Surrey Schools’ Swimming Association (SSSA) volunteer Irene Holden reports on this year’s Secondary Schools Relay Gala and South East Division National Relay Trials. Technical hitches aside, the meet attracted a record number of teams including some from Hampshire and Berkshire….
It was an extremely busy gala with 40 teams taking part, which is the most we have ever had. Last year we had 32 teams so the extra eight made a big difference in swimmers on poolside and parents watching.
A huge welcome to all the new schools that competed here for the first time – and a big welcome to the Hampshire and Berkshire teams too. At SSSA, we try to accommodate any schools where there isn’t a gala being organised in their county. Hopefully, though, Hampshire will have their own up and running next year.
Apologies for the late running. As you all could see, Spectrum was having technical difficulties with the equipment, trying for ages to get the electronics up and running. But it was not to be, hence the gala was done manually and why it took longer.
We split the girls’ warm-up due to the number of girls’ teams we had competing. However, I would like to emphasize yet again that this gala is run by volunteers. We are unpaid for the work put into organising it and for the work that comes afterwards.
The ‘white shirts’ are also highly-trained officials, spending hours at the pool doing this job, knowing what they are looking out for when it comes to DQs. They are also ‘standing over’ the swimmers to see what happens on takeovers, etc.
The next round to this gala is the National Relays, which takes place at the London Aquatics Centre on Saturday 17 November. From what I understand, the top 30 schools will go through to this event. Therefore we will have to wait until all the counties have completed their round before we get the results.
When we get the results as to who gets to go we will forward the information to you.
I wish you all the very best of luck.