Coach’s notes


The start of the New Year saw a quick return to the pool for the annual ASA county championships held over the first two weekends of January. This year the club sent a team of 23 swimmers, more than double last year, and our swimmers secured 50 finals between them, with 45 of these being medal performances, including 10 golds, 15 silvers and 20 bronze. This talley represented the highest medal collection the clubs ever seen before and it is a good indication of the progress within the Vikings swimming club.

This sums up the success of that completion and we were all really pleased with the results here particularly in setting a record in the medal count and with a good number of swimmers entering. When galas come up I’d like to take the opportunity now to encourage everyone to enter as it is essentially what the training is all for and seeing progression in yourself in the times is a huge motivator and will help you train even better. And also if anyone is interested in the full report on that event it can be found on the club website.

A few months later we competed in the West Norfolk Open meet and secured 26 medals as a team, with some noticeable PB’s from some swimmers including Emily Haslam breaking 2:20 on the 200 freestyle for the first time,  Bethany Toyn knocking 12 seconds off her 200 freestyle PB, Harry Barwick taking 7 seconds off also in the 200 free,  and 11 seconds off his 200m backstroke.

The following competition was in newmarket where the swimmers faced some strong competition from clubs such as Cambridge and other high profile clubs in the east region. With the regional championships approaching swimmers were both chasing last minute qualifying times, as well as looking to produce good swims in preparation for the bigger competitions to come. Out of a total of 40 swims we managed to secure 36 top 6 finishes, as well as ten bronze, nine silver and four gold medals. And like the county report I am just going to read a small extract from that race report so everyone can hear it as there were a lot of great swims in this.

The first session began with the girls 200 IM and Abi Gotts won the first medal for the club finishing third in her age group in a strong swim. Immy Horne Morris also achieved third place in the open age group just outside her PB.  Shortly after this Mollie White won the first gold medal for the club in the 100 breastroke, followed by her brother Dylan who swam a strong PB in his 100 backstroke to take second place out of eleven swimmers. Harry Barwick also achieved a silver medal in the open age group, with a strong PB lowering his original time to 1:08.53 from 1:13.88. In the afternoon Abi Gotts competed in the 400 freestyle and lowered her best time by six seconds to finish in second place.

After a late finish the previous day the swimmers were then faced with three long sessions on the Sunday. In the morning the boys raced the 100m freestyle and we had some great results both from Dylan White who lowered his PB by 2 seconds, as well as Harry Barwick who finished third with a two second PB. Having swam the race in 59 seconds fairly recently Harry was looking to lower his time to a 58 however managed to go even better, taking the race out extremely hard in the first 50 and turning in 27.36. He managed to keep this up in the second 50 to come in on 57.68. And I do from memory believe his mum promised him a new phone if he swam a 57 and bearing in mind this is back in april and hes still using the same old device.

While the attention is on harry too as we all know he loves I’ll quickly say that he has been a member of the club for 8 years now and this year marked his last club champs and last race, though we all say we wont race again and end up doing it! He’s brought a lot of laughter to myself and his teammates and he achieved a winter regional qualifying time this season. I am aware he plans to come back as a coach in the near future so we look forward to seeing him poolside.

Going back onto the reports now we also participated in the first long course meet at the uea in april at the CON easter meet and if anyone doesn’t know what long course means that essentially is just a 50m long pool rather than a 25m. Only 8 swimmers attended this meet however it was a strong squad and a few regional times were achieved including Emily haslam picking two up on the 50 fly and FC. A week later we also sent ten swimmers to compete at Norwich Swan meet held at the UEA. With most of the other Norfolk clubs in attendance it was a good opportunity to race the local competition and see where everyone was. Throughout the weekend we pulled in 26 medals overall including 10 gold, 11 silver and 5 bronze. As well as this we secured 32 personal best times out of a total of 55 swims which is another great stat that I am pleased with from this year so well done to all those involved on that one!

