Magnificent Marlin achieve promotion

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BELPER Marlin celebrated an amazing and exciting promotion to division two of the West Midlands national arena swimming league in mid-January.

The club led the points tally for most of the evening only to be pipped at the post by Tewkesbury and Biddulph swimming clubs.

The winners were only eight points ahead of Belper and second place only two points ahead in a nail-biting last few events.

Promotion is the culmination of lots of hard work from swimmers, coaching staff, helpers and committee members at Marlin and everyone involved should feel proud of their achievements and a close third place to take them to that much relished promotion to division two.

All the swimmers swam their best and the atmosphere was electric with amazing support from parents, grandparents and helpers - two coaches turned up to support to swim and support the swimmers and their much-loved club.

Final results were 1st Tew-kesbury 198pts, 2nd Biddulph 192, 3rd Belper Marlin 190, 4th Falcons 170, 4th Stourbridge 160, sixth Crusaders 129.

The arena national swimming leagues are formed by seven separate areas of England and Marlin swim in the West Midlands section.

That region has clubs from as far afield as Eckington in north Derbyshire, Calverton and Bingham from Notts, Hereford, Linslade in Bedfordshire, Gloucester, Leek and clubs from the Birmingham area.

Having finsihed in first place in all three stages of the competition in the run up to the end of 2010, Marlin were winners of division three which brought a much-coveted place in the swim-off between the top three clubs to gain promotion to division two for 2011.

All swimmers received a winners’ first place medal and they hold the cup for the first place winners of Division 3.

In 2011, division two will be tough but with the skill, passion and commitment shown by all swimmers and coaches at Marlin its a case of watch this space.

Marlin club president Jeff Pickering presented two certificates to honorary life member Jason Nelson in recognition of his long service with the club

Jason joined Belper Men’s Swimming Club as it was known in 1976 when he was six. He stopped swimming for a while in his late teens but when the Masters section was started in 19089, he returned and has swum ever since, often carrying out duties as life guard for the club.

He was nominated and accepted for the Derbyshire ASA Certificate of Recognition for his long service to Belper Marlin last year.

Learn to Swim gala

Marlin swimmers also performed really well at the club’s Learn to Swim Programme mini gala held at Heanor.

Mia Lindsay and Sophie Allen gained two first places, Daniel Crowder and Lydia Hallsworth two seconds, Joely Baker and Jamie Cameron achieved one first and one second; Alyce Taylor one third and one runner-up; Carly Downing two runners-up; Evie McLaughlin one third and one runner-up; Alice Henshaw two seconds; Bronwyn Bennetts one first and one third; William Booth one third and one runner-up; Ella Meakin one first and one runner-up.

The stage one overall winner was Mia Lindsay; Stage 1 overall winner Mia Lindsay. Stage two overall was shared by Jamie Cameron and Joely Baker; Stage three winner was Sophie Allen while stage four was shared by Lydia Hallsworth and Bronwyn Bennetts.

The most improved swimmer was Carly Downing.