Competitive club swimmers from Woodham Sports Academy took part in the English Schools Swimming Association North East Trials recently.
The event was held at Durham City Freeman Quay and hosted schools from all over the North East of England to compete in medley and freestyle relays.
The squad was a mixture of year 7 and 8 girls, and year 9 and 10 boys.
Woodham Academy has always had a strong swimming tradition and has excellent links to Sedgefield 75, currently working with coach Heather Brewster.
The event itself was a huge success for Woodham Academy students Josh Blackburn, Ben Stephenson, Lyndon Hall and Flynn Leybounre who swam the fifth fastest time in the senior boys’ freestyle relay, and Niall Coulthard, Jake Mendelsohn, Jonathan Jones and Joseph Boyes who came fourth overall in the junior boys’ freestyle.
The time they posted will hopefully be enough to take them to National Finals in Crystal Palace London once all ESSA regional trials have been completed – the best 16 times in the country compete. This is just another indication of the success of Woodham Sports Academy, where there are now over 40 swimmers.
Woodham’s Sports Academy director Liam Clough said: “The recent ESSA swimming gala was another indication of the strength of talent we have at Woodham Academy.
“Since the launch of the Sports Academy our school sport has grown immensely with over 300 students across the Academy involved in extra-curricular sport. We have students now who regularly compete at district, regional, national and international level; it is fantastic to work with students who are extremely talented.”
This is just one of the exciting opportunities available to Woodham students with regard to swimming.
Woodham Academy is very lucky to have a school pool in such good condition and utilises the facility to the full. All students in Key Stage 3 at Woodham Academy have a series of swimming sessions throughout the year where they will focus on competitive swimming strokes, water confidence activities, lifesaving, personal survival and water polo.
Outside of school time the pool is used for Sports Academy swimming and water polo practice. This offers an opportunity for students to access these activities with qualified, experienced coaches free of charge.