Swimmers await online comparisons

Young swimmers stick to their lanes under the new restrictions.

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Oban Otters took part in the first virtual club championship, with other Argyll and Clyde swim teams also taking part in their own pools.

Swimmers competed in races in all four strokes and over 50m and 100m with times sent on to be compared with swimmers from Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Inverclyde, Islay and Dunoon to decide the medal winners.

Oban Otters only returned to swimming in early November, after a seven-month dry spell, and although there were concerns about race fitness, several swimmers achieved personal best times, much to head coach Amanda Coates’ delight.

‘Our swimmers have been fantastic complying with all the new Covid procedures to get them swimming again, and their positive attitude is infectious,’ she said.

Oban High School teachers Greg Fairbairn and Denise Gemmell observed the championship so that swimmers taking National 5 and Higher PE could be assessed, with all swimmers passing with flying colours.

One important aspect of racing could not be assessed, as diving was initially not allowed by Scottish Swimming, and although this is now allowed, in the interest of fairness across the clubs, each swimmer started their race in the water.

‘It was odd not to be diving, but I’m pleased to say that despite the short training time and slow in-water starts, our swimmers posted great times overall,’ added Amanda.

Oban Otters chairwoman Moira Logan thanked Atlantis staff for their help with the additional risk assessments and co-ordination behind the scenes, and delivered a festive chocolate box to each swimmer and hard-working committee members and coaches.

‘Swimming is a great sport that benefits everyone whether you are training to compete or for fitness or for fun with the family, so please get booked into Atlantis, use the fantastic new changing rooms and go swimming,’ she added.

Results will be published in the coming weeks.