ESC Blog

Meet Our Captains…. Part 1


Toby Vale

NAME: Toby Vale




Gloucester Summer Meet OR Soundwell Autumn Meet


The 63 medals I’ve won at open meets and reaching the counties 5 times.


Gain a district time in 50m Backstroke & achieve 13 county qualifying times.


I have worked really hard to get where I am today and it hasn’t been easy. When I was around 13 I went through about 18 months where my times went backwards but I’ve stuck at it, always trained hard and I am proof that perseverance pays off. I am a friendly, approachable person that has been in the club since the age of 6 so please feel free to talk to me, ask me questions or speak to me about anything that’s on your mind or worrying you.

ESC Blog

PGL Round 1 – Sat 12th Jan 2019

What an amazing night at Perdiswell Leisure Centre. On Saturday 12th January, 40 swimmers competed for the club with everyone performing to the best of their ability. What a difference 12 months makes!

PGL Captains, Sam Parker and Bryony Tustin, set the tone for the evening in the 100 IM in the 13/14 Years age group – both recorded a Speeding Ticket! In the context of the competition this was not the best start, in terms of scoring points (too fast = no points), but really shows how we are developing as swimmers. Sam knocked almost 4 seconds off his PB and Bryony 2.44 which is incredible as they only recorded these PBs about a month earlier. In event 4 we again recorded a Speeding Ticket in the form of the Girls 12/u 50m Back with Scarlett Begley again recording a 2.42 second PB. At this point I feared we would not score many points!

With a fantastic Atmosphere, lead by the PGL captains and club captain, Toby Vale, we grew stronger as the event went on. Overall we recorded 16 first place finishes and 23 2nd placed finishes. Whether swimmers were coming 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th we were racking up the points. Throughout the gala we recorded 31 PBs out of a possible 42 and every swim looked strong against tough opposition from bigger local clubs. For many within the club this was their first taster of PGL and I’m sure it will be a memorable one. Some of our most impressive PBs were seen from Olivier Matusak (recording a 10 second PB in the 50m Free), Ivan Atanasov (recording a 3.69 PB in the 25m Fly), Jamie Cape (recording a 3.74 PB in the 50m Fly), George Hirst (recording a 5.18 PB in the 50m Back) and Ned Harrison (recording a 3.36 PB in the 50m Breaststroke). Our strength also shone through in the relay events where we also pushed for top spot in both Cannon Relays, finishing 3rd and 2nd.

The final results were as follows:

1st Worcester – 175 points

2nd Evesham – 160 points

3rd Cheltenham – 145 points

4th Warley Wasps – 99 points


ESC host the next round of our PGL adventure as we entertain Pershore, Stourbridge and Northgate on Saturday 2nd March at Bromsgrove Leisure Centre. This is potentially our toughest round of fixtures but hope to build on the success of Round 1. Well done to all the swimmers and volunteers involved with ensuring the evening was such a success. It was also great to hear the Evesham supporters being the loudest in the spectator area!

ESC Blog

ESC joins Evesham’s Round Table on Santa’s Sleigh

Every year, the Evesham Round Table raises money for local charities by taking Santa in his sleigh around the streets of Evesham and the surrounding villages, collecting donations from well-wishers along the way. In recent years, ESC has taken part in the collection by joining the sleigh for an evening, and this year was no different.

Now, it’s fair to say with the exception of the food, I am generally fairly miserable about Christmas!  In full grinch-like mode I set off for the sleigh, hoping that the Christmas spirit would appear. Eventually we were greeted by a big sleigh, flashing lights and fake reindeer.  We soon got into the rhythm, running along to the festive tunes.  It was great fun, families and friends from the club were out together spreading Christmas cheer and raising money for local charities including our own swimming club.  When home time came we were full of the spirit of Christmas, though our legs were a little weary!

It was a great event to support, and I’m hopeful that next year we can bring along an even bigger crowd. For now though, I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.

