The Future Is Bright With Jack Bingham

The Future Is Bright With Jack Bingham

Courtesy of Pádraig Mallon, Camlough Lake Water Festival, Northern Ireland.

Camlough Lake Water Festival near Newry, Northern Ireland always run events for the youth. They are the future of open water swimming. The amazing talent seen on display at CLWF 2015 is worthy of publication and with kind permission of these children’s parents.

In the first of this ‘The Future Is Bright’ series, 12-year-old Jack Bingham smiled through his 5 km CLWF swim. Jack swims with Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club and is an open water swimmer.

The young Mr. Bingham explains, “I had been looking forward to the Camlough festival all year. I had been training with my club and swimming with ice kilometre champion Francie Haughey.

It was a real friendly and encouraging atmosphere, all weekend. It was nice to win the junior tri and 1 km swim. It’s always nice to get a H20PLAY medal. I was ready for home and Sunday tea at my nans. Then…I was asked if I wanted to swim in the 5 km race and I didn’t hesitate … I said why not! I never swam more than 2 km with Francie and mostly in warm water, but sure if I didn’t finish, at least I could give it a go.

I went home after swimming the 1 km, got some food and came back and registered as #550 and received a green CLWF silicone cap.

Nervous, yes. Excited, yes. This was big. The lady asked my did I want a ‘feed bag’…???

Yes, I said wondering what’s that for. She kindly explained (because my face looked so puzzled) that there would be a feed station in the water so as I could stop and eat something if I needed during the swim. I gathered a few items and there you go: I had my first feed bag ! #550 would not go hungry. I love my grub!

There was lots of boats and kayaks on the water. It was tough, I didn’t feel the cold, the water was actually nice and tepid and the swim buoys were close enough to sight for each time. I really enjoyed it. I saw the finish line and kicked a little faster. My dad was there with a warm drink for me. I just swam 5 km and no quitting … I was thrilled.

My weekend at CLWF included the Junior Try-a-Tri (22:53), 1 km swim (16:01), and 5 km swim (1:43:04).

Thank you to all the crew at Camlough Lake for all the work they do organising these races for the youth and I hope to participate in the sea events next year.


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