Members of the Worksop College swimming community are in high spirits this week. The team are celebrating their success after returning triumphant from the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) national finals at the London Aquatic Centre last weekend.
Representing the Midlands, the 7-strong team made up of students from Year 7 to Year 13 dominated the event, returning with 20 medals and the Midlands Team coming second overall. Even more impressive, this is the first time the school has ever entered the competition.
Year 12 pupil Lucy Gratton from Tickhill, Doncaster achieved four meals, winning Gold in the Freestyle relay, Silver in the 50m Butterfly, and Bronze in the 100m Freestyle and Individual Medley, Relay, “It was a great experience to swim in a pool that’s seen so many Olympic greats” she said “I’m so proud of my teammates and would like to thank Mr Parkin and Mr Franse for all their support and encouragement”.
The Boys Senior Team from Worksop College also have something to smile about. Made up of 17 year-old Cole Hewitt from Retford, 16-year-old Hari Thorman from Dinnington and 17-year-old Vladimar Gurgenidze from Georgia – the boys were pleased to take Gold in the Medley and Freestyle relays and win the overall senior boys points for the whole event race. Max Davies from Worksop has only been at the school for a matter of months – joining in Year 7 from local primary school, Gatefold Park, in September 2019. Max has been swimming for three years with local club, Worksop Dolphins and is enjoying the flexibility he has to pursue his passion alongside his schoolwork.
Racing in the Category B, Max was born with bilateral Fibula hemomilia and had his right leg amputated just below his knee at nine months old. “I really enjoy my school swimming lessons; they are helping me a lot with my stamina and technique”, said Max, “I am pushed to work hard and I love all the opportunities I have at school.”
Head of Swimming at Worksop College, Trevor Franse, said, “I’m incredibly proud of the team. To achieve this level of success, especially as it was our first time at the competition, is remarkable. We look forward to next year. It will take time to build up our swimming squad and we are moving in the right direction. All the swimmers are keen to swim for the school and showcase their skills and it is great that they have these opportunities”.