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From Inflatable Aliens to Roof Raising

A look back at events at the club over the last twelve and a bit months of Raising The Roof.

Sat 8th May 1999 - Long trek, to Mansfield Town FC. - My sister, my dad and myself managed to raise almost 200 for the club, by making a seventy mile round trip by bike for the mighty Cardiff City's promotion party, slightly hampered by a three-nil defeat.

Sun 9th May 1999 - Bridon Shield (METS Teams), Adwick - Some quality perfomances in tough age groups proved a bit disappointing to be honest as we finished in fifth behind Adwick, Armthorpe, Askern and Edlington.

Sat 22nd May 1999 - BML, Division Two gala, Morley - On FA Cup Final day the club car-pooled itself to Morley's sand-pit come swimming pool, only to be heavily defeated in a very tough division. The gala's high point came with the fire evacuation that followed the cannon.

Sat 5th June 1999- Dinsdale League vs Adwick, at Rossington - Good performance, but a predictable comprehensive defeat at the hands of the Man United of Donny swimming. High points were the debut of the club's nrew mascot the inflatable alien known then only as 'Mr X', and the large scale renditions of 'The Rossington Roof Raiser'.

Sun 6th June 1999 - DARTES 'B' Grade Open Meet, Adwick - Quite a bit of success for Rosso swimmers in this one with medals going to Shaun Wilkinson, Laura Sale, Natalie Reid, 'Uncle' Andrew Blacklock, Wayne Atkinson, Michael Atkinson and Iain Squires.

Sun 20th June 1999 - Dinsdale League v Epworth, Rossington - A comprehensive victory at long last, over a week Epworth squad. High point was probably the Epworth timekeeper who downed his stopwatch, took off his T-shirt and joined myself and Iain Squires on the blocks for the Open Breastroke. Though we beat him the outcome may have been different had he possessed either a pair of trunks or some goggles.

Sat 26th June 1999 - Dinsdale League at Armthorpe - I wasn't there so Lee Palframan's report reads like this; 'We got beat by about eighty points and they had all these big hairy 30 year old blokes swimming for them'.

Sat 17th July 1999 - Pocklington League Gala, Edlington (held at Maltby) - No doubt we would have done quite well in this gala, had it not actually have been swam the week before on the 10th. Doh!

Fri 6th August 1999 - Depart for, and first day in France - Long journey on coach came to a brief halt in Dover while we located Mick Findlay who met us on the south coast. The ferry crossing was spent heckling windsurfers and taking Titanic style photos at the front of the vessel. Once in France it was first things first and the beer stop was made. Quick bit of unpacking and straight over to the Sports complex for the first pool session, which was cut short as we were late. After the evening meal everyone went their seperate ways for the evening. We older swimmers managed to locate a bar playing non-stop English 70s and 80s disco records. After bemusing some French customers with sing along renditions of 'I Will Survive' and '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay' and making one Frenchman laugh like he'd never laughed before by simultaneously waving every time he beeped his car horn, it was time to head back.

Sat 7th August 1999 - One Day In The North Of France - First of the early morning training sessions got under way at seven and surprisingly everyone eventually made it across to the pool. Underwater windows in the pool that looked out into reception gave some older swimmers the oppurtunity to scare the centre's cleaning staff. A very long and very funny game of rounders took place in the morning. This was followed by a game of basketball on the very impressive court and the iced - water supply for the home team was soon discovered and drunk by Shaun Sloan. An afternoon on the beach with a kickabout for the boys and a two mile plus trek for the girls to the breaking water. After burying Sarah Bone and Mick Findlay in the sand it was time to head back to the hotel. A Fun gala in the early evening was followed by a night a the bowling alley. A hilarious night was best summed up by Shaun Sloan, 'The only winner tonight was the sport of bowling itself'. After the bowling everyone retired to their rooms (-eventually) and prepared themselves for more early morning training.

Sun 8th August 1999 - A trip to Belgium and A Fun Gala - I entered the pool to applause on this morning, as I was again the first swimmer on the scene. After training and after I had explained to the hotel staff, why our mascot was called James Hickman it was time to go to Brugges. A brief stop in a Chocolate Factory and on to the city, where the club split up for a while. Unfortunately our group decided to head in the totally opposite direction to civilisation, and finally turned round somewhere near Luxembourg, I think. Time for food and the heavens opened up making it rain 'chats et chiens'. I won a bet with Shaun Sloan by tap-dancing in the middle of the road, during the monsoon, to the amusement of many onlooking Belgians. After a brief encounter with one of Les Dawson's old comic characters it was time to head back to the hotel. The Funest Fun Gala in history took place in the evening, including highlights such as Phil Marvin's lilo race attempt, little Ashley Knowles covering three lanes in the twister relay, and the Shaun Sloan lilo sandwich created by Graham Fynney, Mick Findlay and myself. Roller disco time a lot of which was spent on the floor (-eh Tony and Phil?). Once outside Mick Findlay was sent across the car park in a shopping trolley, thankfully without damaging his John Travolta shirt. After this the older swimmers headed to the beach,to watch the sun set over the channel, and made a few new French friends, who we promptly taught to Raise The Roof while chanting James Hickman and Stephen Mellor. The parents and coaches made up for the absence of the older kids by making a right old racket with their version of 'Music Man'.

