The Rising Stars gala returned to the swimming calendar on November 13th for the first time in over 18 months due to the enforced lockdowns of the COVID pandemic.
The event took place at the Manchester Aquatic Centre with entrants from the Manchester Community Clubs of Broadway, Harpurhey, Wythenshawe, COMAST Hough End, COMAST Academy, Matt Walker Academy for disability swimmers and Raven Moss. Chadderton SC were also invited to join the gala for the first time.
Volunteers from the City of Manchester Swim Team worked hard to present a “COVID safe” gala for the youngsters to attend. Each participant, whether swimmer, volunteer, or spectator, was asked to do a lateral flow test before arrival at the Aquatic Centre, and spectators were restricted to just one family member per swimmer, with general social-distancing measures being in place throughout the event.
The Rising Stars gala, usually held every quarter, gives young swimmers a chance to participate in a competitive environment for the first time. Many of the swimmers have trained, when possible, for the past 18 months and this was their first chance of testing themselves against their peers. Swimmers from these galas have previously progressed and gone on to compete in the COMAST Non-National and Snow’Pen galas.
Approximately 100 swimmers competed in the gala with the 50m individual events of Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly. The 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay was not competed for this time, to assist with the social-distancing requirements.
Harpurhey again had a great Gala and took home the overall Team Trophy they last won 18 months ago. A special mention must go to the Raven Moss squad who came in second place for their very first time, a superb effort reflecting the improvement of the swimmers from Moss Side.
Wythenshawe SC stabilised their position by again coming third.
The event is organised and officiated by volunteers from the City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team, with swimmers from the senior squads providing the timekeeping.
For the event, the Club welcomed the visit of Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council who was on hand to offer his support and view the proceedings from the gallery.
COMAST’s Beacon Swimmer, GB, and England representative, Chloe Golding was on hand to present the winning Trophy.
No date has yet been set for the future Rising Stars gala’s due to the imminent closure of the Aquatics Centre for its exciting refurbishment package. It is expected to hold the gala in other pools within the city in order to continue such a successful event.
Top Team Award
1st Harpurhey ASC
2nd Raven Moss
Full results can be found on this link: HERE