Police swimming teams from across Europe descended on Loughborough, Leicestershire to up hold a long standing tradition lasting over the past 20 years. The event was established by Great Britain and Germany in years when the USPE events weren't that frequent to uphold friendly competition. New teams from Holland, Denmark, Norway and Monaco were invited in a hope that the event will continue for many more.
The swimming competition took place over 2 days at the Loughborough University pool where many of Britain's elite train and in fact Team GB were staying at the same hotel as they had a breastroke camp taking place. There were 3 trophies up for grabs; the under 35's, over 35's and best team overall. The under 35's swimming 100m of each stroke, 200 IM, 50 free and the overs 50m of each stroke and a 100 IM, there was also an any age 200 freestyle as well as relays across the board.
The competition which was fast moving kicked off with the 100m butterfly, Aimee Ramm (Leicestershire) comfortably won in a 1.04.67 and also started a bit of a female winning streak for the team. Other event winners from GB were Delyth Cunnah (Scotland) in the 50m backstroke and freestyle; Sarah White (Surrey) in the 50m fly and 100m IM. Ramm was kept busy adding second place in the 100m breastroke and free events. Other team members taking second were Chris Jones (S Wales) 50m backstroke, Brian Steatham (West Mids) 100m breastroke, Richard Evans (Met) 50m fly, Garry Dixon (T Valley) 100m backstroke, Vic Standen and Nigel Gaskin (W Mids) 50m free and Claire Thorn (W Mids) and Nick Polkinghorne (D&C) in the 50m breastroke.
It was a mixed bag for us in the relay events only winning the over 35 ladies and second in the over 35 men's and under 35's ladies. For me it was the final event the mixed 8 x 50m freestyle team with 2 men/women from each age group swimming together. GB showed their team strength winning the event by a staggering 8 seconds.
All in all it was a very close, well fought competition with each country showing different strengths and weaknesses. Taking the under 35's trophy were Germany with 69 points, 2nd jointly on 53 points were Norway/Denmark and Team GB and 4th Holland on 47 points. The over 35's was won by Great Britain with 61 points, 'Normark or Denway' 2nd with 55 points, Germany 3rd with 28 points and Holland 4th with 22 points. Overall victors were Great Britain by a mere 4 points with 125, Normark on 121, Germany on 107 and Holland on 77.
The teams look forward to meeting again in Amsterdam in 2017.