Mon 9th August 1999 - The return journey. - Once we had left the hotel there was time for another beer run before the ferry departed. There was the usual photo call on the deck, before returning to the bus. Most of the swimmers crashed out on the back of the bus, but young Luke Hopewell was so full of energy he had to be put upon the luggage rack. Home by 6:30pm and some of us were back at training that night as well.

Sat 4th September 1999 - Dinsdale v Edlington, at Rossington - Unfortunately for us this gala was quite close and came down to the cannon at the end. Unfortunately because we just can't win them, and our record carried on in this gala resulting in a seven point defeat.

Sat 2nd October 1999 - RJB Trophy, at Rossington - As I wasn't swimming I spent the afternoon at Belle Vue, so I had to rely on Rob Fothergill to do me this report: 'We kicked their a*@#s!', so well done to the kids who swam.

Sat 9th October 1999 - Race Night, the Welfare Hall - As usual the Race Night organised by Phil Marvin brought in a large amount of cash for the club. Yet again I managed to go the whole night without winning a single race. Another good night for the Rossington ASC cause.

Sun 10th October 1999 - Pocklington Gala, at Rossington - A lot of coaches, parents and even the odd swimmer were still bearing the effects from the previous night when they arrived on the poolside. It showed. Having missed the previous gala we really needed to perform to stay in the division, and our chances increased even more when Bridlington didn't turn up. Thankfully Brid's absence meant that we received two points for third place and stayed up by a point.

Sat 16th October 1999 - Dinsdale v Denaby, at Rossington - A convincing win over Denaby in this gala, which was enforced by a Rossington first and second in the cannon. Highlights from the gala were the fact that Donny Rovers won 7-0 while we were swimming and Mick Atkinson's reaction to going under thirty seconds for 50m Freestyle. The most significant point though was the finding of the Rossington ASC flag. Long given up as lost forever the flag was found by Sam Heppel in the cupboard on the poolside.

Sat 28th October 1999 - Dinsdale v Thorne, at Rossington - Obligations at Belle Vue caused me to miss this gala, but I did catch the back end of another convincing win, in which for the second gala running, we took a one, two finish in the cannon.

Sat 6th November 1999 - BML Individual Chgampionships, at Knottingley - A lot of good swims by the few Rossington swimmers taking part. Even Shaun Sloan came out of retirement to win the Back and Fly. As well as making one final I even took time out to start a comedy double act with the announcer, which went down well, I have to say.

Thu/Fri 11/12th November 1999, RASC Annual Gala - Not a lot you can write about these, only to point out that an incredible 198 Personel Best times were recorded over the two evenings. The highlight was as ever the 'Parents v Coaches' relay, both teams had securred a couple of guest swimmers, but that failed to put them off. In the end the parents were beaten by the coaches, who hang on to their jobs for another twelve months.

Sun 14th November 1999 - METS Champs, at Adwick (day 1) - A lot of very shady disqualifications (-something that we always seem to get at these galas) put a bit of a damper on some otherwise brilliant performances. In all Rossington swimmers returned with a total of 24 medals from the first gala of the Doncaster Championships.

Fri 19th November 1999 - RASC Widths Gala - An evening for the Widths swimmers in 'C' Squad to show off their skills and an evening which is always enjoyable, not only for the swimmers, but for the coaches as well. The smiles on the faces of the children, really made the year's coaching and teaching worthwhile.

Sun 28th November 1999 - METS Champs, at Adwick - An afternoon that was a lot more enjoyable than our last visit. It started well as James Hickman made his first appearance on the poolside since his horrific puncture injury sustained in France. Some great swims were capped off with Nyssa Heppel, Sarah Bone and Shaun Wilkinson all coming away as age group champions. The day was made evn better as Rossington finished third overall behind Adwick and Armthorpe.

Sat 4th December 1999 - RASC Presentation Evening, at The Welfare Hall, Rossington - Another classic end to the year at Rossington ASC. Coach Clive Findlay claimed pretty much every prize from the raffle and Kev Kennedy played some of the classics for the older swimmers on the dance floor, including 'YMCA'. Even young Daniel Griffiths took the stage and performed his own version of 'The Full Monty'.

Tue 25th January 2000 - RASC Meeting, 'The Welfare' - In one evening the new chief coaches were announced as former swimmer Deb Powell, and current 'A' Squad swimmer Glen Wilson (-aka, me). Also on this day former RASC swimmer Alan Edmunson was seen in the papers and on TV after selling off his part of a Student website for 2.5million.

Sun 20th February - Dinsdale Championships (day 1), at Adwick - A lot of very good and very encouraging performances for the new coaches, including the two nine year old relay teams, who performed excellently.

Sun 26th February - Pocklington League, at Wakefield - First gala for the new coaches and once everybody had found the pool, the team swam quite well, defeating Bridlington, despite having quite a few swimmers missing.

Sun 19th March - Dinsdale Championships (day 2), at Adwick - The warmest day of the year so far, so it was no surprise we found ourselves stuck inside. Seven Rossington swimmers competed today, and all seven went on to pick up medals.