The future of Belper Marlin Swimming Club was proven to be in safe hands last Thursday night when the Mini Marlins took to the pool in their Summer Sprint competition.
From the age of four to eight, the team of bright young hopefuls took to the water and showed the crowd of onlookers how, like Rumpelstiltskin, to weave wave power into gold, silver and bronze.
Every child was a winner in the end with medals galore hanging around their necks. Following the Marlin motto of ‘stream-line, turn smart, finish fast’ the children blistered down the pool.
The competitors were Sophie Canning, Henry Booth, Lydia Norman, Charlie Whiting, Rohan McLaughlin, Alfie Whiting, Marcus Clark, Charlotte Selby, Jacob Norman, Sam Shakespeare, Ryhs Bestwick, Oliver Crane, Isobel Fray, Finlay Haynes, Danny Houghton, Josh Whysall, Amelia Lincoln, Erin McCluskey and Alice Roberts.
A club spokesman said: “All deserve their moment of fame and they certainly got it parading around the pool Olympic-style, waving to the crowd and posing for photographs.
“It was a great evening – ‘show and tell’ at school the next day was certainly full of sparkle as the proud Mini Marlins showed off their bling!”
Meanwhile, it was massively competitive at this year’s Belper Marlin’s Summer Sprints, although the spirit was as strong as ever.
Interclub rivalry, up and coming swimmers placing their claim on club honours, older swimmers desperate to hang onto their medal positions from last year and much older swimmers realising that it was time to move over into the slow lane and wave the younger ones past, it was all there.
Alfreton pool was the venue for the two evenings of races. Children as young as seven started the competition with a crowd of admirers cheering them down the pool.
For some of them, it was the first time they had entered a full-scale gala but the occasion did not phase them. Gold, silver and bronze medals were at stake and as personal best times were in the programme it was clear to all what speeds the children needed to swim to get up onto the podium.
As they hit the finish board, the digital display presented the swimmers and crowd with the times they had achieved. Exhausted teammates shook hands and congratulated each other.
The spokesman added: ”Some disappointment was felt, however, after the rain comes the sun and so over four or five races most children came away delighted with their results. One little girl leapt into her parents arms she was so delighted with how well she had swam - no one cared that she was dripping wet – they were just filled with pride.
“Medals and other awards will be presented to the children at the presentation ceremony, where the club’s amazing performance so far this year will be celebrated. It will also be a time where the children give something back to the community, having raised over £1,200 for the charity Parkinson’s. It is wonderful to see such a small town having such an amazing club.”