Report by: Angela Appleby

THREE Skipton Swimming Club swimmers have achieved top ten positions at the 2023 British Summer Championships at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

The Championships is a key end-of-season competition opportunity for talented junior athletes who are preparing for senior medal-winning performance.

Skipton’s Rohan Smith (18), who was competing in the men’s open age category for the first time, qualified for several events but chose to swim in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle. He clinched victory in a tense swim-off to qualify for the 50m breaststroke final and was placed 10th in Great Britain overall in a time of 28.98 seconds.

Rohan, who has just completed his A-levels at Ermysted’s Grammar School, has also recently achieved a Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE), which is a unique government-funded programme delivered by Swim England in collaboration with Loughborough College. It aims to prepare athletes for a lifelong, high-performance journey in aquatics. Rohan will transfer to the City of Sheffield swimming club next season to continue his competitive swimming journey.

Teammate and fellow Ermysted’s student, Jack Jenkinson (16), qualified for eight events at the British Championships, swimming in the age 17 category. He reached the finals in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events. He placed 5th in the 50m freestyle in an incredible 23.88 seconds. Jack has been identified by the Swim England Talent Team as potentially eligible for the 2023 Diploma in Sporting Excellence programme and he is hopeful that his performance at the British Championships will help secure his place.

Sam Smith (16), also representing Skipton Swimming Club, qualified for five events at the Championships, reaching the finals in all of them. He narrowly missed out on a medal in the 100m freestyle, placing 4th. He went on to achieve 6th place in the 50m and 100m butterfly events, 7th place in the 200m freestyle and 8th place in the 50m freestyle. It was a successful week for Sam who achieved personal best times in all his events.

Sam was joined by three of his Skipton team-mates to compete in two age 14/16 boys team events at the Championships - the 4x100m freestyle (alongside Sean Smith, Zak Sheriff and Joe Burgess) and the 4x100m Medley in which Sam swam the fly leg, Zak swam backstroke, Sean swam breaststroke and Joe swam freestyle. They performed well and were placed 18th in Great Britain in both events.

Immediately following the British Championships, Sam Smith went on to achieve further success at the Swim England National Summer Meet, where he qualified for two events and was placed 4th in the country in the 200m butterfly and 11th in the 400m freestyle. He achieved personal best times in both events.

Joining Sam at the National Meet were Skipton teammates Sean Smith and Poppy Dunne. Sean qualified for several events but chose to swim in five: the 50m and 100m breaststroke, the 50m and 100m butterfly and the 200m Individual Medley. Sean secured a sensational silver medal in the 50m fly with a personal best time of 26.42 seconds and went on to be placed 5th in the 50m breaststroke (31.40 seconds) and 8th in the 100m breaststroke which he swam in 1.10.70.

Poppy Dunne (14) swam in three events at the meet, securing 5th place in the 50m backstroke, 7th place in the 50m freestyle and 16th place in the 100m backstroke. She achieved personal best times in both of her 50m events.

The National Summer Meet is Swim England’s biggest domestic swimming event of the year.