Stradbroke Swim play role in medal haul

TOP TEAM: From (l-r) - Alex Watson, Len Phoenix, Maya Harris and Jack Lonsdale.
TOP TEAM: From (l-r) - Alex Watson, Len Phoenix, Maya Harris and Jack Lonsdale.

A well-known veteran swimmer has praised the role of Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre after another superb haul of medals in competition this weekend, writes Zach Ward.

Maya Harris, Hoxne, Jack Lonsdale, Halesworth, and Len Phoenix represented Stowmarket Swimming Club and the 22nd Sudbury and District Swimming Club Masters meet on Sunday, with Alex Watson, of Harleston, competing for the East Anglian Swallow Tails.

In total the quartet, who all take part in Swim Fit sessions at Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre, brought home 34 medals — 24 golds, eight silvers and two bronze.

Phoenix, of Stradbroke and who runs the sessions in the village, said despite being a ‘microdot’, the centre hosted one of the top five swimming pools of about 640 in the country, and had helped play a role in the weekend’s success.

Highlights on the day included Lonsdale winning a gold in the 100m freestyle with a time of 59.41 seconds in his first competitive swim in nearly nine years and Harris earning six golds.

“I’m not going to single anyone out because they were all outstanding,” said Phoenix. “I think it is a real accolade for the centre.”

And despite battling flu and a cold, Phoenix, 68, took his own tally to 1,032 medals from 1,310 events.

“I must say I was not feeling 100 per cent and I nearly didn’t go, but I am glad that I did,” he explained.

“I thought I was only going to do three or four events and not complete the rest but I finished all seven. I was dead pleased.”

Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre has been hosting Swim Fit sessions for 20 years. The centre currently holds six sessions a week for all abilities. For more information, visit www.everyoneactive.com/centre/stradbroke-swimming-pool-and-fitness-centre