Rob Harrison

Chairman, ESC

ESC Members join Santa on his Sleigh to raise funds for the club, and for local charities.


ESC Blog

Back amongst the medals

On the 24th and 25th November the club took 60 swimmers to compete at the 2nd Wychavon Invitational Meet held at Perdiswell Leisure Centre.

The stars of the weekend included Abby Tustin (15/u) who took gold in the 50m Breaststroke (37.41) and claimed a trio of silver medals in the 200m Breast, 100m Breast and 100m Individual Medley. Tom Sims (16/u) snatched bronze in the 100m Backstroke, Daniel Jones (13/u) won three bronze medals in the 200m Backstroke, 100m Backstroke and 50m Free, whilst Bryony Tustin claimed bronze for an impressive 100m Freestyle swim. Josh Hennessy (12/u) also impressed with gold in the 200m Freestyle (2:42.35), silver in the 50m Free and bronze in the 100m Free and 50 Fly. Meanwhile Sophie Norman overcame recent injury to complete an amazing swim in the 50m Breaststroke and claim silver.

In the younger age groups the Club are really showing promise, taking their fair share of medals home in what was the first competitive event for some swimmers. Sophie Walters (8/u) winning gold in the 25m Back (22.50) and silver in the 25m Free. Hebe Gregg came through to win silver in the 25m Breaststroke and for the 8/u boys Thomas Shakespeare took double gold in the 25m Butterfly (22.81) and 25m Freestyle (17.66) with Edward Rice clinching a bronze in the 25m Breaststroke.

Chloe Honeywell (9/u) had a haul of medals with silver in the 25m Back and 50m Free and bronze in the 100 Individual Medley and 50m Butterfly. Chloe also had an impressive victory in the 25m Free (17.98) with fellow team mate Olivia Voss clinching the silver. For the 11/u swimmers, Matt James took bronze in the 50m Backstroke, Rhys Tombs took two bronze medals in the 100m Fly and 200m Breaststroke and Daisy Gregg achieved a hat-trick of gold medals in the 50m (40.09), 100m (1:33.51) and 200m Breaststroke (3:15.70).

An impressive 32 medals over the weekend highlighted the progress that all the swimmers at ESC are making, not to mention the 205 Personal Best times recorded by ESC swimmers over the two days. The club now have 12 swimmers who have qualified for the County Championships that take place in the new year, 11 more than in the previous year. With more competitions planned and improvements all-round the future is looking bright for Evesham Swimming Club.

Coach's corner · ESC Blog · Uncategorized

GCSC Open Meet 2018

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July Evesham Swimming Club took 16 swimmers to the Gloucester City Swimming Club Open Meet at GL1. The behaviour and maturity of all swimmers involved, representing the club, was superb. I was immensely proud of every one of our swimmers.

In the 9 and under category Emily Byrd recorded four Personal Best times in the 50m Free, 50m Backstroke, 100m Individual Medley (IM) and 50m Breaststroke. Emily secured a 4th place in the 50m Free, 6th in the 50 Breast and a Bronze in the 100m IM (with a massive 9 second PB). In the 10 Year age group Louise Coumbe recorded two fantastic Personal Best swims in the 50 Breaststroke and 50m Backstroke.

