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

The British Championships held in Manchester were an opportunity for the Country’s top swimmers to compete for selection to represent Great Britain at the World Championships.

The 2012 London Olympics is now on the horizon and the British Championships was also an opportunity for the current crops of senior swimmers to show case their talents to a capacity crowd.

The Country’s junior swimmers, Girls born 95/96 and Boys born 93/94 had the opportunity to try and obtain selection to the be part of the Great Britain team to compete at the European Junior Championships 2011 to be held in Belgrade.

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

Grace at only 14 years of age set the ball rolling, swimming in the 400 freestyle. Whilst her race didn’t go to plan, it provided the opportunity for her to adopt a strategy to be better able to control her nerves for additional races later in the week. In the 100 & 200 freestyle event Grace produced season best swims that matched her Personal Best times. Grace left her finest performance for the 800 freestyle, competing in the same heat as Kerrianne Payne. Graces time0f 9.03.50 currently ranking her 2nd 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 front crawl at the Youth Olympics in 2009 and a silver medal as part of the girls 4 x 200 freestyle relay team at the European Junior Championships 2010. Rachael produced a great swim in the 400 freestyle, achieving a personal best time of 4.18.74. With this swim Rachael was inside the qualification time for possible selection to the Great Britain Junior Team. Rachael has since received confirmation of her GB selection. Rachael continued to perform well during the later stages of the week despite suffering from a cold, her time in the 200 freestyle of 2.04.87 being just outside her personal best time of 2.04.47.

For Matthew, the 2011 championships was a further 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 2012 Championships when Matthew would be within an opportunity of competing for selection to the Great Britain European Junior Team 2012. Matthew was focussed in his desire to succeed and proceed along the path of achieving his long-term goal of representing Great Britain. Matthew performed very well and achieved personal best times of 4.07.47 in the 400 freestyle, 1.57.57 in the 200 freestyle and 16.21.01 in the 1500 freestyle.

Natasha had achieved the qualifying times to compete in both the 200 fly and 400 Individual medley, a great achievement in its own right. In the 400 Individual Medley Natasha achieved a seasons best time of 5.02.89, this being a reward for some quality training sessions. Natasha has also since been selected as part of the England Talent Squad for Pentathlon and has qualified to compete at the Biathlon Nationals to be held in June2011 at Birmingham.

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 Hull’s premier swimming club. Contact Peter Richardson 07774 981391.