On Saturday 7th May the school swim team headed to Crawley for their biggest competition of the year: the I.A.P.S National Swimming Finals. Historically, this has been a competition in which we have always fared very well, but we have not won the top overall prize since 2007.
The competition started with the relays – here the boys had only one chance to triumph as the top 12 schools would race in a straight final. The results were staggering with our swim team out-performing every target we had set them, placing Dulwich Prep London at the head of the leader-board after the first session. Overall we won one gold medal, three silver, one bronze and three fourth place finishes. These are the best results the school has ever had at this stage of the competition.
Session two saw the individual races, and our boys held their nerve and won 10 of the 14 places to compete for a medal. This broke yet another school record as this is the greatest number of individual finalists we have ever had.
Entering session three - the final stage of the competition - in such a strong position, we all began to mentally crunch the numbers. Could this be our year?
As each of our ten finalists from Year 5 to Year 8 took to the water they were given the simple instruction: “be fearless.” The boys took this on-board and continued on this winning streak. The competitors finished with two silver medals, one bronze, one fourth place finish, two in fifth and an eighth place. This had certainly exceeded all expectations – but had the team done enough to take the place of reigning champions Millfield?
As we entered the presentation arena to hear our fate, the excitement was palpable. We quickly learned that the boys had come 3rd overall in the U10 age group, 1st in the U12 group and 2nd in the U13 category. These excellent combined overall scores rendered Dulwich Prep London the champions!
Being named I.A.P.S National Swimming Champions 2016 is a very rare and wonderful accomplishment. My congratulations go to all the boys for their endless sacrifices and commitment to training over the years. Well done!