Last Sunday, 7th April, was the first round of the Barnsley Minors league at the Spenborough Pool & Leisure Centre. The Barnsley Minors League is a yearly competition with 4 divisions. Each division features 4 teams and each team hosts a round. The top team after the 4th round wins the division and moves into the division above or wins the entire league. Team Steel are currently in the 3rd division, but with a performance such as the one from the weekend we will definitely be fighting for the top spot in our division.

There are four age groups 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under and open. Team Steel stole the show with an impressive win. Leading from the start we kept the momentum going and won by 30 points. This puts us in a great position for round two on the 12th May. The swimmers from JO3, JO2, JO1 and Regional Squad were joined by the three Masters swimmers Harriet, Max and myself. I have to admit it was the first time I have swum in a 33m pool, which was quite strange, but great to just enjoy the racing. The atmosphere and the team spirit of Team Steel was amazing. I was really impressed by many of the up and coming swimmers especially their racing attitude as they left nothing in the pool.

Isla Heathcote and Vincent Narravo gave our team a great start with a superb win in the breaststroke. In the 12 and unders Amber Finlay also put in a dominating performance in the breaststroke, technically I thought they all looked great. It was great to see how strong our young fly swimmers are, with Ffion Elsby-Adams, George Tartakovski, Bengisu Yakut Aramburu and Tyrese Gregory all taking the maximum points for Team Steel. Dasiy Fowler showed some class underwater skills taking the lead in the backstroke, which she never gave back, taking first place. Lily White, Connor Sherring and Sana Tarkovski also added a lot of points for Team Steel in their backstroke events. On the freestyle events Megan Helm and Willow Harrison speeded each to first place, true pocket rockets.

Often at Barnsley Minors the swimmers have to swim up an age group if no one else is available, this can sometimes be daunting for the younger swimmers, but our swimmers showed no signs of nerves. Ethan Rochester and James Ryall, who jumped up an age group, helped me and Max out in the open freestyle relay. Having given them a lead they didn’t let any of the other teams catch them on the last two legs and we won the event. Reuben Anderson really stepped up in his relay starting the final leg in second place he overtook the other swimmers and touched in first, it was great race to watch. Another swimmer who stepped up for the relays was Connor Lund, whose first meet it was for Team Steel. Jermaine Mansell really helped out the team by doing back to back race. After giving his all in the freestyle 12 years he started near enough straight again with 14 years backstroke, which to me was true Team Steel spirit. Ainé Hughes, Miya Benner and Jesse Finlay took first place with Harriet in the Open Medley relay.

The final event is always the canon relay in which one swimmer from each age group of the boys and girls swims one length. Despite the back to back racing our swimmers showed no signs of fatigue and powered to a big victory and finished the meet in style. It was a fantastic meet to be part of as you could get behind and cheer on the team and enjoy some awesome racing. Coaches Wendy and Kiera were great in sorting out all the kids for their swims. A special thanks also goes to our two volunteer officials.