Rainey Endowed School pupil Simon Matterson hit three personal best times on his way to becoming All Ireland champion.
The Magherafelt Club swimmer emerged triumphant in the 50m butterfly event at the Swim Ireland School Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on February 7th, but his journey started in October last year at the Swim Ulster Schools meet where he managed to obtain qualifying times for both 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
Swimmers from all four provinces in Ireland were represented at U11 and U12 age groups in Dublin. In the heats, Simon was able to secure top 10 times for both backstroke and butterfly, which confirmed his place in the two finals.
In the backstroke final, with a time of 36.79, he achieved 7th place.
The butterfly final turned out to be the most exciting 33.81 seconds of Simon’s life so far, as he managed to take first place, just 0.02 seconds ahead of the second place swimmer Paul Higgins from Munster.
Simon’s dad Ron said he was delighted not only for Simon, but also for Rainey Endowed School and MUASC, Magherafelt Swimming Club, of which Simon has been a member since he was four-years old.
Ron was also keen to thank all the coaches in MUASC who have been involved with Simon over the years, Mark Craig, his coach from Swim Ulster and finally Mrs Judith Quigley, swimming co-ordinator for Rainey Endowed School.