Hardy Suffolk youngsters win medals at UK Cold Water Swimming Championships

Ollie Pick and Will Johnson in action in the fly

Ollie Pick and Will Johnson in action in the fly - Credit: Archant

Five brave youngsters have brought medals back to Suffolk from the 2017 UK Cold Water Swimming Championships.

(L-R) Alfie Glendinning, Ollie Pick and Minnie Wayman at the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships

(L-R) Alfie Glendinning, Ollie Pick and Minnie Wayman at the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships - Credit: Archant

The group, from across the county, battled 1.5 degree water temperatures and 600 other swimmers at the Tooting Bec Lido in South London last weekend.

In the under 19 ice fly, Ollie Pick 17, from Iken, and Will Johnson 15, from Diss, won gold and silver while in the girls ice fly, Charlotte Smith 14, from Felixstowe, won silver.

Pick also won silver in the freestyle in a neck and neck race, with 15/100s of a second separating the top three.

Alfie Glendinning, of Ufford, and Minnie Wayman, from Bromeswell both 13, picked up gold Medals in the under 15’s freestlye. Glendinning won another gold in the head-up breaststroke.

The East Coast Icicles team warm-up after ther relay effort

The East Coast Icicles team warm-up after ther relay effort - Credit: Archant


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Alfie’s father, Nick, who coaches his son, was thrilled with the group’s efforts.

“They have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are. A lot of hours have been put in at their respective swimming clubs.”

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The amount of time spent in the sea doing their cold water training is somewhat surprising – during the colder months of the year they only do 30 seconds of temperature training once a week.

“Their actual swimming training is done in the pool, with their swimming clubs. Only when the temperature of the sea water increases do they spend more time training in the sea, this is usually around April. They will then train between three to four times a week,” said Glendinning.

The only downer on the day was in the relay where the hardy young swimmers were given two five second penalties for change-over related offences.

The East Coast Icicles - Pick, Wayman, Smith and Johnson – would have had the fastest time in the heat without the penalties. Glendinning said: “They’re saying that they were not waiting for the other swimmers to touch the end of the pool before changing over, I think it’s a really poor decision.

“Despite being penalised they finished fifth in the combined age of 160 years and under – I think theirs is under 60!”

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