DSC’s Hackett Competes in GB’s Top Event!

Dunstable Swimming Club’s captain, Walter Hackett, travelled to the Toll Cross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow for the premier event of British Swimming’s calendar. Despite being only 15 years of age, Walter qualified for the British Swimming Championships, held over six days in April.

The triple East Region Champion qualified in the 50 metres backstroke to swim against swimmers from throughout the country. For the top swimmers the event is a qualifier for the World Championships to be held in July in South Korea. This meant Walter shared a pool with the likes of Adam Peaty, James Guy, Ross Murdoch and James Wilby.

Walter’s event was held on the first day of the competition. Stepping up to his favourite event, he had a great start and pushed hard down the 50 metre pool for a strong time of 28.09 seconds, just 0.2 seconds outside his personal best. Although there are no junior age groupings for this event, his time saw him ranked 5th in Great Britain among those who had qualified from the 16 years age band.

The experience of preparing for and coping with the tension and adrenalin of a big event was invaluable. Walter was also pleased to be able to compete in a top-level competition race suit which Dunstable’s coach, Tim Hutton, had obtained from the event sponsor TYR. Only Walter and top breaststroker Ross Murdoch had been supplied with this particular costume for the gala.

Walter commented “It was a tremendous learning experience, competing once again at Toll Cross with the elite of the GB swimming scene. Adam Peaty swam in the race after mine, and we watched him again in the final in the evening, when he achieved the fastest 100 metre breaststroke time in the world this year”.

Coach Tim Hutton said “To qualify for the British Championships aged only 15 is an amazing feat. Walter has shown great maturity and dedication in his preparation for this swim and his hard work continues to reward. It’s also great for our club’s swimmers to be able to watch him on the YouTube live stream, inspiring them to train to their potential and aim to follow in his footsteps”.

Walter is now looking forward to the East Region Championships, held in Luton in May and the British National Summer age group championships in July.