We saw a number of successes in the 11 Years age group. Daisy Gregg achieved one Gold and one Bronze in the 100m Breaststroke and 50m Breaststroke respectively. In both events Daisy secured a County Qualification Time for the 2019 Championships. A further medal was achieved in the 100 IM, finishing in 7th place. Keira Anderson also performed exceptionally well in the 11 Years 100m Breaststroke and 50m Breaststroke; narrowly missing out on a County Qualification Time in both. Keira smashed her 100m PB by around 11 seconds and was awarded 7th place in the 100m Breaststroke and 6th place in the 50m Breaststroke. Rhys Tombs, William Green and Jamie Gilbert did the 11 Years age group proud for the boys by achieving many medal place finishes. Rhys Tombs finished in Bronze position in the 200m Breaststroke, 5th in the 100 IM and 50 Breaststroke, 6th in the 200 IM and 100m Breaststroke and 7th in the 50m Backstroke. Most of Rhys’ swims resulted in new Personal Best times which included 11 seconds taken off his 200m Breaststroke and 16 seconds off his 200m IM. William Green came away from the open meet with a Bronze in the 100m IM, 100m Fly and 50m Breaststroke, 4th in the 200m and 400m Free, 7th in the 50m Fly and 8th in the 50m and 100m Free. Again many of these swims recorded new Personal Best times including 6 second off the 100 IM, 7 seconds off 100m Free, 39 seconds off his 200m IM and a massive 1 minute and 2 second off his 400m Free. Jamie Gilbert took home a Gold medal in the 50m Breaststroke recording a time of 49.05. If Jamie can push closer to his PB next time we could see a county qualification from him.

In the 12 Year age group, Scarlett Begley achieved a Bronze in the 100m Breaststroke with a new PB, 6th in the 50m Fly (also with a new PB), 4th in the 200m Breaststroke (in a PB by 29 seconds), 6th in the 100m IM and 6th ion the 50m Breaststroke. Scarlett narrowly missed out on five county qualification times in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke, 50m Backstroke and 100m IM. For the boys Jack Gregory finished 8th in the 100m Breaststroke and recorded two Personal Best times; in the 100m Breast and 50m Free.

In the 13 Years age group medals were only awarded to the top three finishers. Maisie Sandalls recorded a PB in all 5 swims over the weekend including an impressive 8th place finish in the 400m Free. Chloe Coumbe also recorded many Personal Best times including a massive 22 second PB in the 200m Breaststroke. Rebecca Leahey smashed her PB in the 100m Free knocking off 14 seconds and finished 12th in the 50m Butterfly. For the Boys 13 Years age group Sam Parker claimed a hat-trick of Gold medals in the 50m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke and 50m Fly and claimed Silver in the 100m and 200m IM. In the 100m Fly and 100m Breaststroke Sam was awarded a Speeding Ticket for being faster that the meet entry times. In the 100m Butterfly Sam qualified for the County Championships next year with an impressive 1:18.08. All of Sam’s swims recorded a new PB. Dan Jones also recorded three PBs on the Sunday, finishing with a Bronze in the 100m Backstroke and a 4th place finish in the 200m Free and 50m Fly. Dan is now 3 seconds off a County time in the 50m Fly and around 11 seconds off a County time in the 200m Free.

In the 14 Years age group Nathan Gilbert took home a Silver in the 50m Butterfly, Bronze in the 100m IM and finished 7th in the 100m Free and 50m Back. Nathan also qualified for the County Championships in the 50m Butterfly in a time of 33.03.

In the 16 and over age group Graham Begley recorded two personal best times in the 50m Back and 50m Free, taking the Silver medal in the 50 Back. Graham Qualified for the National Master’s Championships in all four swims; 50m Back, 50m Free, 50m Fly and 100m Fly.

All swimmers from the weekend should be extremely proud of their achievements. The team brought home a total of 39 medals including 9 Bronze, 4 Silver and 5 Gold. We now have three County swimmers for 2019 with Dan Jones, Jamie Gilbert, Keira Anderson and Scarlett Begley closing in on future qualifications. Sam Parker and Nathan Gilbert also closed in on additional events following excellent swims at the weekend.

The next opportunity to record official meet times is at the Worcester Swimming Club Open Meet being held at Perdiswell Leisure Centre on Sat 29th and Sunday 30th September. We have also been advised that the Wychavon Open Meet will again take place this year at Perdiswell on 24th and 25th November – run by Pershore Swimming Club. We hope to see new faces compete later in the year at both of these events.

Well done to all swimmers over the weekend.

Graham Begley.

