Crathes swimmers make a splash in Tollcross

Crathes Primary School swimmers, with the cup.
Crathes Primary School swimmers, with the cup.
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Crathes Primary School in Aberdeenshire has only two classes and a meagre 35 pupils. But four of the primary sevens – Tom Horrell, Jamie McGregor and twins Sam and Jon Taylor – came up trumps and won the boys’ 12 and under 4x50m freestyle relay at Brodies Scottish Championships at Tollcross Leisure Centre in Glasgow.

Winning a national title was a super achievement by the four lads, who are all swimming club members. The twins train with Cults Otters and Tom and Jamie are with Banchory Beavers.

The quartet also hone their skills at a thriving swimming club at the school. Based at the pool at the nearby Banchory Academy, the age range is from pre-school through to primary seven.

“It is run as part of the Parent Teachers’ Association and everyone is very supportive,” said Crathes head teacher, Maureen Fraser. 
Naturally, there was great celebration when the boys returned to school after the Tollcross triumph.

“We had an Aberdeenshire small school prize-giving on Monday and the boys got a special mention,” added Ms Fraser. “We knew they were all good swimmers and they did well at the qualifying heat at Aberdeen Sports Village. It was very exciting when they got through to the Brodies finals in Glasgow.

“They had lots of family cheering them on at Tollcross, and to go down there and win the Scottish title was a wonderful achievement.

“We are a very sporty school and all the parents play a part. We are the current Aberdeenshire small schools’ football cup champions and, for three years in a row from 2012, a team from the school won the same category in the annual Balmoral Run.

“Annie Horrell [Tom’s Mum] coaches both the swimming and the running clubs.

“We are only a small school, but we want all the children to be as successful as possible.”