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11 August 2017

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Clarinettists take to the pool!

The Inter-Services Championships, the pinnacle of the RAF Swimming calendar, was this year hosted by the Army at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre in July. The best swimmers from all three Services are selected from individual Service competitions throughout the year; for the RAF these are the Inter-Stations and RAF Championships, incorporating Inter-Regions.

2017 saw a very competitive selection, especially for the ladies, with a lot of new talent joining the squad, including previous national-standard swimmers.

After a successful training week and RAF Champs, claiming silver and bronze in her events, SAC Sabina Heywood (Clarinettist in the Central Band of the RAF) was selected for the Inter-Services team and competed in both the 100m and 200m freestyle, just missing the podium by placing 4th in both events against a very strong Army ladies’ team.

Her performances added to the RAF's overall success at the Championships, with both the women's and men's swim teams coming 2nd (to the Army and Royal Navy, respectively). These results, combined with those of the water polo, diving, and open water events, meant that the RAF retained their overall Inter-Service champions’ trophy.

inter-services swimming

SAC Kathryn O'Grady, likewise a clarinettist in the Central Band, has also taken part in several RAF swimming events throughout the season. Whilst Kathryn missed out on a place at this year’s Inter-Services, she enjoyed success at the RAF Inter-Regions earlier in the year, winning two individual bronzes, and gold and silver in the relay races.

Both keen swimmers have attended the RAF training weekends throughout the year and, prior to final selection for the Inter-Services, were fortunate to join the RAF Squad for an overseas camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote - a world class training facility, for a tough week of up to 40km swimming training in the sun, amongst other activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and even aerial yoga!

swimming inter-services championships

SAC Sabina Heywood


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