Kingston Upon Hull swimmers compete alongside Olympic medallists Rebecca Adlington and Joanne Jackson

The British Championships held in Sheffield were an opportunity for the Country’s top swimmers to compete for selection to their respective home country teams to compete at the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi. The Country’s junior swimmers, Girls born 94/95 and Boys born 92/93 had the opportunity to try and obtain selection to the be part of the Great Britain team to compete at the European Junior Championships to be held in Finland

Competing under the Hull banner were Grace Dennis, Rachael Williamson, Natasha Bellamy and Matthew Sleight.

Grace at only 13 years of age, set the ball rolling, swimming in the first race of the 2010 Championships at her first experience of racing at such a high level. This was an opportunity for her to test herself against the very best. Grace performed exceptionally well at the first attempt, matching her entry time of 2.09.50 in the 200-metre freestyle. Grace used this initial race experience to obtain significant improvements in the 50 and 400 freestyle, placing herself in the top 6 in the Country for her age.

Rachael has previously been part of a Great Britain swim Team, having gained a bronze medal in the 800 frontcrawl at the Youth Olympics in 2009. This time Rachael showed her desire to be successful by achieving personal bests in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. Her performance in the 200 freestyle of 2.04.47 gaining her selection to the Great Britain Junior team that competes in Finland in July 2010.

For Matthew, the 2010 championships was an opportunity for him to gain experience of competing at such a level, in preparation of the mind set and focus that will be required for the 2011 Championships when Matthew would be within an opportunity of competing for selection to the Great Britain Youth Olympic team. Matthew obtained a personal best time of 2.12.64 in the 200 fly and whilst the 1500 freestyle did not go according to plan, in only his 3rd attempt at this race, Matthew has become energised to succeed.

Natasha had achieved the qualifying times to compete in both the 200 fly and 400 Individual medley. However, due to both disciplines being in the same morning session and within 15 minutes of each other, the decision was taken to compete only in the 400 Individual medley. Unfortunately, whilst lying 4th after the backstroke leg and after doing the 100fly leg in a personal best split time of 66.28, Natasha suffered an injury, which forced her to retire.

The Kingston Upon Hull Swimming Club has talent to follow in Rachael’s, Natasha’s, Matthew’s and Graces footsteps. You can also be part of the cities premier swimming club. Contact Peter Richardson 07774 981391.