Lakenheath Barracudas splash into the EFSL championship
By Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 07, 2018
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
The Lakenheath Barracudas swim team participated in the European Forces Swim League championship in London, England, Feb. 24.
More than 500 swimmers from 18 different swim teams across Europe gathered to compete at the London Aquatics Centre, which is famous for hosting the swimming events of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
The EFSL serves as the grand finale for all of the swim season. The participants competed in various individual and relay events including freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke swims.
“It’s a culmination of one year’s worth of swimming,” the board president of the Lakenheath Barracudas and Royal Air Force service member said. “In our opinion, it’s amazing. It’s the amphitheater of dreams.”
Comprised of military dependents from both the U.S. Air Force and the RAF, the Lakenheath Barracudas have been swimming competitively since 1973.
“It’s pretty cool because it’s not just our base,” said Lt. Col. John R. Beatty, 48th Operations Group deputy commander. “We have kids from U.K. schools, Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and bases from all over Europe.”
The EFSL provides many networking opportunities to not only the swimmers, but their military families as well. Airmen from RAF Lakenheath have had the opportunity to strengthen relations with Airmen from the RAF.
“It’s great, we have people talking to each other that normally don’t have the opportunity to,” Beatty said. “Through swim team, I have been able to talk about different topics with the guys at RAF Marham and tie different aspects of the mission that our two bases are going to have in our future.”
The EFSL also provides the swimmers with an outlet for friendly competition and an opportunity for them to establish relationships with other swimmers of all ages.
“You’ll regularly find an intermingling of swimmers,” the board president said. “That’s what is great about it, it’s everyone together mixing and blending in.”
The Lakenheath Barracudas will begin their new EFSL swim season this summer.