Ahead of a busy summer of sport, the best age group swimmers will descend on Aberdeen to compete in the Scottish Gas National Age Group Championships, which take place at the Aberdeen Aquatics Centre from 25 – 29 June.
Over 840 athletes representing over 90 clubs will compete over the five day event, including 13-year old Erraid Davies from Shetland, the youngest ever member of Team Scotland. She will be joined by other Team Scotland members, Lucy Hope, Rachel-Louise Masson, Andrew McGovern, Jack Ness, Rachael O’Donnell and Hannah Miley who will be representing Scotland at her third consecutive Games.
With the Games only a month away, Andrew McGovern explained the importance of competing at the event,
“The Scottish Gas National Age Group Championships provide the perfect chance for some fast racing during a period of intense training. I'll be racing the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle; both events provide an excellent opportunity to further improve on skills and race strategy, so when it comes to the Games I'll be firing on all cylinders. So far the preparation has been going really well, I've seen some big improvements in the gym with John while my physio Alison has done a great job of keeping me injury free over this period of tough training.”
Fife-based athlete Craig Bowman, who has been selected to the GBR squad heading to Holland in July for the European Junior Swimming Championships, will also be competing at the Age Group Championships.
For the majority of athletes competing, the Scottish Gas National Age Group Championships provide the perfect stage to compete against their peers before heading to Ponds Forge in July for the British National Age Group and Youth Championships.
Speaking ahead of the event 14-year old Finlay Deans from City of Aberdeen Swim Team (COAST) said,
“I am really looking forward to competing at the Scottish Gas National Age Groups Championships, especially at the new Aquatics Centre. For me the event will be a step towards my end of season goals when competing at the ASA Age Groups in July and towards my longer term International success. These Championships will be an opportunity for me to put all the practice into action and I love racing to win. I can't wait!”
His team-mate, Eilidh Duthie (16) also commented,
“I've been looking forward to the Scottish Age Groups for a while now and the excitement is building and I can't wait to get racing in my home pool. I'm using the Age Group Championships as a step towards achieving my end of season goals at the British Youth's in August and hopefully as a stepping stone towards future international success. The atmosphere at Age Groups is often especially memorable, as there is a great team atmosphere and it is always a very fun competition to race at. I'm also really looking forward to seeing all my friends and it will be good to race against the top swimmers in Scotland.”
Scottish Swimming, in partnership with Glasgow-based Quipu TV, will once again be providing a free-to-air live stream from the Championships, broadcasting all sessions online as professional sports coverage. The stream can be found online at www.scottishswimming.com/live
Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Swimming said,
“The fact that there are around 840 competitors speaks volumes about the importance of this event. The quality of young swimmers coming through the pathway continues to be high which bodes well for the future.
“On behalf of Scottish Swimming I wish all athletes competing the very best and hope the event provides them with the ideal racing opportunity and experience ahead of a great summer of swimming, whether representing their Country at the Commonwealth Games or European Championships, or their Club at National level.”
Kevin Roxburgh, Managing Director of Scottish Gas is excited about the partnership Scottish Gas and Scottish Swimming have formed for National Events and commented,
“Scottish Gas is proud of the partnership we have forged with Scottish Swimming, supporting swimmers of all levels from beginners to elite athletes. As a business we are passionate about supporting our people and our customers to invest in their wellbeing. Swimming is a great way to keep fit, relieve stress and have fun with your family. That is why it is wonderful to see so many bright young Scottish talents showing that an active childhood can lead to great achievements.”
The event is open to the public for a fee of £4 per morning and afternoon session, and £5 per final session, with the timings for each session listed below.
Morning Heats: From 08:45 (Wednesday – Sunday)
Afternoon Heats: From 13:00 (Wednesday – Saturday; 12:45 on Sunday)
Evening Finals: From 17:30 (Wednesday – Saturday; 17:00 on Sunday)
The event can also be followed on social media by using #SNAGS14 as hashtag, as well as on Scottish Swimming’s website, www.scottishswimming.com. A new section, Swim Buzz, will provide users up-to-date information about the Championships and other Scottish Swimming events, and can be visited at www.swimbuzz.co.uk