The new year started just as the old one had finished for Belper Marlins Swimming Club.
For the first gala of 2016 yielded several superb performances by the Marlins youngsters, who pocketed medals at a January Open Meet staged by the Ripley Rascals club.
Straight away, it was evident that the Christmas and New Year holiday had not taken its toll on the Marlins team. In a lengthy competition, they took many top honours over 50m, 100m and 200m in all age groups and across all four strokes.
Among the swimmers to race to victory were Sarah Dymond in the 15-year-olds and over age group, Cameron Haynes for the 14-year-olds, Dean Smith, Katy Dymond and Caitlin Oram for the 12-year-olds and Phoebe Barden for the 11-year-olds.
The success followed an outstanding 2015 for Marlins, who won the Four Towns Gala convincingly, competed in the West Midlands Premier Division of the National Arena League and also enjoyed considerable individual glory via the likes of Joshua Horobin, who swam in London’s Olympic pool, and George Henshaw, who made terrific strides in disability competitions.