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East Lothian Swim Team recently held their annual awards evening, celebrating the successes of the swim team and its athletes for the year. Through the course of the evening, a wide range of awards were presented, recognising not only individual competitive success but also services and commitment to swimming in East Lothian.


The awards kicked off with ELST Senior and Junior “swim of the year”, like with all of our awards, there was an incredible competitive list of nominees. Our Junior winner was Louisa Stoddart, for her outstanding display in the 50m Butterfly at SNAGS 2018, where she came from an outside lane to claim the National title in the 11-13 Age Group. Our Senior winner was Bridget Lemasuirer, for her Gold medal winning performance in the 100 Breaststroke at SNAGS 2018, beating the British Champion to clinch the National title in the 16 Age Group.


Our next awards were for the male and female “breakthrough swimmer of the year”, where again the field was incredibly difficult to select a winner, but after much deliberation, two names came to the fore. Our Male winner was ELST Performance Squad member Craig Mellon, who has been with the swim team for a number of years, training hard and constantly improving but never quite breaking through onto the National stage, until this year. Swimming in the 16 years age group, Craig achieved qualification to the National Age Groups Championship for the first time, where he then reached another milestone of making his first National final. “Craig is a true representation of long-term athlete development and has only just started to make his mark in Scottish Swimming” Bruce Halloran, ELST Head coach.


Our female winner of the “breakthrough swimmer of the year” was Louisa Stoddart, who has gone from making the 50m Butterfly final at SNAGS 2017, to returning home from SNAG 2018 as a double National Champion in the 50m & 100m Butterfly, and picked up another 4 medals to add to her collection.


Before we continued with the competitive awards, we took the time to present a special award. This award is called “Services to the swim team” it is again awarded annually, but this year it had particular significance. ELST is a managed by volunteers, without whom the team would not be able to run, never mind take on the best in Scotland. This year’s award was presented to our long serving and incredibly committed Competition Secretary Susan Calderhead, who had dedicated 8 years to the swimming community in East Lothian. Susan has worked tirelessly to ensure that every swimmer always had the best chance of achieving their potential through her work as Competition Secretary and her general Committee involvement. Susan and her family are moving away in the coming months to Canada, and the swim team ensured that Susan was recognised for all she has done to make ELST the team it is today.


Next on the running order for the evening was the selection of our new Team Captains for 2018/19. Anna Balfour (Tranent) and Finlay Hart (Tranent) were selected for the role based on their time spent with the team and involvement with the junior swimmers in the team. Upon selection to the captaincy, we get our new captains to present the awards for our junior swimmers. These awards are called “future stars”, and presented to swimmers who have achieved in both the competition and training pool since joining the full swim team within the past 12 months. Our winners for 2018 were Ben Williamson and Grace Courtney, both who have excelled at District and National level in their respective age groups and show great promise for the future. Awards for our record breakers were also presented on the evening, with Stefan Krawiec (Multiple National Records), Calum Peebles (Multiple District Records) and Bridget Lemasurier (District Record) all recognised for their outstanding achievements over the past 12 months.


Our final award of the evening was the much anticipated “Swimmer of the Year”. Due to the simply outstanding standard of results which have been achieved over the past year, the team was only able to get the shortlist down to 8 swimmers, who were; Bridget Lemasurier, Sean Craigmile, Christen Russell, Louisa Stoddart, Calum Peebles, Meagan Porteous, Edward Alsop and our winner Stefan Krawiec. Stefan has had the most outstanding year, rewriting the National and District record books, winning 10 National titles and whitewashing the District Championships, winning all events and claiming the top boy award, well done Stefan.


ELST Head Coach Bruce Halloran said, ‘ We run our awards, from Scottish Age Groups to Scottish Age Groups and the standard of swimming which has been put on display over the last 12 months has been fantastic. For East Lothian to finish 5th in the country, and have as many individual National title holders as we do is a testament to the work for the swimmers, their parents, the committee and the coaching team, we are all very proud. The awards night was a brilliant event, and we look forward to finishing off the season with a bang.”


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