as the fastest qualifier.  In the final she got off to a good start, but was actually 3rd at the turn.  Her last length was just incredible, we knew Ella had the speed to catch the other 2, but the way she turned the pace on over the last 15m was brilliant”.  Ella’s time in the final was 38.83 secs placing her in the gold medal position.  She also went on to take a bronze medal in the 100m Breaststroke in an East Region Qualifying Time of 1:25.87.





Cameron Bashir (14) followed on from his Long Distance successes in February, with another County Championship Gold in the gruelling 400m Individual Medley.  Cook said “Cameron has been in outstanding form this year, there is no stopping him.  He has a lot of talent across all of his strokes, which makes him the perfect Individual Medley swimmer.  He also has the stamina for the longer distances, which is the result of many years dedication in training.  His 400m IM swim was just awesome. His Breaststroke was just streaks ahead of the competition, which gave him nearly a 7 second advantage going into the last 100m, by which time the rest of the field were in his wake.”  Cameron’s Gold medal in the 400m IM rounded off a marvellous championship for him.  He took Silver in the 200m Breaststroke and Bronze in the 100m bettering his personal best times in all of his events (16 in total).  He also broke an incredible 7 Club records.

Mollie Milsom (11) became the latest addition to those Storms East Region Championship qualifiers.  Mollie qualified for the Regional Championships in the 100m Freestyle in a time of 1:13.11, smashing her previous best time by 1.5 seconds.  Mollie also had some fantastic performances in her Butterfly events, taking the Silver medal in the 50m (35.98) and improving on her 200m Butterfly personal best time by an incredible 20 seconds, adding a Bronze to her Silver in the 50m. She also broke Club records in the 400m Freestyle and 200m Backstroke.  Mollie will join a squad of 10 Storms swimmers that will be competing in Norwich at the East Region championships in May and June of this year – the largest squad Storms have had qualify for the Regionals in many years.


The Senior Sudbury swimmers also had some great performances at the County Championships and added to a further 5 Gold medals to the tally.  Ashley Buck, Thomas Williams and Kelly Murray all took top position on the podium.  Ashley was crowned age group champion in all three of his Backstroke events (50, 100m and 200m) and Bronze in the 100m Freestyle, breaking life time personal bests in a number of swims.  His 200m Freestyle (2:01.88) swim was a Club record and he took nearly a second off his previous best time.  He also set lifetime best times in the 50m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle, where he finished in Silver medal position.  Thomas Williams also had a great championship with 3 lifetime personal best times in the 100m Breaststroke, 50m and 200m Butterfly.  Thomas returned with a gold medal in the 200m Butterfly, Silver for both the 50m and 100m Breaststroke and Bronze in the 100m Butterfly.  18 Year old, Kelly Murray (18) returned to great form in her specialist Breaststroke and Butterfly events, taking the 50m Breaststroke Gold medal in her age group in a time of 37.76 seconds and Silver in the 100m Breaststroke.  Ollie George (17) the club’s under 18’s sprint specialist pulled out an outstanding 50m Butterfly breaking the 30 second barrier in a time of 29.80 seconds.  He also went on to finish in Silver medal position in the 100m Backstroke.  James Wotherspoon (17) joined Storms’ County medal winners for the first time with outstanding swim in the final of the 50m Backstroke, finishing in Silver medal position in a time of 32.61 secs.  Alex Deal (16) another one the club’s specialist Breaststrokers fought fiercely for 2 bronze medals in his 50m and 100m Breaststroke events.  He also broke his personal best time in the 100m Backstroke in a great time of 1:07.64.

The following swimmers all achieved one or more personal best time at the Championships;  Claire Allen, Cameron Bashir, Hannah Bashir, Ashley Buck, Alex Deal, Ollie George, Florence Grubb, Bethan Hann, Emma Heaton, Sophie Heaton, Cara Hetherington, John Jiang, Francesca King, Emma Main, Mollie Milsom, Ella Rides, Gemma Rides, Josh Seddon, Sam Seddon, Abigail Vowles & Thomas Williams.



The much anticipated Suffolk County Swimming Championships started earlier this month with the

Long Distance (800m & 1500m) events, which were held at the 50m Pool at the UEA in Norwich. 

The highlight of the Suffolk swimming calendar brings together all of Suffolk’s top swimmers for a

mammoth event over 5 weekends in February and March and involves literally hundreds of swimmers

from across the county.


Sudbury Storms got off to an amazing start to this year’s competition with swimming sensation,

Cameron Bashir (14) becoming County Champion in the 1500m Freestyle.  He had a great 1500m

swim, setting a new personal best time of 18 mins14.84 secs beating his previous best time by 27 seconds. 

