As you may be aware, the East Midland and West Midland Regions have been in discussions over the running of the joint Midland Youth and Age Group Championships and we have decided to run our own East Midland Regional Championships in May 2016.
It is important to explain why we came to this decision.
As you will be aware the Midland Championships have been running for many years and not just in Speed Swimming but in other disciplines as well. The East Midland Regional Board is keen to continue working with the West Midlands to put on relevant joint championships where appropriate.
Within the new Swimming Pathway structure introduced in 2015 by British Swimming, to swim at the National events the swimmers are no longer targeting qualifying times but trying to achieve a top 24 place in GB Ranking for their age and event. Where possible the choice of venue then becomes an important consideration. The Joint Event Management Group voted to move the Midland Championships from Coventry and Corby, to Sheffield and Corby, to give swimmers the best opportunity to achieve their goal to gain a qualifying place and swim at the British and/or ASA Summer Nationals.
The West Midland Regional Management Board however felt that they wanted to keep their event in Coventry for a number of reasons. The most important consideration being the fight to keep a 50m pool in Coventry and strongly felt that any move away would significantly weaken the case to keep a 50m pool in Coventry. Other factors considered by the Board were the likely increased cost of travel / accommodation and the distances which swimmers in the south west of their Region would have to travel.
A new East Midland event management group is being formed and discussions have already been held about the planning and scheduling of next year's events. The dates for the events in 2016 are:
Saturday 30th April, Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd May (3 day event) in Sheffield
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th May (2 day event) in Corby
It is a complex process to set the schedules and consideration times so that we have a strong competitive and viable event, this will take some time. We hope to complete final details before the end of November but as a guide, the outline plan is that the 14yrs & over will swim at Sheffield. The distance events 800m/1500m for all ages 11/12yrs & over will be at Sheffield on Monday 2nd May. With the exception of the distance events the 11/12yrs & 13yrs will swim at Corby.
We hope you can see that your East Midland Regional Board have supported you 'the swimmers' through this process and can now look forward to a fantastic event which the Region can be proud of.