SwimMark Club

Arena League 2017

Arena League Round 1 Report – Saturday 14th October


After a last minute entry and only a couple of weeks to prepare it was time for Elmbridge Phoenix to compete in the Arena League. The first round took place at the Quays in Southampton. For many of our swimmers it was their first time of competing at such a big event, but the team rose to the challenge. After the first 10 races, we had won 6 of them, 5 of these being in relays. This success meant that we were sitting top of the gala on points, but the job wasn’t done yet. 


After the relays, swimmers began tackling individual events.  All swimmers who stepped up onto the blocks gave it their all,and we had some extremely strong performances with many swimmers hitting personal bests. At the halfway stage Elmbridge were still top on points, but Bracknell and Littlehampton were only a handful of points behind.


We then came to the second phase of relays. The team really stepped up and showed that they were not willing to let the lead slip. We ended up winning 7 out of 8 relays including the open ladies and mens squadron, which were both really exciting to watch!


The excitement of the night ended in glory with Elmbridge winning the first round comfortably with 283 points. We won 26 of the 50 events available to race. The best part of the night was the fact that the club won 12 of the 16 relays.


This to me is the most important thing, it shows that the club have strength in depth. It is great to win individuals but to win relays shows we have a strong team that work hard together to do the best for the club. The performance showed that it doesn’t matter whether swimmers raced in 1 event or 4 events, the team pulled together to win a competition, and win it in style.


Big thank you to Jason Gordon, Rae Gordon and Dan Odfjell who stepped in to officiate at short notice. Thanks also to Stacey Portat, Donna Pilgrim, Sarah Hempenstall and Sheila O’Brien for sorting travel and help on poolside.


Team Spirit was fantastic, and I hope we continue our winning ways into the next round at Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth on Saturday 11th November. 


Glen Melson


Assistant Head Coach