After a break from competition but a continuation of training, the Belper Marlin Swimming Club competitive season got under way with the youngest swimmers involved in the Ripley Rascals Novice Competition.
This was a great evening of swims and a chance for some of the newer members of the club to have a go at their first competition.
The club came third out of five teams. Novice gala swimmers swimming in their first gala for the club included Oliver Dann, Dean Thurnham, Peter Lamb, Lauren Hingley, Poppy Hopewell, Eva Moran, Charlotte Crane, Anna Schumann, Carys Hughes, Rebecca Ellis, Alice Crane, Hamilton Hands, Matthew Walker, Emma Broughton and Matilda Wild.
There was a great team atmosphere as swimmers encouraged each other on in both individual and relay events. To everyone’s credit, there were no disqualifications in any of the relay takeovers, which is a tricky part of the race.
The club would like to issue thanks to the older Marlin swimmers who came to help out team manage the novice gala swimmers; Sarah Dymond, Ellie Baker, Pheobe Booth, and Tamsin McGraw. It is great that team spirit and support is felt from the novices all the way through to the elite.
Following this event came the more established swimmers. The Four Town Gala was a great way to start back after the summer holidays. Belper Marlin SC bagged the September round of this gala with 17 victories from the 44 events with many personal best times being obliterated.
Belper ran out victorious with 120 points, Dove Valley were second with 114, Leek gained 94 points and Ashbourne 78. It was good to see the nine year old team doing well with good swims from novices Dean Thurnham, Oliver Dann, Phoebe Barden and Eleanor Mosely.
All age groups were strong and this showed in the final exciting event of the evening when one male and one female swimmer from each age group swam in the Cannon event. As a cherry on the top of the cake, Belper Marlin Swimming Club won by a good distance to complete a brilliant start to the season for the club.