Viking Trust swimmers make a splash at schools gala

Swimmers from Chilton (top) Upton (left) and RAPS (right)

Viking Academy Trust schools are celebrating landmark performances at the recent Thanet primary schools swimming gala.

Ramsgate Arts Primary made a splash when it entered the Thanet Swim Club competition for the first time, Chilton Primary recorded its best performance for some years, and Upton Juniors Upton swimmers were among the medals with top three placings.

RAPS Head of School Nick Budge said: “It was the first time we have taken part – it is a lovely community sporting occasion and we decided to dip our toe in the water and see how we got on.

“Our children absolutely loved it and came away with lots of medals. We made 11 finals and recorded lots of excellent swimming times. The main thing was seeing our children cheering each other on and the smiles on their faces.”

Each pupil swam a relay and individual strokes, and their performances included a gold and three bronze medal, plus fifth and sixth placings. Overall, Year 3 and 4 came sixth and Year 5 and 6 came sixth.

Meanwhile the RAPS adult team that took part became record-breakers in the teachers’ freestyle relay. Mr Cialis (Teacher Year 4), Miss Pilcher (Teaching Assistant Year 1), Mr Myers (parent), and Mason Lilliott (brother of a Year 3 pupil) beat Palm Bay School’s record of 57seconds in 2019 with an impressive speedy time of 55 seconds.

RAPS involvement was co-ordinated by Teaching Assistants Becky Pilcher, Donna Perry and Jasmin Pilcher who said: “We are so proud of our swimmers. They were fantastic representatives for the school and competed brilliantly in our first visit to the Thanet gala.”

The school has already pledged to take part in next year’s event.

Team Upton meant business in both age groups in the gala at Margate’s Hartsdown Park leisure centre. In the Year 3 and 4 session, Upton came a very respectable second place – and in the Year 5 and 6 races, the school was placed third.

Excellent personal and team performances across the board saw Upton finishing in third place overall, gaining four relay trophies and many strong individual placings.

Sports coach and PE lead Callum Noble praised the swimmers’ enthusiasm and dedication. He said: “It was the first time that Thanet Swim Club has held the gala since the Covid pandemic restrictions and it was brilliant to get back in the water and compete. Our pupils were in fine form and represented our school to a high standard.”

Head of School Darci Arthur added: “This is a tough competition with lots of good young swimmers in action. Our children love the sport and really enjoy honing their skills in our on-site swimming pool, which is a big bonus for Upton children. They should be proud of their achievements.”

Chilton Primary’s swimmers have plenty to be proud of – the team came fourth overall, narrowly missing out on third spot by just a single point.

Individual and team events included freestyle, backstroke, mixed freestyle, mixed medley, breaststroke, butterfly and 100m. In total Chilton entered 11 events, made 10 finals, with 8 podium finishes and 5 personal bests.

The Year 3 and 4 team were Eloise, Alex, Lois, and Ewan, while the Year 5 and 6 group were Sienna, George, Arthur, Francesca, Chloe and Jenson.

Deputy Head of School Hannah Cheshire said: “This was a great effort by our team. They performed so well and with great energy and enthusiasm. It gave Chilton its best showing at the competition for some years and the whole school is proud to celebrate their achievements with them.

“Living so close to the coast, swimming and knowing how to be safe in the water is very important to us. That is why we dedicate swimming for one term every year as part of their PE curriculum and focus on water safety too.”

Chilton Primary, Ramsgate Arts Primary and Upton Juniors are all part of the Viking Academy Trust.

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