In Celebration of History:
The 2017 Plymouth Leander Harwich Cup National Qualifier
By Julia Galan
After a highly successful 2016 National Qualifier, the Plymouth Leander Swimming club is ready to welcome teams from across the UK and around the world to the 2017 Harwich Cup National Qualifier from May 27-29, 2017. Hosted at the 10-lane, 50-meter Plymouth Life Centre facility, the Harwich Cup is open to all swimmers ages 9 and over who meet the qualifying standards set for this Level 1 licensed meet. Check out the Meet Entry Pack here!
As the United Kingdom’s premiere competitive swimming club, Plymouth Leander has focused on creating and organizing swimming events that provide top quality competitive experiences and maximum participant satisfaction. The 2016 National Qualifier saw PL begin to broaden their scope, working with key partners to provide events that became more than just the average sporting event.
In planning for 2017, the Plymouth Leander organizing team, led by chairman Neil Glasson, and operations manager Max Trebilcock, have set an ambitious goal for this next series of the competition. Besides continuing the tradition of hosting a high-level National Qualifier, the Harwich Cup will take on a symbolic meaning that extends beyond the sport of swimming itself.
The year 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower ship from Plymouth harbor, carrying the Pilgrims to the New World. In celebration, the United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands have planned a series of transatlantic events to commemorate the sailing that served to cement a unique relationship between the three countries.
With aquatics and water-related events at the core of the celebration, Plymouth Leander Swimming will seek to build upon and promote aquatics in the city of Plymouth from 2017 through to the main events in 2020. The 2017 Harwich Cup will represent the kick-off event, incorporating the initial journey of the Mayflower Pilgrims from Harwich into the pre and post-meet advertising as well as throughout the poolside presentation.
In swimming terms, this year’s National Qualifier will once again be strategically placed during the final weekend of the national qualifying window. This will allow swimmers from across the United Kingdom one last chance to qualify for British Nationals. Additionally, the three-day competition will this year be moved to a National event running order, with morning preliminaries and evening finals due to the popularity of the event in previous years. Last year’s event, for example, saw the participation of nearly 900 swimmers from 78 teams across the United Kingdom and this year’s event is shaping up to attract more of the same.
For participating clubs, the PL National Qualifier is a worthwhile experience –in terms of its excellent swimming facilities, welcoming atmosphere and the organizational competence of host club Plymouth Leander. As Coach Kim Latham of Thanet Swim Club enthused, “…we love the fact that this is more than just a swim meet. It’s a brilliant atmosphere as well and the facilities here are absolutely fantastic!” Adds Coach Paul Haley of Welsh team Pembrokeshire Swimming, “…I think it’s a good, well-run meet. Top swimmers are here from all over Britain and further afield, and it gives our guys an opportunity to compete against the best.”
A well-run meet requires a top-notch organizing team and Plymouth Leander is fortunate to have a dedicated committee with a wide array of volunteers, officials, and sponsors to ensure the success of an efficient, friendly and fast competition. Plymouth Leander’s chairman Neil Glasson and events manager Max Trebilcock will once again be leading the “Blue Army” of swimming volunteers from both the host club and local teams, supported by the Plymouth City Council and the Everyone Active Life Centre. Premier sponsors TYR UK, Plymouth College and more will provide the necessary support for a high-level competition.
The Plymouth Leander Harwich Cup National Qualifier is an event that is open to teams and swimmers from around the world, and provides an excellent opportunity to explore a historic city and region of the United Kingdom. Located in the southwestern region of the country, Plymouth is famous for its scenic landscapes and its prominence as a historical port city has resulted in its becoming the starting point for such voyages as the first pilgrims’ journey to America on the Mayflower or Captain Cook’s discovery of Australia. There is plenty to explore in the Devon region, allowing visiting teams the chance to get in some sightseeing before or after the swimming competition. Want visual proof? Check out our photo gallery of Plymouth here.
The 2017 competition is an event not to be missed this May, and we hope to see you there, whether as a swimmer or spectator! Plymouth Leander Chairman Neil Glasson, Events Manager Max Trebilcock, and the entire PL organizing committee and team are looking forward to welcoming participants, teams, coaches and supporters to the Everyone Active Life Centre from May 27th-29th, 2017! Check out the Meet Pack here for more information and to register.
If you’d like to experience the competition in images, check out our photo gallery from the 2016 Plymouth Leander National Qualifier here.