Competition hardware in the form of deck-level starting blocks at the deep end and anti-wave lane ropes was installed on 15 December at our RiversMeet training base by the Cheltenham engineering firm, Brookforge. The equipment will enable us to hold time trials once Lockdown 3.0 ends, and eventually, it’s hoped, the first licensed competition under Swim England rules at RiversMeet’s 25-metre pool.
“This represents a substantial investment by Turbos and we will be more than happy to look at further improvements to the offering here at RiversMeet,” said the centre’s General Manager, Alan Waistell. “I’m looking forward to helping the club achieve great things.”
Turbos were one of the first competitive swimming clubs in Dorset to restart training in late July, the day after the centre itself reopened after the first lockdown; all three of its squads, including its elite county-level Performance Squad swimmers, were back in the water in December after the second lockdown.
The club hopes to take part in the special Level X events – single-club time trials – established by Swim England in response to Covid-19 restrictions that, for the time being, prevent inter-club meets.
“This kit represents a huge breakthrough for us since, aside from anything else, we no longer have access to the competition pools at Port Regis or St Mary’s schools,” said Chair Alex Wynter. “What we have to hope now is that Swim England can see its way clear to allowing any new personal bests our swimmers achieve in time trials to stand for possible qualification for county and even regional competition.
“Almost all our young swimmers came back to training after the first two lockdowns, but they need a goal and notching up PBs that will take them forward into full-scale competition will help keep them motivated.
“This is also a good moment to pay tribute to my predecessor as club chair, Anne Mowlem, under whose tenure over several years the bulk of the money was raised that has enabled us to buy the equipment that, in effect, saves us as a competitive club.”