Swimmers urged to get into gala spirit

PUBLISHED: 09:25 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

Royston Swimming Club s hopes of gaining promotion in the North Hertfordshire Major League in 2006 are being undermined because too many outstanding youngsters are hiding their light under a bushel, coach Tricia Dear said this week. Dear estimates that

Royston Swimming Club's hopes of gaining promotion in the North Hertfordshire Major League in 2006 are being undermined because too many outstanding youngsters are "hiding their light under a bushel," coach Tricia Dear said this week.

Dear estimates that around one in four club members do not want to compete in galas - consequently the club will take a below - strength line-up to Haileybury on Saturday for the first division three Major League meet of the new season.

"It's frustrating," said Dear. "A lot of children don't want to race or compete in galas. I don't know really know why. I don't know whether they're nervous or frightened or what it is.

"We'll take a squad of about 16 to the meeting on Saturday. And I would say four or five swimmers who were picked have opted not to go.

"They're all outstanding young swimmers who are basically hiding their light under a bushel. And we've got to find a way to get them - and every member - to want to race and compete so they can achieve their potential.

"If we could turn out a full-strength squad at every meeting we would have a good chance of promotion to division two. If we can't, we won't.

"Last year we didn't travel to some galas simply because we couldn't raise a team. That's disappointing for the coaches but more importantly it's disappointing for the swimmers who do want to race because they're being let down.

"And the worry is that we will lose swimmers because they'll go to clubs which will turn teams out. That's started to happen already.

"I want all the members at Royston to understand that they are all excellent swimmers - otherwise they wouldn't be in the club.

"And I want children - and their parents - to appreciate that when they're picked to swim in galas for Royston Swimming Club they should be very proud of themselves because it's a considerable achievement.

"They're representing their town. How many people get the chance to do that - at anything? And they shouldn't miss out on a fantastic opportunity.

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