dramatic finish to Concord’s latest annual Swimming Gala

Thursday May 9, 2019

It was a breath of fresh air for students before the exam season, but there was no shortage of drama in Concord’s latest annual Swimming Gala, last Wednesday. In fact, this year was widely regarded as one of the most closely-matched Inter-House competitions ever. Large crowds of students gathered at the pool to cheer on competitors and support their teams in this year’s penultimate house event – an event in which an incredible 140 students took part. There were 24 races students could compete in, ranging from 3-length individual races, individual medleys and team relays, and amazingly, five school records were broken: Will (Pankhurst) in the Sixth Form Boys Backstroke, with a time of 28.69 seconds. Myrtle (Teresa) recorded a time of 33.16 seconds in the Form 3 and Form 4 Girls Breaststroke. Mandela’s Ronnie, Wun, Rasim and Chatchai broke the record for the Boys Breaststroke Relay with a time of 1:26.25 minutes. Also, Mandela’s Michael, Benjamin, Pavel and Argus set a new record of Boys Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:06.66 minutes. Last but not least, the Pankhurst Mixed Medley Relay team also set a new record with a time of 1:12.81 minutes. In the final event, just as in the 2018 gala, Pankhurst and Mandela were neck and neck for the winning position – but there could only be one winning team, couldn’t there? Despite a Mandela win in the final relay, Pankhurst and Mandela achieved exactly the same number of points. As only one house could be victorious, the result was decided on total victories, so Pankhurst narrowly won. Said 6.1 student Luke, from 6.1: “As a Mandela boy myself, this result was slightly disappointing after such a closely-matched competition. “But the graciousness and sportsmanship shown by the victors, as well as all those present, was enough to have me and everyone else smiling. “Truly, this had been an unforgettable display of house pride and camaraderie by the students of Concord.” Two ‘individual champion’ awards were also presented in the results, in Concord’s West End. Congratulations to Will (Pankhurst) who won three races, setting two school records, thanks to the help of his teammates in the mixed-sex medley relay. Myrtle (Teresa) also won three races and set a school record in the Lower School backstroke event. Said Concord’s Mrs Julia Kerslake, coordinator of the event: “The Swimming Gala was a hard-fought and fiercely competed event in which 140 students rose to the challenge admirably. “I have been extremely impressed with the House Captains this year who organised their teams efficiently and made my job very easy! “Lastly, my huge thanks to the 6.2 Lifeguards who have been marvellous and have worked and trained very hard all year – I will miss them all very much and wish them great happiness for their bright futures.” View the Swimming Gala photo gallery by clicking here.