(ESC Head Coach)

ESC Blog

County Relays

On Saturday 17th June ESC entered 5 County Relay teams into the 4x50m Freestyle Relay and 4x50m Medley Relay events at Wolverhampton. It was a fantastic day and it was an extremely valuable experience for all involved. Competing against swimmers who compete at County level and Regional level regularly can be a daunting prospect but our swimmers were superb. Through the two sessions ESC entered 10 events, achieved 6 Final qualifications and took home two Bronze medal positions. All swimmers should be very proud of the role they played within their relay team.



ESC Blog

Fred Furniss Visit To ESC

On Sunday 22nd April 2018 we were extremely lucky to have Fred Furniss visit the Swimming Club. His presentation to coaches, poolside helpers, committee members and parents covered the key technical skills for each stroke. It was an extremely useful presentation and everyone left with a wealth of knowledge. Fred has over 30 years of experience of coaching swimmers at clubs that are within the top 10 in the country. Fred has also coached swimmers representing Team GB at Olympic Games. We were all certainly very lucky to gain some key tips to help assist the future development of our swimmers at ESC.

Here are the key points raised from Fred’s Visit:

* Develop key skills with all children early

* Develop ‘Four Stroke’ Swimmers

* Kick sets are essential to condition the leg muscles of all swimmers

* Swimmers should become familiar with their stroke counts per length to gauge their swim efficiency

* Stroke counts will also help swimmers maximise turns/finishes by finishing each length on a full stroke 


* Breathing to the front

* Hands catch the water, high elbows, drive hands past hip for momentum for recovery

* Two fly kicks per stroke


* Hands catch, high elbows, powerful and quick in-sweep, drive shoulders up and extend arms forward with the assistance of the breaststroke kick.

* Tuck head into arms in extended position

* The extended position is the fastest part of the stroke so must be utilised to its full potential


* Head position down but slightly tilted forward to see the direction travelling and to be able to watch hand entry position (shoulder width hand entry)

* Extension of each arm with rotation of the body on its axis for maximum stroke reach (head still)

* Breathing should be a slight turn of the head and then returned into the fixed centre position


* Head position looking at ceiling, body position slightly inclined

* Thumb of each hand leaves the water first (below hips) and little finger first on re-entry (above head)

* Body must also rotate on its axis (shoulder roll) for maximum reach and to allow a powerful and deep pull (pushing past the hip)

Next Visit:

To introduce the importance of land based training with swimmers, parents and coaches. To show exercises to assist with pre-pool preparations and to show flexibility activities for post-pool recovery.

The full presentation has been place on SCM.

ESC Blog

PGL Round 3 & 4 Review

PGL Round 3

On Saturday 24th April 2018 we took 30 swimmers to West Bromwich to compete in the 3rd Round of PGL. Although we were considerably light on the ground in each age group we competed exceptionally well. With a good 125 points we finished in fourth place and witnessed some great swims.

Throughout round three we recorded 20 Personal Bests (PBs), which is 50% of all individual races, and achieved 7 first place finishes.

In the 10 Years age group Daisy Gregg won the Girls 25m Freestyle in a new PB of 17.69, Tallulah Brown won the 25m Breaststroke and 25m Backstroke in new PB times of 24.31 and 22.72 respectively. In the 11 Year age group Sammy Aldridge won the Girls 25m Freestyle in a new PB of 18.25 and the 12 Year age group saw Scarlett Begley win the Girls 50m Breaststroke in a new PB time of 47.06. Jaden Matthews won the 12 Year Boys 50m Freestyle with a PB time of 33.57. In the 13/14 Year age group Abi Tustin won the Girls 50m Backstroke in a PB time of 37.19.

Further PBs were recorded by Jonathan Plane (50 Back), Kiera Anderson (25 Breast), Will Mullen (50 Back), Kai Webb (25 Free), Sammy Aldridge (25 Free), Daisy Gregg (25 Fly), George Hirst (25 Breast), Elissa Clutterbuck (25 Breast), Amber Cape (equal PB – 50 Breast), Sophie Norman (50 Free), Dan Jones (50 Free), Toby Baker (25 Breast) and Emily Byrd (25 Fly).

