Eyemouth swimmers off to Iceland for international meet

Eyemouth and District Swimming Club members Archie Stevenson, 14, of Berwick; Poppy Shaw, 15, of Berwick; Grace Gillie, 13, of Eyemouth; and Kiera Pemble, 16, of ChirnsideEyemouth and District Swimming Club members Archie Stevenson, 14, of Berwick; Poppy Shaw, 15, of Berwick; Grace Gillie, 13, of Eyemouth; and Kiera Pemble, 16, of Chirnside
Eyemouth and District Swimming Club members Archie Stevenson, 14, of Berwick; Poppy Shaw, 15, of Berwick; Grace Gillie, 13, of Eyemouth; and Kiera Pemble, 16, of Chirnside
Four members of Eyemouth and District Amateur Swimming Club are off to Iceland next week to take part in an international meet.

Part of the multi-sport Reykjavik International Games, this year’s three-day meet, the 20th, starts next Friday, January 26, and it will see the teenagers contesting a total of 26 individual races, ranging from 50m sprints in all four strokes to a 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle.

The club’s representatives in Iceland are Eyemouth’s Grace Gillie, Chirnside’s Kiera Pemble and Archie Stevenson and Poppy Shaw, both of Berwick.

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Grace, 13; Kiera, 16; Archie, 14; and Poppy, 15, all competed at last year’s Scottish swimming championships and are set to do so again this April but this is their first international event overseas and that’s a prospect they’re relishing.

Club secretary Emma Stevenson said: “Archie, Grace, Kiera and Poppy are excited to be taking part in their first international competition abroad.

“It provides our young swimmers with an amazing development opportunity competing against international-level swimmers from around Europe.

“The competition is being used as an Olympic qualifying event, and whilst we are not at that level, it will provide our swimmers with great learning opportunities being in such a competitive and prestigious environment.

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“This is a big step for our small club and it will be exciting to see our swimmers perform on the international stage.

“Swimming is in the blood of the Icelandic people, with outdoor spas and pools in most neighbourhoods. We are particularly excited about our cool-down pool, an eight-lane, 50m outdoor pool heated to around 34C by Iceland’s geothermal water. We are looking forward to swimming under the stars each day after competing.”

Eyemouth and Berwick Rotary clubs, ClubSport Berwickshire, Grantshouse firm Borders Competitions and Eyemouth’s Sparta Gym are helping foot the bill for the trip but the club are still about £1,000 shy of the £2,500-plus the club reckon it will cost and are appealing for further donations.

“Travelling and competing in Iceland is a huge expense for the club and families of our swimmers,” said Stevenson.

“We are still short of our fundraising total and would appreciate any further support that local businesses, charities or individuals can provide.”

To oblige, email [email protected].

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