Schools swimming: Shetland trio shine after epic journey
It took two flights, a five-hour snow delay at Aberdeen airport, a long train journey and a taxi ride to get to East Kilbride.
But three Shetland swimmers – Iain Leach, Calum Maccoll and Erraid Davies – did themselves proud at Brodies Scottish Schools’ Swimming Championships at the Dollan Aqua Centre.
Iain stood out with a silver medal in the 13-14 years 20m freestyle (2:13.89) and he just missed out on a bronze with a fourth place in the 100m freestyle.
Calum also just missed the podium with a fourth place in the 15-16 years 100m butterfly and an eighth in the 200m event.
In the 12 and unders, Erraid was fifth in the 50m breaststroke.
Erraid is a first year pupil at Anderson High School in Lerwick, while Iain and Calum are 23 miles north at Brae High School.
All three train with the Delting Dolphins Club in Brae under coach Lorraine Gifford and they are part of a 20-strong elite squad.
“It is just a 16m pool but we have proved that it capable of producing good swimmers,” said Lorraine, who comes from England but married a Shetlander and has been in Brae for 24 years.
“We have had seven National swimmers and the Brodies Scottish Schools’ Championships are always a highlight.
“The journey this year was longer than usual, but we are used to the travelling. We go to meets on the mainland around twice a month.
“We usually go by boat – it takes 14 hours – but Calum had to get back by Monday morning for a prelim exam so we chose to fly this time.”
Both Brae and Anderson High support the swimmers and, altogether, the club has around 80 youngsters from learn to swim to Scotland level.
Former Brae High pupil Felix Gifford – Lorraine’s son – was the 2010 Scottish Schools 100m butterfly champion and he also competed in UK School Games. He is now training with COAST in Aberdeen and has an eye on making the Scottish team for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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