CHARD and district held their third Preliminaries Gala at The Flamingo Pool, Axminster writes Megan Voysey.

The galas are intended to give the club’s newest and youngest swimmers a taster at competitive swimming at a fun, and friendly event.

The races were all one length only in each of the four strokes, and over 60 excited six to 12-year-olds took part. Three youngsters who swam under 20 seconds for the first time in their 25m freestyle race and so achieved the club’s bronze speed badge for 9-year- olds and under.

They were Cole Dickinson, Mia Huntley and Florence McConnell.

As the swimmers got ready for their races, the many gala jobs, including time-keeping, marshalling, starter and place judge were shared out between the club’s young volunteers who have or are taking part in the ASA South West Young Volunteer Programme.

Helping with the team effort were Hannah and Jamie Pullinger, Lauren and Paul Harrison, Lauren van den Barselaar, Mollie Simpson, Iain Ross, Ella Harvey and Megan Voysey.

Everyone taking part was presented with a certificate showing their times by club chairman Eric van den Barselaar.

Swimmers taking part were: Abigail Greenslade, Eden and Neve McDonald, Cole Dickinson, Jasmine Voysey, Posy Doble, Jacob Hale, Grace Lambert, Isobel Cullen, Abbie Herbert, Leonie Housham, Harriet Copeman, Mia and Esme Huntley, Freddie Coles, Ben and Catherine Webb, Brianna Barrand, Jasmine McAuley, Florence, Tom and Nia McConnell, Phoebe, Saffron and Alice Clark, Olivia James, Freya Rex, Cerys Williams, Molly Hunt, Freddie Loder, Millie and Finlay Downes, Natasha Dower, Kaitlyn Flannigan, William Hawkins, Joe Swan, Max and Reg Tuttiett, Jevan Hampton-Rumbold, Simon Law, Ollie and Ferdy Parry Leyshon, Ned Riley, Charlotte and Isabella Young, Sarah Cawley, Caitlin Sloman, Sebastian Madge, Mia Porter, Dylan and Noah Payne, Niall Beauchamp, Isabella Moore, Joe and Bella Shrubb Tegan Cockerell, Maddie Veever, Lyndon Smith, Jack Thompson, Louis Whittome and Sam Platten.

n Chard are always looking for new members. Sessions are held in Axminster, Chard and Crewkerne, as well as long course training at Millfield School pool. To find out more or arrange a free trial visit