The event saw 3 disqualifications (DQs) for ESC which were awarded for take overs on a couple of relays (swimmers leaving the block too early) and in one individual race the swimmer moved too early on the block. I feel that these can be easily be eradicated. Although we aim to be explosive off the block we still need to be disciplined to hold fire until the right moment.

After Round 3 ESC sat in a healthy 7th place in the table. Qualification for the final was still going to be tough as we were due to meet some strong clubs in the final round who are below us in the table.


PGL Round 4

39 swimmers attended the Final Round of PGL on Saturday 5th May 2018, held at Leisure@Cheltenham. The event saw us achieve 17 Personal Bests and clocked up 4 first places and 11 2nd placed swims.

Lissy Henly won the Girls 13/14 age group 50m Backstroke recording a time of 37.62, Nathan Gilbert recorded a new PB time of 39.41 to finish first in the Boys 50m Breaststroke, Daisy Gregg also recorded a new Personal Best of 17.35 to win the Girls 10 Years 25m Free and Louis Clifford finished in First place in the Boys 9 Years 25m Breaststroke in a Personal Best time of 28.37.

The 9 Years age group our swimmers fared extremely well with George Hirst, Emily Byrd, Elissa Clutterbuck and Zoe Nicholson all finishing in 2nd place. Elissa Clutterbuck recorded a new Personal Best of 29.66 in the 25m Breaststroke. All of the 9 Year age group swimmers have improved considerably throughout PGL.

In the 10 Years age group Seven Stedman and Tallulah Brown finished in 2nd place in their individual race with Seven recording a new PB of 19.85 in the 25m Freestyle.

In the 12 Years age group Joshua Hennessy and Jamie Gilbert finished in second place. Both swimmers recorded new PBs.  Joshua recorded a 42.40 in the Boys 50m Backstroke, narrowly missing out on first place. Jamie Gilbert, swimming up an age group, recorded a 45.75 in the Boys 50m Breaststroke.

Theo Rodgers recorded a new PB in the 13/14 Years age group with a 40.50 in the Boys 50m Backstroke finishing in second place.

Further PBs were recorded by Ivan Atanasov (25 Fly), Rhys Tombs (25 Breaststroke), Sian Sims (50 Backstroke), Fin Warren (50 Free) and Sophie Norman (50 Free). PBs were significantly slashed by Will Mullen (a three or so seconds PB in the 50m Fly), Cameron Brydon (around a three second PB in the 50m Fly) and Olivia Kubajek (smashing her previous PB by around 7 seconds in the 25m Fly).

One swim resulted in a disqualification (DQ). This highlights the importance of maintaining focus through each swim as the DQ occurred from a swimmer who finished in 1st place in the same event in the previous round.

I am extremely pleased that, as a club, we have eliminated the errors which have been far too common in previous years at PGL. We are now doing the basics right and I am excited to see the results of each swimmers’ progress (club wide) at the Summer Champs.

Once again we finished in fourth place but still generated a healthy points score of 121. With the points we have accumulated over the four rounds, we are likely to finish in 9th place. This means we just miss out on the 8 team final that takes place at the City of Gloucester Swimming Club next month. That being said I feel we have gained valuable experience, developed key skills and have united as a team that will make us considerably stronger for next year’s event.  I’d like to say a big thank you to all swimmers that have represented the club in any of the four rounds. A massive thank you also goes out to the parent(s)/carer(s) too who give up their Saturday evenings to sit on a hot poolside.

Finally the team support has been exceptional this year with copious amounts people giving up their time to support the club with coaching, team managing, officiating and running things behind the scenes (particularly when we hosted round 2). A particular thank you must go to Sue Watt who has given up her evenings for the club to judge at each gala. Without this support, and kind generosity of people’s time, the children would not get the opportunities and support that they do.

I look forward to next year and what we can achieve.

Graham Begley.

ESC Head Coach