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BISP Sea Eagles continue to make waves in the pool

BISP Sea Eagles continue to make waves in the pool

SWIMMING: The Sea Eagles from the British International School, Phuket (BISP) will go into this weekend’s swim meet on home turf in supremely confident mood after a series of exceptional displays of late.

By The Phuket News

Friday 3 February 2023, 10:27AM

The Phuket International School Athletics Conference (PISAC) swim meet takes place from today (Feb 3) until Sunday (Feb 5) at the BISP campus in Koh Kaew as teams from across the island compete to show off their skills and expertise in the pool.

The Sea Eagles will be considered strong favourites, however, due to some outstanding performances in recent times that has seen several students excel in the water.

Most recently was the Bangkok Feeding Frenzy swim meet hosted by Bangkok Patana School last December which saw over 600 swimmers from four different countries participating.

With only 26 swimmers taking part BISP finished in third place overall and first place in the quality team point category. The 11-12 boys age group finished first in overall scores and the 15-18 boys and girls age group finished third in overall scores.

Several new school records were broken at the event, including by student Anton who set new best times in the 400 and 200 metre freestyle, 100 and 200m backstroke and 100m fly.

Similarly, Jaidee broke records in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley (IM), while Valeriia broke the record in the 50m backstroke and Nassir set two new Nepalese national records in the 200m and 400m IM. There were also new records set in the boys free relay team and boys medley relay team.

Prior to this BISP had dominated at the first international competition hosted by Headstart International School on Nov 19-20 last year, comfortably finishing in first place on points overall and setting several new records at the time in the process.

Several weeks previous the first-ever BISP pentathlon was staged, with over 360 swimmers from eight different teams and each swimmer having to swim five races consisting of 50m of each stroke, including front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and a 200m IM.

The BISP team once again excelled to finish in top spot, with 90% of the swimmers achieving personal best times during the event.

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Record breaking

Outside of team competition, year 11 student Duana Lama set new records at the National Championships in Nepal last November, winning nine gold medals and one silver. The gold were won in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, the 400m and 200m freestyle and in her 200m IM team relay, with her silver medal in the 50m butterfly. She set new national records for the 200 IM and the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Then there is former BISP student Marija Rutkauskaite who has represented her country Lithuania in multiple international competitions such as the European Youth Olympic Festival, European Junior Championships and World Junior Championships.

Her coach had come to hear of BISP from a fellow practitioner before letting Marija’s family know of the school. Despite knowing it would be a tough goodbye to endure, they were sure this institution would help her achieve her full potential - BISP had the facilities, coaches, academics, and support offerings any student-athlete would need and more. True enough, once the swimmer took a dive slightly different than the ones she was used to, she was granted a scholarship.

Marija thrived under the BISP swim program while in Phuket before moving to take up a Division 1 Swimmer Scholarship at California State University in Fresno in August last year.

She credits her educators for helping her land a scholarship to the Division 1 institution and for their overall unwavering support while based at the BISP campus.

“In Year 11, the counsellors really helped my parents and I narrow down our options and submit quality applications,” she says. “Soon, I will be majoring in business entrepreneurship and interior design while still perfecting my swimming skills.”

Marija thanks her friends and house parents for encouraging and supporting her throughout the transition. “As they all come from different countries, there’s always someone around to remind you that you’re never alone in this situation,” she says.

There is no doubt the Sea Eagles will continue to produce and nurture outstanding talent such as Marija, much of which will be on show at this weekend’s competition.

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