Following these competitions it was time for the regional championships and this year the club qualified 6 individuals to compete in the age group and youth championships which was a record for us and hopefully it will continue to build.

I’ll now quickly summarise their results:

On day one Leah Harris was the first to race, taking to the pool for the 50m freestyle event. This race notoriously known as the “splash and dash” event is a tough event to compete in as the smallest of margins can be the difference between 10 places in the results. Leah was keen to swim well having not lowered her personal best time since last year, and she stepped up to the mark really well to complete the race in 29.33 seconds, a new best time for her. This placed her 18th out of 30 swimmers in the 15 year age group. Leah also placed 33rd in the 50 breastroke, and her achievements for qualifying to compete in this stroke should be recognized as she has come on tremendously in her breastroke in the last six months.

Second into the water for the North Norfolk Vikings was Mollie White in the 200m breastroke, where she swam the race with good technique to achieve 16th out of 26 in the 15 year age group. Mollie also competed in the 100m and 50m breastroke where she achieved 19th and 27th position respectively.

India Weston had a busy weekend with one or more events in every session for the three day meet. Her targets mainly focused on securing good times in her staple races: the Breastoke and individual medley events.  She was faced with the challenge of heats and finals over the competition, and began with the 200m breastroke where she produced a time of 2:42.43 to put her into 3rd position going into the evening final. India managed to better her time in the final to 2:40.03 with a great swim and claiming the bronze medal. On the same day she also managed to produce a personal best time in the 50m breastroke, completing the race in 34.91. This ranked her joint first into the final though unfortunately she just missed the medals in race. However she did claim more medals in 100m breastroke and 200m IM, coming second and third respectively.

Well done to all three of you for your achievements and they definitely are fantastic role models to our younger swimmers and always demonstrate how to train to achieve that level in the sport.

A few weeks later in May we then saw our age groupers take to the pool in, with Abi Gotts and Emily Haslam representing us at the Age group regional championships in Luton. Emily competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle, where she achieved a Personal best in the 100 free, finishing 22nd in the 14 year age group. Emily also swam the 50 fly in a best time of 32.68, finishing 23rd.  Abi also had a good weekend, swimming best times in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events, finishing 14th and 13 respectively in the 13-year age group.  Abi’s 200 freestyle was a fantastic swim where she took the race out very hard from the outside lane and showed a lot of mental strength and courage to maintain this speed when the pain hit her body from going out strong, and she hit the wall in 2:22 equaling her short course PB in the Long course pool. Well done to the pair of you on a great weekend.

We also competed in the county challenge gala in june, securing 19 medals including 11 golds, as well as achieving 54 PB times at the Nifty 50’s gala at the start of September. Also Another 23 medals were picked up at the Dereham Iceni gala.

This concludes this years competitions however there are a few other achievements that should be recognized and firstly the club would like to congratulate Stuart Dyble on his success at the swim England national masters championships held in October this year at ponds forge in sheffeild. Stuart secured the gold medal in his age group in the 400 freestyle to win the title of national champion and breaking the regional record along the way. He also finished 3rd in the 100 fly. These are huge achievements and he’s a great example for all the younger swimmers here that the sport doesn’t have to stop when you finish childhood and it can be carried on into adulthood and you can still achieve great things. He trains very hard and I don’t think many people realize how strong the masters section at this club is, they all complete sets to a high standard in their sessions and they are very fast individuals in the water and the club is proud. Well done Stuart on your achievements and keep up the great work.

Finally we had a first for the club this year, qualifying two swimmers to the Open British championships, which is the staple event in the British swimming calendar and differs from all other national championships in that there are only junior and senior qualifying times. The majority of the Olympic squad compete in this competition and it is the Olympic qualifying meet during Olympic years. This meet fell in the first week of March and was held in Edinburgh. Tilly Meyrick and India Weston both achieved qualifying times for the event however unfortunately this was during the snow period we had this year and many people couldn’t make it to the event due to the dangerous conditions on the roads and trains being cancelled. However India did make it up there and raced in both the 200 breastroke and 200 individual medley.  In her 200 breastroke she swam the race in 2:39.83 which placed her 17th overall in the junior category. This marks an incredible achievement and is a credit to her work ethic in the pool but also to her diet for training and congratulations to her on that result.