The swim put Cameron in the gold medal position for the fourteen years age group ahead of Danny Profitt from West Suffolk and Nick Ruddock from Lowestoft & Oulton Broad.  Storms New Head Coach, Paul Cook said “it’s always a joy to witness one of your swimmers perform at such a high level.  Cameron’s gold medal in the 1500m is a great reward for a very dedicated swimmer”


In the 800m event, Cameron again set a personal best time of 9 mins 41.82 secs  finishing in bronze medal position behind Ryan Tomkins from Ipswich and West Suffolk’s Danny Profitt.


Cameron said “I’m delighted with my Long Distance swims at the County Championships.  We all work so hard in training and it’s great when all that hard work pays off.  I’m really looking forward the remainder of the championships in March.  We have a large squad going to the County’s this year and we’re hopeful we can return with a few more county champions”.



Sudbury and District Swimming Club hosted their 14th annual Masters swimming gala on Valentine’s Day.  The Valentine’s Meet has become one of the major annual events in the regions Masters calendar with swimmers ranging in age from 16 to 84 from 31 clubs participating from as far afield as Cambridge, Clacton and Bedford.  

It really was an action packed day of competition at the Kingfisher Pool, with over 150 swimmers competing in a very busy schedule. The highlight of the day was Alan Jackson’s (Bedford Beavers) swim in the 100m Individual Medley in a time of 1:21.74, which smashed the current British 70 year age group Record by a staggering 3 seconds.  Bernie Buck, Meet Director, said “Alan’s swim was quite outstanding.  To have a swimmer of his standard at our competition is recognition of the standard of competitor we have attending our Masters’ competitions. A further 8 East Region Records also fell at the Meet, including a further 3 Regional records by Alan”

Sudbury Masters also had a great weekend of competition.  Ashley Buck shared top place in the overall Men’s Top swimmer award with David Elliston from Stowmarket SC, with Sudbury’s Margaret Nolan taking 4th place in the overall Womens competition.  Sudbury’s John Fry also had a great day of competition taking a clean sweep of gold’s in each of his 4 swims. For the second year running best visiting club went to Colchester SC.



Sudbury & District Swimming Club hosted the County’s Last Chance Open Meet this weekend, involving nearly

250 competitors from 14 teams across Suffolk, Norfolk & 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.

Storms’ swimmers had a great day, breaking a staggering 71 personal best times, many of which were

improvements to existing County qualifying times. 

Cameron Bashir (14) completed an amazing achievement by qualifying for all but one of the County

Championships events – 16 in total.  The club also saw 2 members of the squad achieve East Region

Championships Qualifying times.  These came from Ella Rides (12) adding the 100m Breaststroke to the 200m Breaststroke she qualified in December, and Ashley Buck (27)  qualifying for the 200m Backstroke in addition to the 50m and 100 Backstroke events he has already qualified for. To cap it all young Lana Mo (9) broke the club record for the 200m Individual Medley in a fantastic swim, which saw her finish way ahead of the competition in her age group.

The Storms County Qualifiers include, Lana Mo, Cara Hetherington, Emma Main, Gemma Rides, Abigail Vowles, Brooke Wright, Claire Allen, Cameron Bashir, Harriet Blake, Ashley Buck, Megan Buck, Alex Deal, Ryan Deal, Jessica Dilling, Chris Eynon, Sophie George, Ollie George, Florence Grubb, Rebecca Griffiths, Hannah Bashir, Sophie Heaton, John Jiang, Sam Jones, Francesca King, Graham King, Mollie Milsom, Kelly Murray, Ella Rides, Sam Seddon, Thomas Williams, Alice Wooler, Harriet Wooler & James Wotherspoon. These 33 swimmers will be competing in a staggering 174 individual swims across the 3 weekends of competition in March




Chairman - Gary Milsom

Vice Chairman - Martin Rides

Hon. Treasurer - Karen Bedford

Hon. Secretary - Sarah Thomas

Team Manager - Robin Deal

Swim 21 Coordinator - Debbie Greenhalgh

Newsletters - Tam Blake

Social Sec - Paul Alexander

Swimmers Rep - Sophie George

Master Rep - Vacant

Workforce Coordinator - Rob Squirrell

Communications - Claudia Rides

Welfare Officer - Lizzy Dilling

Speeding Tickets - Emma Thake

Swimshop/Club Buyer - Isobel Wooler Open Meet Co-ordinator - Graham King

Webmaster - Paul Murray

Membership - Bryan Poole 

Head Coach - Paul Cook    

Assistant Coach - Paul Murray

Assistant Coach - Martin Rides

Senior Coach - Dave Hopson

Assistant Coach - Debbie Greenhalgh

Assistant Coach - Alex Deal

Teacher - Sophie George

Lane Helper - Allie Milsom

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