Page 212 - MBS 2022/23
P. 212

  With the resumption of sport, the RAPTC Swimming and Water Polo team were able to embark on their OSV to Cyprus and compete in the inaugural Dhekelia Splash. A team swimming relay in the sea. The team is polarised, with Sgt (SI) L Fife a selected Army Swimmer and the rest of us, who are not.
Initial planning went well, the team were eager, after a long time out of the water and with support from the RAPTC Association and the Army Sports Lottery, the team were set and travelling. In October it is the back end of the swimming season in Cyprus, however the temperature was still extremely warm. The team got to grips with the training tempo with Maj (MAA) Horner getting the team into shape ready for the competition.
Swimming fitness is something which takes an age to gain and very quickly it deserts you. The team found this as we were struggling up and down the pool, thankful for the edge to grab hold of before turning around and going again.
After so long away it was great to spend some social time with the team during a tenpin bowling competition. With SSgt (SSI) (Twinkle Toes) Wilcox leading the more stylish bowling, this was the beginning of the team reforming to what the RAPTC had before the pandemic. Although, a lot of new faces with some of the team moving on. These were the early signs of what this team can achieve.
On the day of the race, there was naturally some nervousness in the team as it was a sea swim, and some members hadn’t swam this distance in the sea before.
WO2 (QMSI) G Laycock RAPTC
 After the team brief, the team donned their pink issued hats and RAPTC trunks and Swimsuits and got ready at the start line. On the klaxon, Sgt (SI) Liz Fife set off in hope for an early lead. Running down into the sea was harder than expected. Especially for those small members, as you were wading through the sea for some time before setting off swimming. Then it was 600 meters swimming around the buoys, trying to get a rhythm and not allow a rival swimmer past you or swim over the top of you. Now, this is at the point where you were tired. Having ran into the sea, waded to the swim point, swam around the course, you now had to wade back out of the sea and run up the beach to handover to the next person, with everyone watching you. This was tough, however, Sgt (SI) Liz Fife glided through and was in a very respectable 2nd place, with a large lead over third. Next off was SSgt (SSI) Liam Beach, as he darted into the sea. Something happened, he turned into Micheal Phelps and started
to gain on the first place, then past first and came in leading the whole race. This continued with the rest of the team putting in a sterling effort. Sadly, we were unable to hold onto the lead. However, finishing second and bringing home the first piece of silverware in almost living memory for the team was a significant achievement.
It was a great way to finish the calendar year and in preparation for the Inter Corps in Mar 23. The team travelled home after a day on the beach partaking in some water sports laid on by the Resident Infantry Battalion.
The RAPTC Swimming and Water Polo team do not have a large gene pool to select from. It can be hard to generate a full team for the bigger events, if you are looking for a challenge, with a great team, whilst developing fitness, please get in contact with the RAPTC Swimming Secretary.
Sgt (SI) L Fife tagging SSgt (SSI) L Beach into the race and on to his leg
The Team in Training in the pool
  The Team with the second-place trophy

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