Thankyou everyone for an amazing season, coaches, poolside helpers, team managers, parents, and committee members but most of all to you swimmers for making us all proud with your achievements in the pool this year

Adam Crafer

Head Coach



This year the club sent seven swimmers to the annual ASA East Regional Championship, held in both Luton & Norwich, a significant improvement on the previous year. These championships  saw all the top swimmers from all the east regional counties coming together to compete over two weekends. With the ASA National qualifying window nearing the end, the stakes were high and the swimmers were under a great deal of pressure to produce some good results.

Two of our swimmers were competing at Luton at the youth championships from 29th of April-1st May, Immy Horne-Morris was competing in the 50m Breastroke in the 16 year age category, finishing in respectable 22nd place.

India Weston competed in six events, making 3 finals in the 15 year age category, day one began with the 50m freestyle finishing with a respectable 29th place, followed by the 200m Breastroke event posting a heat time of 2:50.30 ranking her 6th going into the final, holding the field well and increasing her stroke rate in the final 50m to finish in 5th place and improving on her heat time by over 2 seconds touching in 2:48.06. India also made the finals in 100m Breastroke, finishing 5th & posting a time of 1:19.14, & finishing 6th in the 200IM posting a time of 2:32.94, This was India’s second Regional championship, competing in her first in the 50m Backstroke, India continues to make significant improvements & we look forward to seeing her make more improvements in the coming months & seasons ahead.

Four weeks later , five of our junior swimmers were competing at the age group Regionals held in Norwich over the May bank holiday weekend. Abi Gotts, Emily Haslam & Alanya Shaw were competing in their first Regionals, with Mollie White & Matilda Meyrick returning from the previous year.

All the girls raced well throughout the three days, achieving long course personal best’s, finals, & medals along the way, Emily Haslam swam a strong race in the 50m freestyle, finishing with a time of 30.61, in 35th place out of 61, in the 13 year old category, a good result & pb. In the same race Abi Gotts swam a good heat to finish 7th in the 11/12 year old category, progressing to her first regional final finishing 8th overall. Abi also competed in the50m, 100m, & 200m Breastroke events as well as the 100m & 200m freestyle events. On the final day Abi swam a fantastic 200m freestyle race, pulling away from the field in her heat on the first 50m, attacking the race from the start, maintaining her lead only to be touched into second place by a tiny margin, missing out on a place in the final, however producing a very respectable pb of more than 2 seconds touching in 2:27.33, a great swim overall.

Mollie White competed in three Breastroke events, which is a considerable feat considering a very difficult season dealing with injuries, producing strong swims to place 17th, 14th & 12th in the 100m, 200m, & 50m Breaststroke events in  the 14 year old category.

Alanya Shaw, also having struggled with injury this season finished 24th in the 100m Butterfly, & 30th in the 50m Butterfly in the 13 year old category.

Finally Matilda Meyrick had some good performances in the Backstroke Events, collecting two bronze medals in the 50m & 100m, & gold in the 200m Backstroke. After disappointment in the 200m Backstroke heats Matilda went into the final in second place, maintaining the second place through most of the race behind Emma Cruickshank from team Ipswich, increasing her stroke rate effectively in the last 50m to gain the lead & take the win.

Overall with Vikings swimmers making eight finals over the two weekends, all producing some respectable swims, a great effort & a good indication of direction the club is moving in, I would hope to see an increase in the number of swimmers qualifying in 2018.

Well done to everyone who took part in these championships.


Adam Crafer


Swim at Victory

Swim at Rossi's