Wincanton Masters triumph at the 16th Royal Navy Open Meet
21 swimmers from the Wincanton Masters squad competed at the annual event held at Millfield pool on the 12th March. The swimmers, whose ages range from 30 to 77 competed in a total of 120 events at the meet.
As well as winning copious amounts of golds, silvers and bronzes, five members of the team won best overall swimmer in their age group awards. Jaki Farrell in the 40-44 age group, Philippa O'Grady 45-49 age group, Adele Parham 50-54 age group, Val Regan 60-64 age group and Paul Partington in the 65-69 age group.
This year the Royal Navy named the top visiting team trophy in memory of former Wren, master swimmer, and Wincanton masters coach Lindsay Lant, who sadly passed away in December. The team went with the aim of winning the trophy and came away triumphant.
Philippa O'Grady (Lindsay's daughter) says "I am hugely proud of the whole team who turned out in force to compete for the trophy, some of whom have not swum in competition for a very long time! Mum would have been deeply humbled and honoured that the Royal Navy named a trophy after her and that we managed to win it, in its inaugural year."
A regular on the Masters circuit...Lindsay didn't actually start swimming until she was in her 30s and with her great enthusiasm for the sport, became a regular on the Masters swimming circuit for over 40 years.
She won many national and British titles over the years and became world champion for 200m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley at the 1994 World Masters Games in Brisbane.
Throughout the 70s and early 80s she taught many youngsters to swim at the old Yeovil Swimming Baths. She then coached at Yeovil SC.
She became chief coach for Taunton SC in 1983, followed by Deane Dolphins SC between 1984 and 1987. This was all on top of a full time job as well as being mum to her two children, who were also competitive swimmers.
In 1987, Lindsay was awarded the Somerset County Award for her achievements in Masters swimming.
After retiring from full time work in 1998, she continued part time swim teaching at Gillingham, Wincanton and Sherborne (Oxley) leisure centres. She loved taking adult swim lessons as she said they would always listen and pay more attention than the kids!
Lindsay continued swimming herself and attended the World Masters Games in 2009, this time in Sydney, swimming as part of the Royal Navy team (having been a WREN in her earlier years).
She won two silvers in Sydney, again in the 200m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley - a great achievement at age 72!
Wincanton Masters coach for 13 years...Lindsay was coach for the Wincanton Masters team from 2001 right up until 2014 when a bad hip operation and worsening memory problems forced her to retire.
Her last swimming competition was in 2014 at the Royal Navy Open Meet where she won best female swimmer in the 75-79 age group.
Lindsay will be sorely missed by all those she taught, coached and competed with. She truly left her footprint on the swimming community.
Five members of the Wincanton masters swimming club competed this month at the British Senior and Masters long course championships in Sheffield. The competition had record attendance this year, with many swimmers seeing it as a prerequisite for the European Masters Championships which take place at the iconic Olympic London Aquatics centre in May.
Philippa O'Grady (45-49 age group) won gold in the 200IM and silver in the 200Fly
Paul Partington (65-69 age group) won gold in the 400 IM and bronze in the 800 F/S and 400 F/S
Rosemary Johnson (75-79 age group) won gold in the 200 F/S, silver in the 400 F/S
Adele Parham (45-49 age group) won 5th place in the 400IM and 6th in the 800 F/S
John Anderson (60-64 age group) won 5th place in the 100 BR/S and 6th place in the 200 BR/S
The group are delighted with their swims and training now continues at a variety of pools including the Oxley Sports centre, Wincanton Sports Centre and Goldenstones. They will all be competing, along with other members of the club at the Europeans in May with hope for more success.
Five Wincanton Master swimmers recently took part in the three day ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
Philippa O'Grady won gold in the 45-49 age group 200 Butterfly taking 3 seconds off her previous personal best. She went on to win silver medals in the 100 Fly, 200 & 400 IM events.
Rosemary Johnson who is now in the 75-79 age group came back winning 3 silvers and one bronze in her events.
John Anderson (60-64 age group) and Paul Partington ( 65-69 age group) missed out on medals this year but with tough competition were still placed in top 10 nationally in their events.
Adele Parham ( 45-49 age group) who has been battling with back problems all year, still entered and swam close to her personal bests bagging a Gold medal as part of a Mixed 160+ 200 F/S relay team.
Philippa said "Competitive master swimming is becoming more popular and to achieve these results at this level is fantastic for us all. We are now back training hard at Wincanton Sports Centre and the Oxley Sports Centre in Sherborne. The LEN European Masters championships are being held at the Olympic pool in London next May. We are all very excited about competing at this iconic venue."
If anyone would like to join our masters squad please contact Philippa O'Grady