Ripley RASCAL Lifesavers have started their summer campaign to compete with the best GB SURF clubs over the beach season in emphatic fashiom.
A squad of 26 represented Ripley at the SURF GB pool championships in the beautiful setting of Millfield School, in Street, Somerset.
Over two days, the Nipper Championships for 8-13 year olds were followed by the youth championships for 13-19 years, staged in age banded categories and followed by inter club relays.
As a result of their considerable efforts, RASCALS finished fifth out of the 27 clubs taking part and won 29 medals, including four individual gold, five silver and 20 bronze medals, which the club was delighted with.
The Nippers showed skill and team spirit and RASCALS’ new nipper board was delivered with great excitement. This has been secured by fundraising in the club and a generous and much-appreciated donation from Amber Valley Rotary Club.
Georgina Holbird-Gayle won a bronze in Manikin Carry, but there were top ten places for Jessica Hancock, Jason Lockwood, sisters Kezia and Megan Emerton, (who at eight years was RASCALS’ youngest competitor), Alistair Hutchinson and Emma Soames. For more club results see right.
In the youth team, Adam Threlfall set a NEW UK RECORD for 17 year
old swimmer in the super lifesaver, and won two bronze medals. Anthony
Mason a silver, and Frazer Crump bronze. The medalling stars for the club
were Jessica Lockwood, who won two gold and three more silver, medalling
in all her events as a 14/15 year old and George Spendlove who won two
gold, a silver and all top ten finishes in the same age category. These are truly
exceptional achievements at a National Competition.
Great swims resulted in top ten placing for Fern Jackson, Josh Bee Tong,
Jennie Lockwood, Susannah Allsop, Cameron Hutchinson, and Sam Wesson.
Younger swimmers stepped in to support and lift the relay teams to three
bronze medals. Fern Jackson swimming up to under 19 years aged 15,
Georgina Holbird-Gayle in the 15 years and under aged only 11 years, and
Alistair Hutchinson in the 17 years and under aged only 12!! Team relay
swimmers with them earning these medals were, Jess Lockwood, Isabel Hyde,
Frazer, George and Cameron. Josh Bee Tong, Sam Wesson, Anthony Mason
and Adam also won bronze in the under 19 medley relay.
All the Ripley squad were fantastic, the coaching team was exceptionally
proud of them, but by far the most supportive role must be that of parents
of these young athletes, who give of their time and support to allow their
children to compete and excel at sport at this level. The strong team spirit
within RASCALS welcomes new families each year. Lifesaving is an
inclusive and fun sport for young people to participate in throughout their
school and university years, there is always a challenge, and the standards and
physical excellence climb year on year. RASCALS growth in the sport is very
impressive, ‘a successful SURF Club in land locked Derbyshire.... something
must be going well!!’
If you are interested in finding out more about lifesaving or RASCALS please
visit the web site of www.ripleyrascals.org.uk or come along to a session at
Ripley Leisure centre after 7.30pm on a Friday evening, and a member of the
committee will gladly answer any questions. The next open water training
sessions are at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, over the summer months, and
beach training takes place at Bridlington, East Yorkshire. There are practice
weekends in Devon before the National SURF Championships in July. Noncompetitive members are welcomed. Lifesaving can be a hobby or a sport,
there really is something for everybody, and the water safety skill set it
teaches could really make a difference to someone’s life. Give it a try!